Capping off the events of the fall art market before one last blowout in Miami, New York City will play home to a last series of major art auctions, offering a last look for the year on just how the contemporary market is faring. Considering relatively unpredictable sales in London this past month, and and more uncertainty on the global horizon, it should make for an intriguing picture of how U.S. dealers are preparing for the months to come.
Opening the week’s proceedings is an offering of Impressionist and Modern works art Christie’s, which will make the first move on the week with an impressive selection of works. Leading the 61-lot sale are a pair of Pablo Picasso compositions, Femme dans un fauteuil, valued at $12,000,000 – $18,000,000, and Buste d’homme, estimated at $9,000,000 – $12,000,000. Also of note is a striking blue Rene Magritte, which carries a resale estimate of $8,000,000 – $12,000,000, and which could tease towards the artist’s auction record in provided optimal conditions.
The following evening, Sotheby’s takes its cut at the Impressionist/Modern market, opening up a sale of 52 works that also boasts a selection of impressive pieces and trophy works. Leading the sale is a powerful Claude Monet composition, Charing Cross Bridge, which carries a pre-sale estimate of $20,000,000 – $30,000,000, while a Gustave Caillebotte at lot 25 will also look to be an early strong point, estimated to sell at $18,000,000 — $25,000,000. The Sotheby’s sale also has a flowing, fluid Picasso of its own, Nus, which carries an estimate of $12,000,000 — $18,000,000.
On Wednesday evening, November 13th, attention shifts to the Post-War and Contemporary markets, as a set of sales at the three competing auction houses will kick off, starting with another Christie’s sale. The 55-lot sale of works at the New York auction house includes a number of pieces competing to top world records, chief among them Ed Ruscha’s Hurting the Word Radio #2, which should easily beat his prior record of $30.4 million if the work’s $30,000,000 – $40,000,000 is met. Also leading the sale is Sur la Terrasse by David Hockney, a rarely seen painting by the artist, estimated at $25,000,000 – $45,000,000. The top end of the sale is rounded out by Gerhard Richter’s Vogelfluglinie, which is estimated at $18,000,000 – $25,000,000.
The following evening, a pair of sales brings the week to a close, as one last flurry of activity marks the conclusion of the week’s last shot at the highest end of the secondary market. The sales being at Phillips Auctions, where a 42-lot sale sees a set of works that might make a case for some of the week’s unexpected surprises. Leading the sale is a Jean-Michel Basquiat composition, The Ring, which carries an estimate of $10,000,000 – $15,000,000, and which could make for one of the more noteworthy highlights of the week, while a Jean Miró piece, Paysan catalan inquiet par le passage d’un vol d’oiseaux, is expected to sell for in the estimated range of $7,000,000 – $10,000,000.
Just a few hours later, Sotheby’s will take its shot at the Contemporary Market, launching a 51 lot sale that will look to make its mark on a week already packed with strong works. The sale is headlined by an impressive Willem de Kooning piece, Untitled XXII, which carries a presale estimate of $25,000,000 — $35,000,000. A Mark Rothko piece, Blue Over Red, is also on offer at the same price. Another prize lot comes from Clyfford Still, whose PH-399 is estimated to sell for between $12,000,000 and $18,000,000, while a striking Brice Marden, Number Two, is estimated to sell at $10,000,000 – $15,000,000.
The sales will, as always, be posted live on our Twitter and Instagram accounts.
— D. Creahan
Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale [Auction Site]
Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale [Auction Site]
Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale [Auction Site]
Phillips 20th Century and Contemporary Evening Sale [Auction Site]
Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Sale [Auction Site]