Global contemporary art events and news observed from New York City. Suggestion? Email us.


Archive for the 'Auction Results' Category

Sotheby’s Modern Art Auction in London Yesterday Produce Uneven Results

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Pablo Picasso, Femme Assise Près D’Une Fenêtre, via Sotheby's
Pablo Picasso, Femme Assise Près D’Une Fenêtre, via Sotheby’s

Last night, Sotheby’s London hosted the first of the spring’s Modern Art auctions, with a number of works quickly soaring to high prices while others struggled to meet their estimates, most notably the centerpiece of the auction, Pablo Picasso’s “Femme Assise Près d’une Fenêtre.” (more…)

London Old Masters Sales bring uneven results

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Sir Joshua Reynolds Portrait of Elizabeth, Lady Forbes (detail), courtesy ChristiesCollectors seeking iconic works at the Old Masters sales in London this week have led to uneven results: at Sotheby’s a bidder paid $47.9 million for “Head of a Young Apostle,” by Raphael; at Christie’s, only 29 out of 54 lots sold, bringing in $18.6 million, just over low estimate. “The name is not enough. It has to be a top example by an important master,” said Jonathan Green of the Richard Green Gallery in London. Additional speculation is that international, non-Western buyers are not interested in the historical subject matter from a cultural standpoint. (more…)

Raphael’s “Head of a Young Apostle” raises record $47.8 Million at Sotheby’s

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

In a record-breaking auction, the black chalk “Head of a Young Apostle” by Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael), sold Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 for $47.8 million. This is the highest price paid for any work on paper, and the second highest for any Old Master, after Ruben’s “Massacre of the Innocents” which raised $78.2 million at Sotheby’s in 2002. The highest bidder was Natasha Mendelsohn, who bids on behalf of clients for Sotheby’s (BID) London.  (more…)

New York – Latin American Week Roundup: Auction Results and Pinta, November 15th – 20th, 2012

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Gallerist Cecilia Jurado of Y Gallery, NY in front of two works by Carlos Motta
Gallerist Cecilia Jurado of Y Gallery, NY in front of two works by Carlos Motta photo by A.M. Ekstrand for ArtObserved

Latin American week began with the Pinta art fair, which ran from November 15th – 18th, 2012, after which followed auctions at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips de Pury & Co. Several records were broken for Latin American artists, proving that the market is still robust, especially on the high end.

Matta Nada courtesy Sothebys
Roberto Matta, Nada 1943 courtesy Sotheby’s sold for $1.82 million (more…)

New York – AO Auction Results: Phillips de Pury & Co. Contemporary Evening Sale, Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Phillips de Pury saleroom photo by ArtObserved
Phillips de Pury saleroom photo by ArtObserved

On Thursday night, boutique auction house Phillips de Pury & Co. hosted the final Contemporary Art Evening Sale in a blockbuster week for the art market. Tallying $79.9 million against its projected estimate of $73 to $110 million, Phillips de Pury’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael McGinnis, stated “we’re happy with the competition and prices,” especially after the third consecutive night of Contemporary Art sales. McGinnis reflected on the evening saying ” it was a small and deliberate sale, with works specifically chosen to compliment the week.”

Andy Warhol Mao courtesy Phillips de Pury & Co.
Andy Warhol Mao courtesy Phillips de Pury & Co.

Despite achieving just over its low estimates for the sale, Phillips de Pury had a sell by value of 98% and a sell by lot of 83%. With a very carefully selected 35 lots offered, only six artworks failed to find a buyer. However, all of the lots had third party guarantees, of which there were five guarantors.

(more…)

New York – AO Auction Results: Christie’s Postwar & Contemporary Evening Sale, Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Christie's saleroom photo by ArtObserved
Christie’s saleroom photo by ArtObserved

Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Sale broke the record for the highest ever grossing Contemporary Art auction in history, totaling over $412 million in sales. The auction came on the heels of Sotheby’s Postwar & Contemporary Art Evening Sale, which broke its own record for highest-grossing auction in Sotheby’s long history ($375 million). Christie’s achieved an astounding 92% sell by lot and 93% sell by value – of the 73 lots offered only 6 failed to sell.

Andy Warhol Statue of Liberty courtesy Christie's

Records at auction were broken for Richard Diebenkorn, Jeff Koons, Richard Serra, Franz Kline, George Condo, Jean- Michel Basquiat, and Mark Grotjahn. Additionally, Jean Dubuffet, Cy Twombly and Jean-Michel Basquiat set new records for their artworks on paper. A record was set for an Alexander Calder wire sculpture at auction with Policeman, which sold for $4.2 million.

