Christies Contemporary Sale Goes Very Well!
So the much
worried about anticipated Christies Post War and Contemporary Art sale went very well last night. Oh..and in case you were wondering... that enormous rush of air everyone in NYC heard last night..was the huge sy-of-relief being let out by every bloated contemporary art dealer in Chelsea.
So at $33,641,000, Lucian Freud now rules now the roost.. a pretty
average Rothko sold for over $50 million, crazy oblivious American collectors bought 70% of the lots last night, and Sotheby's stock is now up 4% this morning. What Gloom and Doom..?? Pish-posh! The contemporary art world is all fine and dandy...full speed ahead! I knew that Kool Aid tasted great.
(Photo #1, Mark Rothko, No 15, 1952, 91 3/8 x 80 inches, oil on canvas)
Well... With $348.3 Million in sales just last night just at Christies.. Let the good times Roll!
Here's some more details by Lindsay Pollock and Philip Boroff of Bloomberg news.
May 14 (Bloomberg) -- Lucian Freud, the 85-year-old flesh-
and-flab-loving British painter, became the world's priciest
living artist at auction last night when his graceful portrait of
a 280-pound civil servant named Sue fetched $33.6 million at
Christie's International in New York.
The 1995 Freud was one of eight records smashed in an
exuberant sale featuring the male clique of auction stars that
includes Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon and Richard Prince. Tom
Wesselmann, Prince, Sam Francis and Adolph Gottlieb also fetched
The 57-lot sale tallied $348.3 million, the second-highest
total for the category and closer to the top of the $282 million-
to-$398.6 million presale range. Just three lots didn't sell and
Americans took home 70 percent of works sold. It was as if buyers
were oblivious to talk of recession and remnants of the credit
crisis in the world outside the Rockefeller Center salesroom.
``Defying gravity tonight,'' said billionaire Eli Broad as
he stepped out of the salesroom, accompanied by wife Edye, and
Joanne Heyler, director of the Broad Art Foundation.
The top lot was a 1952 Mark Rothko painting, with red bands
on a yolk-yellow background, that fetched $50.4 million.
Estimated to sell for about $40 million, it rode the Rothko wave
that began a year ago, when David Rockefeller sold a pink-and-
yellow canvas for a record $72.8 million at Sotheby's.
Real estate developer Aby Rosen, lanky plastics magnate
Stefan T. Edlis, Michael Ovitz and perennially tanned fashion
designer Valentino Garavani were spotted in the crowd.
``The very important went very high,'' said Valentino, after
Christie's didn't miss any marketing angles. The firm's
billionaire owner Francois Pinault hosted a dinner Monday night
honoring Jeff Koons. In November, Koons's 3,500-pound, hot-pink,
stainless-steel ``Hanging Heart (Magenta/Gold)'' sold for $23.6
million at Sotheby's New York, establishing him at the time as
the priciest living artist at auction.
Tapping the boom market for contemporary art, the auction
house offered a famous mid-century home, the Richard Neutra-
designed ``Kaufmann House'' at the sale. The five-bedroom house
in Palm Springs, California, fetched $16.8 million, near the low
end of $15 million-to-$25 million estimate.
Christie's sale was the first postwar and contemporary
auction of the week. Sotheby's auction, starring a Bacon triptych
expected to fetch about $70 million, is tonight. Phillips de Pury
& Co. follows on May 15.
Enviable returns studded the sale. Bacon's 1976 ``Three
Studies for Self-Portrait'' fetched $28 million. In 1999, the
somber twisted portraits sold for $2.9 million at Christie's in
London and six years later made $5.2 million in New York.
Prince's campy ``Nurse'' series paintings went for less than
$100,000 five years ago. Last night, ``Man-Crazy Nurse #2'' went
for $7.4 million. The seller was television producer and MoMA
trustee Douglas S. Cramer. Hedge fund titans Steven Cohen and
Daniel Loeb are among Prince's devotees.
``I would've expected a correction by now,'' said Broad.
``It's just a question of when.''
Warhol dominated the field with eight lots. A spare black
1966 silkscreen ``Double Marlon,'' using a film still from Marlon
Brando's bad-boy ``Wild One'' film, fetched $32.5 million, more
than a $30 million estimate. In 1992, the work sold for $935,000
at Sotheby's in New York.
San Francisco film producer and punk rocker Henry S.
Rosenthal sold a 1962 Warhol ``Campbell's Soup Can (Pepper
Pot),'' which he said his father bought in 1962 for a few hundred
dollars. For the last 30 years, the painting has hung in
Rosenthal's warehouse in San Francisco's skid row. Last night, it
fetched $7.1 million.
``It was a difficult decision to sell,'' said Rosenthal, 53.
``But as the painting became absurdly valuable, it became more
nerve-wracking to keep it.''
Gerhard Richter's 1987 riff on abstraction, the yellow, blue
and red ``Abstraktes Bild (625)'' sold for $14.6 million. The 13-
foot-wide canvas fetched $3.4 million five years ago at
Christie's in New York.
``There is no recession in the art market,'' said Norman Rau,
collector and president of Sandusky Radio. ``I wish traditional
media was this good.''
Last week, Christie's and Sotheby's held impressionist and
modern art auctions. Overall the two weeks of sales were
projected to total up to $1.8 billion.
Sale prices include a buyer's commission of 25 percent of
the hammer price up to $20,000, 20 percent of the price from
$20,000 to $500,000, and 12 percent above $500,000. Estimates do
not include commissions.