Nov 25, 2012

New auction records at Southeby’s

It looks like financial the financial crisis doesn’t concern contemporary art. On 13th of November Sotheby’s (NY) had the best selling records in their history. “Contemporary Art Evening Auction” achieved result of $ 375,149,000. 71 pieces including  8 paintings from Sidney and Dorothy Kohl collection were auctioned. Mainly examples of American Abstract Expressionist movement and Pop Art. This is outstanding, because 84 % of all art pieces have been sold, but the true winner were 10 pieces that together generated 2/3 of the total sum. (Most of them were from the mentioned earlier Kohl collection).

Organizers started the auction from selling Rothko and Pollock’s painting and it went well from the beginning, there were good vibes, buyers and collectors were willing to buy. This auction shows that people are not afraid of investing in art and art business is not affected by crisis. People know that there is always market for good quality art, which they can sell with a profit and it’s always a good prestigious and joyful investment.

Auction’s winner was definitely “No.1 (Royal Red and Blue)” by Mark Rothko from 1954. Sold for: $ 75,122,500 (est. $ 35-50 million). It is a large painting with dimension of 88.9 x 171.5 cm., it’s an example of artistic expression and for 30 years was in the same collection at the Art Institute of Chicago. This is the second most expensive painting of Rothko that has been sold on the auction, first one was “Orange, Red, Yellow” from 1961, which was sold at Christie’s for $86,882,500 on 8th May, 2012.

 Mark Rothko, “No.1 (Royal Red and Blue)”, 1954

Second best bid belonged to Jackson Pollock’s “Number 4” from 1951. This masterpiece was sold for $40,402,500 when estimated price was $ 25-35 million. This painting was unseen in public for forty years and had 3 owners before.

 Jackson Pollock, “Number 4”,1951

Third best seller at this auction was Francis Bacon’s “Untitled (Pope)” from circa 1954. This oil on canvas was 152 x 94 cm big and was sold for $ 29,762,500. This time pre-sell price was much closer to the real one, but still higher that than expected, $ 18-25 million. 

 Francis Bacon, “Untitled (Pope)”, circa 1954

Other painting belonged to Kohl collection was Willem De Kooning’s “Abstraction” which was executed in 1943. The estimated price was more accurate, paining was sold for $ 19,682,500 (est. $ 15-20 million). This masterpiece was sold to the unknown telephone bidder after long and determined bidding. 

Willem De Kooning, “Abstraction”, 1943

Andy Warhol’s pieces including series of Disaster were very successful and accounted $ 54 million in total. Some other his work sold on auction: “Suicide” from 1964 was sold for $ 16,322,500 (est. 6-8 million), “Green Disaster (Green Disaster Twice)” from 1963 achieved bid of $ 15,202,500 and “The kiss (Bella Lugosi)” from 1963 price of $ 9,266,500, way upon estimated sum. It shows that there is a big demand on Andy Warhol’s work, it’s also definitely a trophy piece in every collection as Warhol without any doubts was one of the biggest American artist of 20th century.

 Andy Warhol, “Suicide”, 1964

 Andy Warhol, “The kiss (Bella Lugosi)”, 1963.

Other artists that were auctioned on 13th of November- Gerhard Richter, Arshile Gorky, Yves Klein, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Damien Hirst and Roy Lichtenstein.


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