(more…)

New York – AO Auction Results: Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Sale, Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Rothko No 1 Royal Red and Blue at Sothebys
Sotheby’s saleroom with Rothko, No 1 (Royal Red and Blue) photo by ArtObserved

Last night Sotheby’s held its highest grossing auction ever. The Contemporary Art Evening Sale totaled over $375 million, just over the projected high estimate of $374 million. Auctioneer Tobias Meyer rejoiced stating “I can hardly express how thrilled we are.” According to Sotheby’s, it has experienced a record-breaking year in 2012, with Contemporary Art sales totaling over $1 billion.

Rothko No 1 Royal Red and Blue
Rothko, No 1 (Royal Red and Blue) Courtesy Sotheby’s
(more…)

Auction Brief

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Warhol courtesy Christie'sChristie’s sale today to benefit the Andy Warhol Foundation achieved $17,017,050 for the Foundation’s endowment, with 91% of lots sold. Leading the sale of 354 works by Andy Warhol were Endangered Species: San Francisco Silverspot, which had an estimate of $1,000,000 – $1,500,000 and sold for $1,258,500; followed by Endangered Species: Bighorn Ram, estimated at $700,000 – $1,000,000 and achieving $842,500; and Jackie, which more than doubled its high estimate of $300,000, realizing $626,500. (more…)

New York – AO On Site: Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale Results, Thursday November 8th, 2012

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Picasso at Sothebys
Sotheby’s saleroom

Last night Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern evening sale was consistent throughout, despite an overall lower sale total than Christie’s the previous night. Although there was no blizzard for the crowds to push through, the overall buyer interest and sell through rates similar: Sotheby’s achieved a total of $163 million, with a sell through rate of 68.7% and sell by value of 79.2%. Over the course of the day, Sotheby’s achieved a total of over $203 for both the day and evening sales of Impressionist and Modern Art. The first half of the sale was decidedly lively in bidding, whereas most of the unsold lots took place in the second half of the evening.

Picasso Nature Morte Aux Tulipes
Pablo Picasso, Nature Morte Aux Tulipes (1932) Image courtesy of Sotheby’s (more…)

New York – AO Auction Results: Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, Wednesday, November 7th, 2012, Fluctuating sales with records achieved.

Thursday, November 8th, 2012


Wassily Kandinsky, Studie für Improvisation 8 (1909)  which sold for a record breaking $23,042,500, image courtesy Christie’s

Despite a nor’easter last night in New York, Christie’s had a full house for its Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, which boasted a sale total of $204, 800,000 with just 48 of 69 lots sold.  The sales achieved were not always consistent but very high numbers were reached during many bids.  The value sold by lot was 80%, with most of the works that did sell achieving their high estimate or beyond.  Head of the Department, Brooke Lampley, declared it a “strong sale” in the post auction press conference.

Sale room at Christie's
Sale room at Christie’s, photo by ArtObserved

The major excitement of the sale came with the record-breaking price of $23 million for Kandinsky’s Studie für Improvisation 8  - the highest price ever paid at auction for a work by the artist. The painting is an early figurative example of the artist’s transition to abstraction. (more…)

New York – AO Auction Results: Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Day Sales, November 7th, 2012

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Kees Van Dongen Deux Nus Aux Ballons Courtesy Sotheby's
Kees Van Dongen, Deux Nus Aux Ballons Courtesy Sotheby’s
LOT SOLD. 1,314,500 USD  (Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium)

Sotheby’s concluded its Impressionist  & Modern day sale today, with a sale total (including buyer’s premium) of $39,910,775. The auction house sold 73% of lots in the morning session and 62% in the afternoon session.

Pablo Picasso Tête d'homme Courtesy Sotheby's
Pablo Picasso, Tête d’homme Courtesy Sotheby’s
LOT SOLD. 1,142,500 USD  (Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium) (more…)

Auction Results – London: Sotheby’s Postwar & Contemporary Evening sale, Friday, October 12th, 2012

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Gerhard Richter Abstraktes Bild 1994
Image: Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild, 1994 via Sotheby’s
Estimate: £9,000,000 – 12,000,000
Sold for: £21,321,250

Sotheby’s just concluded its evening Postwar & Contemporary sale in London on October 12th with a sale total of £44,146,350 ($70,793,087),  the highest total of the three auction houses this week.

Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild, 1994 from the collection of Eric Clapton set a record price at £21,321,250 ($34,297,363). Alongside this work, the second cover lot of the sale was Yves Klein’s RE 9-I from the artist’s most sought-after series: the Relief éponge, which sold for  £3,737,250 with premium.

