Art Market

British Airways will sell 17 works from its corporate collection at Sotheby’s.

Justin Kamp
Jul 14, 2020 4:44PM, via Sotheby’s

Bridget Riley, Cool Edge, 1982. Est. £800,000–1.2 million ($1 million–1.5 million). Courtesy Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s will offer 17 works from British Airways’ corporate art collection across two auctions scheduled for later this month. The proceeds from the sale of the collection, which is estimated at £920,000 ($1.1 million) to £1.4 million ($1.7 million), will go towards keeping the struggling airline afloat amidst drastically lowered tourism and travel rates—Bloomberg reported the company currently plans to lay off roughly 12,000 employees, or 30 percent of its staff.

The top lot in the collection, Bridget Riley’s abstract Cool Edge (1982), will be offered at Sotheby’s forthcoming “Rembrandt to Richter” evening sale in London on July 28th. The painting is estimated at £800,000 ($1 million) to £1.2 million ($1.5 million). The rest of the works in the collection will be offered at Sotheby’s online auction of modern and post-war British art, scheduled to run from July 20th to 30th. These pieces include seven screen prints by Riley alongside paintings by Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, and George Shaw; prints by Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn, Julian Opie; and a portfolio of etchings from Peter Doig.

Terry Frost, Sunglow, 1991. Est. £10,000–15,000 ($12,600–18,900). Courtesy Sotheby’s.

Oliver Barker, Sotheby’s chairman for Europe, said:

This fittingly British collection presents a roll call of some of the greatest names of the second half of the 20th century, long-celebrated in the British Airways collection. From Bridget Riley, whose Cool Edge ranks among the finest 1980s stripe paintings ever to come to auction, through to the British Modernists and the radical Young British Artists of the 1990s, this offering represents the best of British art.
Justin Kamp