A blockbuster auction of Contemporary art in New York, including a record $58.4 million for a Jackson Pollock drip painting, fetched nearly half a billion dollars -- the biggest haul ever at an art auction.
Recent sales of contemporary art reveal a vibrant yet capricious reboundThe contemporary art business has bounced back faster than many expected, but the market still lacks the coherent drive of the boom. Whereas evening sales in 2007 had the exhilaration of a Formula One race, last week's contemporary sales at Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips had a rambling feel, as if bidders were driving cross country in a wide range of vehicles.
The global economy is not at its best at the moment. European economies are struggling and China is no longer growing at a double-digit rate. However, these grim circumstances have done little to derail the art business. Dealers and buyers continue to descend upon art fairs and auctions around the world to sell, bid, and acquire. The Financialist has compiled an agenda of the top art events being held all over the globe between now and 2013.
A blue canvas self-portrait by Pop Art king Andy Warhol fetched a record $38.4 million in a tense two-way bidding war at Christie's in New York Wednesday.The 1963-1964 work, which shows Warhol wearing sunglasses in four panels, was the star of a brisk contemporary art sale that saw the auction power house leave arch-rival Sotheby's in its tracks.Total sales hit $301.7 million, just over the high pre-sale total estimate of $299 million, and far above the $128 million netted at Sotheby's in its own contemporary art sale on Tuesday.
Olivia Wilde, Lake Bell, Lo Bosworth and countless fashionistas attended the Whitney Museum's annual Art Party Wednesday night at Moynihan Station in New York City. Sponsored by Max Mara and in partnership with Art.sy, a pre-sale preview of the art works alone generated close to $70,000 in funds.
An art collection put together by British American Tobacco over the last 50 years to liven up its factories and "inspire" workers, will be auctioned in Amsterdam on Monday, Sotheby's said.The Peter Stuyvesant Collection is "the largest collection of post-war and contemporary art ever" to go on sale in the Netherlands, the auction house said in a statement. It is expected to raise more than four million euros (5.5 million dollars)."The core body (of 163 works) comprises works by the greatest contemporary artists working in Europe in the post-war era."
New York's uneven contemporary art sales Twice a year, in May and November, the contemporary art market meets in New York in a theatrical display of supply and demand called an evening sale. Smaller auctions take place at other times, notably in London, yet the New York sales are the market's true test. So what happened this week?
There are more buyers about than you thinkTHE FTSE 100 index has fallen 30%, the Dow 40%. The interbank market is virtually frozen and Goldman Sachs is one of many firms that is defenestrating bankers by the bushel. That is the news from October alone, which goes some way towards explaining why, as the season opened for the autumn auctions of contemporary art, pundits were predicting a bloodbath.
The art market may have simmered down, but a few artists are still in high demandA little over a year ago, a contemporary evening auction unfolded like a Hollywood thriller, with billionaires in cameo roles and astronomical prices in lieu of stunts. Nowadays, a sale is more like a low-budget soap opera. In London this week, Sotheby’s and Christie’s put on solid performances in their new gritty genre.