Yves Klein Sponge Relief via Sotheby's
Image: Yves Klein, RE 9-I, 1961 via Sotheby’s
Estimate: £2,000,000 – 3,000,000
Sold for: £3,737,250

(more…)

AO Auction Results – London: Phillips de Pury & Co. Contemporary Evening Sale Results, October 10th, 2012

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Richter Abstraktes Bild 1977 via Phillips
Image: Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild, 1977
oil on canvas, 78 3/4 x 118 1/8 in
ESTIMATE £2,500,000 – 3,500,000
SOLD AT £2,449,250

Phillips de Pury & Co. realized £12,223,600 ($19,565,094) in its Contemporary Evening sale in London on October 10th, with 24 of 37 lots sold. Notable sales were a Basquiat entitled Big Joy from 1984, sold just above its low estimate at £2,617,250 including premium ($4,189,170), and a Gerhard Richter Abstraktes Bild from 1977, which sold for £2,449,250 ($3,920,269), with a presale estimate of £2,500,000-3,500,000 ($4,001,500 – $5,602,100). (more…)

Constable’s ‘The Lock’ breaks artist record at £22.4 million at Christie’s Auction in London

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012


John Constable’s “The Lock” (1824) which sold for £22.4 million, within its £20-25 million estimate

John Constable‘s “The Lock” broke the artist’s record sale at an auction today at at Christie’s in London. The British painting from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection sold in its £20-25 million estimate at £22.4 million, earning a joint fourth place title on the list of most-expensive Old Masters.

(more…)

AO Auction Results — London: Phillips de Pury Contemporary Art Evening Auction, June 28, 2012

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Olympics (1984) which sold for a record-breaking price of £6 million

This evening in London, Phillips de Pury‘s Contemporary Art Evening exceeded pre-sale estimates of £15.1- £21.1 million, with sales totaling £23.4 million. Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s Olympics (1984) at £6 million broke the record for a Warhol-Basquiat collaboration. With three pieces in the auction selling for over a million pounds, the take was over twice the amount received just a year ago for the auction house. Of 30 original lots, 2 were withdrawn (including a Cindy Sherman piece) and 4 were passed on. Although the total sum was not as large as the sales of either Christie’s or Sotheby’s, it was the only auction house to surpass pre-sale estimates for this week.

(more…)

AO Auction Results – London: Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction, June 27, 2012

Thursday, June 28th, 2012


Yves Klein,  Le Rose du bleu (1960) which sold for £23.5 million (£3.5 million over its high estimate)

Last night in London, Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Auction experienced a stellar sale. Totaling £132.8 million against an expected excess of  £120 million, it was the highest grossing contemporary art sale in Europe. Achieving sales with an 87% sell-through rate and 98% sold by value – Christie’s sold all but 9 on it’s 71 lots – save for the 2 withdrawn. Four of the lots sold above £10 million, and five lots boosted over $10 million. Christie’s Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Europe, Francis Outred, was quoted in a post-sale press release: “Following the record result achieved at Christie’s New York in May, we are delighted with tonight results which established a new record for an auction of Post-War & Contemporary Art in Europe… Overall we brought together consignments from four continents, reached buyers on four continents and benefitted from a depth and strength of bidding from across the room and on the phone.”

(more…)

AO Auction Results – New York: Phillips de Pury Contemporary Evening Sale

Saturday, May 12th, 2012


Jean-Michel Basquiat’s, Untitled (1981). Image courtesy of Phillips de Pury.

The Contemporary Art Evening Sale at Phillips de Pury marked the last auction of the May season in New York. At the start, the salesroom was filled with lively energy among the crowd, with collectors mingling, including a Mugrabi brother. This show came after a record breaking fortnight of auctions and fairs within the art world. Coming down to the final sale, it was apparent that the buying was beginning to slow. Still, Phillips de Pury achieved a solid total sale of $86.8 million, which fell within their anticipated estimate of $75–110 million.

Before the Contemporary Evening Sale begins. Photo By Aubrey Roemer for Art Observed.

(more…)

AO On Site Auction Results – New York: Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale, May 9, 2012

Thursday, May 10th, 2012


Sotheby’s staff preparing for the sale. Photos on site for Art Observed by Aubrey Roemer unless otherwise noted.

After Tuesday night’s multi-record breaking sale at Christie’s, last night’s Contemporary Evening Sale at Sotheby’s seemed to hold a somewhat lower energy, possibly a result of the second consecutive week of auctions and fairs wearing on the collectors. Yet the sale totaled $266 million—within Sotheby’s pre-sale estimate of $215–300 million—a number considerably higher than last May’s Contemporary Evening Sale total of $128 million. Seven of the artworks sold at more than $10 million, and there was an overall sell-through rate of 80.7%. In a post-sale press conference, Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Art, Alex Rotter, commented “the market is very healthy with active bidding.”


