The Sotheby’s Contemporary and Post-War Evening Sale closed out a weekend of unexpectedly strong and enthusiastic sales in London this week, continuing both a solid week of sales at Frieze London as well as a series of impressive sales at both Christie’s and Phillips in the past days. Adding its own mark to the week’s proceedings, the auction house saw strong results for its first major offering of the fall season, tallying a final result £47,953,000 with 3 of the 34 lots going unsold.
The evening began with a slurred Michael Krebber work from 1997, which quickly doubled estimate to finish at £191,000, it was followed shortly after by a Christopher Wool piece, Minor Mishap, that met estimate for a final of £1,349,000, climbing on small increments past its low estimate. An Alexander Calder several lots later also saw some early life, seeing multiple bids pushing the work to double estimate at £905,000, before a Gerhard Richter shot past estimate quickly to also double estimate at a final of£2,837,000. A Günther Förg work met estimate for a final of £629,000, before the evening’s second Richter, an early work from 1968, climbed past estimate on steady bids to reach a final of £2,949,000. An Elizabeth Peyton was the first unsold lot shortly after, with a George Condo performing well in the next lot, reaching a final of £665,000. A David Hockney performed to expectations in the following lot, sticking at its low estimate to reach a final of £2,165,000. It was followed by the third Richter of the evening, which met estimate quickly and continued to creep upwards after a bidding war sparked a sudden jump in prices, ultimately settling at a final of £10,229,000.
Sales remained strong throughout the rest of the evening, as a Peter Doig canvas doubled estimates to reach a final of £5,861,000, before a Jean-Michel Basquiat canvas, stretched over a rugged set of poles, also doubled estimate a few lots later at for a final price of £10,565,000. The sale drew to a close in consistently solid bidding, following a Sigmar Polke work that topped estimate for £2,613,000.
With several more weeks of major market activity ahead, Frieze week seems to bode quite well for the fall season. The next round of auctions are scheduled for New York this November.
— D. Creahan
Sotheby’s Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale [Sotheby’s]