Sotheby’s Warhol Record
A day after Christie’s sold a Francis Bacon for a record-setting $142.4 million, rival Sotheby’s countered by setting an auction record for an Andy Warhol work. The Pop Art legend’s monumental "Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)" sold to an unidentified telephone bidder for $105.4 million, well over its $60 million estimate. Silver Car Crash has previously been owned by collectors such as Charles Saatchi, Thomas Ammann, and German millionaire playboy Gunter Sachs.
The price surpassed Warhol’s previous $71.7 million record set in 2007 for a smaller "Green Car Crash."
"Global participation was evident throughout the sale," said Alex Rotter, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art in New York. "When the quality is there, multiple people from different cultural backgrounds are going for it, because it’s outstanding."
Over the past 2 nights, the postwar and contemporary art evening auctions totaled almost $1.1 billion.
After last night’s record-breaking auction at Christie’s, where over $500 Million worth of art was sold, let’s see how Sotheby’s highly anticipated Contemporary Art Evening Auction compares tonight.
Headlining the sale is Willem de Kooning’s "Untitled V," which is estimated to fetch between $35-45 million. It is closely followed by stars such as Warhol’s “Liz #1” and Gerhard Richter’s “A.B. Courbet.”
A Season for Auctions
With over $2 Billion worth of art going under the hammer in the next few days, take a sneak peek at what’s on offer at Sotheby’s extravagant Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale.
A Record For Fanzhi
A painting by Chinese artist Zeng Fanzhi sold for US$23.3 million at a Sotheby’s Hong Kong on Saturday, setting a new record price for a work by an Asian contemporary artist.
Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s famed 15th-century mural, "The Last Supper," Fanzhi’s large painting of the same name was sold after a 10-minute war between two telephone buyers.
The work, which was sold by Swiss collectors Guy and Mariam Ullens, far surpassed the original estimate of around US$10 million.
This season, Sotheby’s is opening a new London art gallery to boost their private sales. Catering to international billionaires, the Mayfair space is scheduled to open during Frieze Week with a show by German artist Josef Beuys.
“In response to the growing demand from our clients to transact continuously — not just in the traditional sales seasons — we plan to host five selling exhibitions per year,” Sotheby’s told Bloomberg.
Private sales at the auction house increased by 11% in 2012, accounting for $906.5 million of a $5.4 billion total — while rival auction house Christie’s increased their private sales by 26%.
Future of Sotheby’s
Sotheby’s auction house is being targeted by billionaire Daniel Loeb’s Third Point LLC activist hedge-fund firm. Loeb has bought more than 5% of the company for about $156.7 million, disclosing with the SEC yesterday that he is communicating with the auction house on matters such as potential changes in strategy and leadership.
“We welcome investment in the company,” Andrew Gully, a spokesman for Sotheby’s, which generated $768.5 million in revenue last year, told Bloomberg.
Meeting Lark Mason
We sat down with Lark Mason, an expert in the field of auctions and antiques. After 24 years at Sotheby’s New York, he started his own business, an international Fine Art and antiques auction site called iGavel.com.
Bacon at Sotheby’s
British artist Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Isabel Rawsthorne, a 1966 triptych portrait of the artist’s friend, muse, and lover, sold for US$17.3 million at Sotheby’s last night. It had last sold for 2.4 million pounds at Christie’s in 2004.
On offer last night were 68 lots, including works by an international array of blue-chip names such as David Hockney, Damien Hirst, Lucio Fontana, Andreas Gursky, and John Currin.
Sotheby’s auction totaled US$116.8 million, beating rival Christie’s sale, which totaled US$108.4 million.
Meet George Bailey
We sat down with George Bailey, co-founder of the Auction Room, to talk about his new online auction platform, his experience as chairman of business development for Sotheby’s Europe, and the future of art sales.
"Art is not just something you relate to on a commodity basis…art is a passion investment." Dr. Iain Robertson is an art market expert and a faculty member at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, the Graduate School of Art and its Markets.
Watch this video of Iain as he discusses the state of the art market and explains what "the new type of contemporary" is.
Find out more about Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
Record Art Sotheby’s
Last night at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction, six bidders fought over Barnett Newman’s Onement VI, a spectacular blue abstract composition from 1953. In the end, a telephone bidder payed US$43.8 million, a record price for the artist’s work at auction.
Records were set for four artists that night, including Gerhard Richter’s 1968 work, Domplatz, Mailand, which was bought by New York businessmanDonald L. Bryant for US$33 million.
There were some high-profile casualties, with a Francis Bacon and a Jeff Koons work failing to attract bidders.
At the end of the night the Contemporary Art auction totaled US$293.6 million.
Sotheby’s Auctions Comics
Check out the entire Bande Dessinée - Comics auction, happening July 4, 2012.
Comparing Tonight’s Contemporary Art Stars
In time for Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on Tuesday, June 26, 2012, we used our artnet Analytics tool to highlight four of the artists staring in the sale: Francis Bacon, Gerhard Richter, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jean-Michel Basquiat!
Contemporary Art At Sotheby’s London
Happening this week: Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London.
Pictured are the top 3 most expensive lots up for auction.
Preview the Sotheby’s sale on artnet.