Tobias Meyer giving a press talk about the sale. (more…)

AO On Site Auction Results – New York: Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale at Christie’s, May 1, 2012

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012


Paul Cezanne, Jouer de cartes (1892–96). Image courtesy of Christie’s.

Last night’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale at Christie’s began this season’s auctions in New York. Christie’s overall sales totaled $117 million—well over their low estimate of $90.5 million. According to Christie’s, they achieved a sell-through rate of 96% by value and 90% by lot. In a post-auction press conference, Christie’s Head of the Department, Brooke Lampley, said that the results were exactly what they had expected, given that they had tailored their sale to match what the market was looking for.


View of the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale at Christie’s. Photo by Aubrey Roemer for Art Observed.

(more…)

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

‬Sotheby’s contemporary Chinese art auction sold several works above estimated prices in Hong Kong on Monday, top sale was Zhang Xiaogang’s ‘Bloodline: Big Family No. 2′ for US$6.7 million, other sales including works by Liu Wei, Wang Guangyi, Jia Aili [AO Newslink]

(more…)

AO Auction Results – London: Post-War and Contemporary Art Sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, February 14-15, 2012

Thursday, February 16th, 2012
Francis Bacon, Portrait of Henrietta Moraes (1963). All images via Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
Over the past two days, the evening Post-War and Contemporary Art auctions held by Christie’s and Sotheby’s have demonstrated investors’ continuing interest in the art market. On Tuesday, Christie’s total sales crept up to $126.5 million—just short of their high estimate of $131.9 million. Sotheby’s was farther behind in overall total, but overshot their high estimate of $75.3 million with a total sales $79.5 million, including fees. London-based art adviser Wendy Goldsmith said, “We expected fireworks, and we got it,”  in an interview with Bloomberg News. (more…)

AO Auction Results: Old Masters Sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s January 25-26, 2012

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Giovanni Antonio Canal, called Canaletto, View of the Churches of the Redentore and San Giacomo. Via Bloomberg.

Sotheby’s and Christie’s closed the week strongly with sales of the concurrent Old Masters auctions reaching $120 million. Sotheby’s came out on top, bringing in $67.7 million thus far, with Christie’s totaling $51.8 million, including commissions. These sales continue to reinforce the vitality of the art market, despite international economic turbulence. Many record prices were set for artists this past week, as the cross section of European Master Works drew interest from buyers and institutions around the world.

AO Onsite Auction Results: Guggenheim Benefit Auction & Contemporary Art Evening Sale Realize $74M Total at Phillips de Pury

Monday, November 7th, 2011


Cy Twombly, Untitled, 2006 (est. $8-12 million, realized $9 million), via Phillipsdepury.com

Phillips de Pury kicked off the week of Contemporary art sales on Monday night with two back-to-back auctions. First came a 22-lot benefit auction with all proceeds going to the Guggenheim Foundation, immediately followed by the 44-lot evening sale of Contemporary art. The Guggenheim sale was estimated to bring $1.5-2.2 million and realized $2.7 million (the buyer’s premium was eliminated for that sale), and the evening sale brought in $71 million against a high estimate of $97 million. The evening’s top lot was an untitled Cy Twombly canvas that fetched $9 million against estimates of $8-12 million.

(more…)

AO Onsite Auction Results – New York: Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale at Sotheby’s Realizes $200M, Restituted Klimt Sells for $40M

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011


Gustav Klimt, Litzlberg am Attersee, 1914-15 (est. in excess of $25 million, realized $40.4 million) via Sothebys.com

The Impressionist and Modern art evening auction at Sotheby’s New York on Wednesday night realized $200 million for 57 of 70 lots sold. Business proceeded as usual within the auction house despite the deafening cacophony from protesters stationed outside the building’s main entrance (Sotheby’s has been feuding with their art handlers for months). Earlier today the auction house announced that one of the evening’s top lots – one of Matisse‘s bronze Nu De Dos sculptures estimated to bring $20-30 million- had been withdrawn from the sale after having been sold privately yesterday afternoon (along with the other three in the series, which also belonged to the Burnett Foundation, and which were slated to sell at auction over the next year). Excluding the Matisse, the sale carried estimates of $168-230 million. The $200 million total fell comfortably within expectations and bested Christie’s comparable sale on Tuesday evening. At the press conference Sotheby’s noted that last night’s results at Christie’s were “sobering” and that they did take the opportunity today to talk to consignors and in some cases lower reserves.

(more…)