Christie's Contemporary (May 17)
Discussing the incredible prices being garnered at Christie's Post-War & Contemporary Art Auction, with Eileen Kinsella, ARTnews editor; Edward Winkleman, Winkleman Gallery owner and CNBC's Bill Griffeth
Booming Art Market (May 16)
New collectors from around the world are pushing art prices for contemporary art to new levels, with Eileen Kinsella, ARTnews editor and CNBC's Bill Griffeth.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
One's jaw simply drops.
One day after Sotheby's set a record for a contemporary-art sale (at $254.8 million), Christie's makes that look quaint. [...]
ART MARKET WATCH
May 16, 2007
CHRISTIE’S $384.6 MILLION CONTEMPORARY SALE
The evening sale of post-war and contemporary art at Christie’s New York on May 16, 2007, was certainly dramatic, if higher and higher bids coming one after the other almost without end is your idea of drama. The sale totaled $384,654,400, a new record for a contemporary auction, with 74 of the 78 lots finding buyers, or 95 percent. Looks like the bulls still rule the art market.
"I’m stunned and exhausted and thrilled," said auctioneer Christopher Burge at the post-sale press conference. It seems he’s always saying something along those lines, though this time it was truer than ever. [read on...]
A Vigorous Art Sale Makes Auction History
By CAROL VOGEL
Published: May 17, 2007
Buyers from all over the world spent millions of dollars at Christie’s last night as if it were play money. Together they made auction history: the most successful sale of postwar and contemporary art ever. Records were set for 26 artists, including Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Gerhard Richter and Damien Hirst.
The two-and-a-half-hour sale totaled $384.6 million, nearly $80 million more than its high estimate of $305.5 million. Only 4 of the 78 works failed to sell.
The evening toppled the record for a contemporary-art sale, set just 24 hours earlier when Sotheby’s auction of contemporary art on Tuesday night totaled $254.8 million.
There were some moments of pure auction theater. When the evening’s star painting — Warhol’s “Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I),” from 1963 — came up, five people instantly went for it. When the bidding came down to just two telephones, Christopher Burge, the auctioneer, expertly pitted the contenders against each other. And just as the price hit $64 million with audience members on the edge of their seats, out of nowhere the Manhattan dealer Larry Gagosian lifted his paddle.
But he didn’t get the painting. [...]
via Artnet News:
ART MARKET WATCH
May 16, 2007
SOTHEBY’S $254.9 MILLION CONTEMPORARY SALE
Is $1,000,000 the new $100,000? It certainly seemed that way at Sotheby’s New York evening sale of contemporary art on May 15, 2007, which saw 41 of the 74 lots sell for over $1 million. The auction total of $254.9 million is a new record for any single sale of contemporary art. Of the 74 lots, 65 found buyers, or almost 88 percent. Prices given here include the auction-house premium of 20 percent on the first $500,000 and 12 percent on the remainder. [...]
Photo: Liz Baylen for The New York TimesThe auctioneer Tobias Meyer with Rothko's “White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose).”
Rothko Breaks a Record for Contemporary Art
By CAROL VOGEL
Published: May 16, 2007
The Rockefeller name worked its magic last night at Sotheby’s sale of contemporary art, where a mysterious bearded collector in a skybox outbid five other contenders for Rothko’s “White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose).” The $72.8 million he paid, far above the painting’s $40 million estimate, set records for both the artist and for any contemporary work at auction.
Sotheby’s declined to say who the buyer was or where he was from. But the seller was David Rockefeller, the retired banker and chairman emeritus of the Museum of Modern Art, who had decided to cash in on the market and invest the money in other philanthropic endeavors.
Seasoned auctiongoers noticed that last night rubles appeared for the first time on the salesroom’s currency board, along with dollars, euros, pounds and Swiss francs — an indication of the strong presence of big-spending Russians in the art market.
The price for the Rothko, an abstract canvas from 1950 dominated by a block of hot pink, was the climax of a spirited evening when already inflated prices for contemporary art rose yet again. In addition to Rothko, records were set for artists living and dead, from Francis Bacon and Morris Louis to Richard Prince and Cecily Brown.
Of the 74 lots, only nine failed to sell. The sale totaled $254.8 million, just shy of its $265 million high estimate.
Sotheby’s had gambled that the market for contemporary art would continue to rise this week, and it did. The auction house also worked overtime promoting paintings like the Rothko in which it had invested heavily. For months the company had been relentlessly marketing the Rothko, advertising it heavily, sending it to art capitals, inviting mega-rich collectors to private viewings and even offering collectors the opportunity to hang it in their homes, as if trying on a piece of couture.
Potentially, the auction house had a lot to lose. To capture market share away from its archrival, Christie’s, and to persuade Mr. Rockefeller to sell the painting at Sotheby’s, it had to make a serious financial investment. [...]