Who Won the Marquee Summer Auctions? Here Are 8 Takeaways From the Unprecedented Series of Hybrid In-Person Online Sales
Who Won the Marquee Summer Auctions? Here Are 8 Takeaways From the Unprecedented Series of Hybrid In-Person Online Sales
From the priciest work to the most flipped artwork, here are our parting observations from the season's auction marathon.
Artnet
$46.2-Million Lichtenstein Nude Drives Christie’s Global Relay Auction
$46.2-Million Lichtenstein Nude Drives Christie’s Global Relay Auction
Christie’s conducted its first major auction since the COVID-19 outbreak on Friday, with auctioneers in its Hong Kong, Paris, London, and New York salesrooms symbolically passing the gavel in a global relay sale.
Artsy
A $33-million Sanyu painting pushed Sotheby’s modern art sale in Hong Kong to a total of $107 million.
A $33-million Sanyu painting pushed Sotheby’s modern art sale in Hong Kong to a total of $107 million.
Less than two weeks after Sotheby’s marathon virtual auction brought in $363.2 million across three separate categories, the auction house’s sale of modern art in Hong Kong on Wednesday night achieved its second-highest total ever in the category, raking in HK$826 million (US$107 million) in sales.
Artsy
Sotheby’s Awarded $2 Million In Dispute Over Keith Haring Sale
Sotheby’s Awarded $2 Million In Dispute Over Keith Haring Sale
The New York state court in Manhattan has ordered New York–based art dealer Anatole Shagalov to pay $2 million to Sotheby’s following a legal battle over a ten-foot Keith Haring painting purchased by the dealer at an auction in May 2017, reports The Art Newspaper. Shagalov, who runs Nature Morte gallery in Great Neck, was taken to court by the auction house in an attempt to recoup the difference after the dealer refused to honor a record $6.5 million bid, leading Sotheby’s to resell the work to the guarantor for $4.4 million that October.
Art Forum
An Art-Dealing Dynasty Heir Sues Phillips Auction House for Reneging on a Deal After the Artist’s Market Took a Tumble
An Art-Dealing Dynasty Heir Sues Phillips Auction House for Reneging on a Deal After the Artist’s Market Took a Tumble
Art dealer Joe Nahmad is suing Phillips after the auction house pulled out of a $5 million guarantee deal for a work by Rudolf Stingel.
Artnet
Phillips Scored $41 Million in a White-Glove Contemporary Evening Sale as the Auction House Got Hip to New Online Landscape
Phillips Scored $41 Million in a White-Glove Contemporary Evening Sale as the Auction House Got Hip to New Online Landscape
Matthew Wong and Amoako Boafo continued to perform above estimates, while Titus Kaphar, Christina Quarles, and Ali Banisadr set artist records.
Artnet
Titus Kaphar and Amoako Boafo Works Star in Phillips’s Sold-Out Virtual Evening Auction
Titus Kaphar and Amoako Boafo Works Star in Phillips’s Sold-Out Virtual Evening Auction
Three days after Sotheby’s became the first of the three major auction houses to test the virtual format necessitated by the pandemic in a grueling four-and-a-half-hour marathon, Phillips tried its hand at the newly normal format, pulling off an efficient and successful 25-lot sale in just over an hour.
Artsy
Disputed African Artifacts Sell at Auction
Disputed African Artifacts Sell at Auction
A Princeton art history professor said the figures were stolen and called on Christie’s to halt the sale, but it went ahead in Paris on Monday.
New York Times
Bacon Triptych Sells For $84.6 Million, Boosting Art Market
Bacon Triptych Sells For $84.6 Million, Boosting Art Market
Francis Bacon’s “Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus” fetched $84.6 million at Sotheby’s on Monday, giving the high-end art market a boost after a months-long slump caused by the pandemic.
Bloomberg
Sotheby’s Middling Impressionist and Modern Sale Nets $62.8 Million Thanks to a Major Boost From Latin American Treasures
Sotheby’s Middling Impressionist and Modern Sale Nets $62.8 Million Thanks to a Major Boost From Latin American Treasures
Sotheby's started off the lengthy auction evening on a strong note, but bidding for Impressionist and Modern art was more subdued.
Artnet
$84.5-Million Francis Bacon Triptych Leads Sotheby’s Marathon Virtual Auction
$84.5-Million Francis Bacon Triptych Leads Sotheby’s Marathon Virtual Auction
The first major test of the upper echelons of the secondary market since COVID-19 shut down most of the world’s auction house salesrooms was, by most measures, a success. It was also a testament to the endurance of Sotheby’s auctioneer Oliver Barker, who conducted Monday night’s sale from a rostrum surrounded by video screens at Sotheby’s London headquarters—where, by the time the nearly five-hour-long session concluded, it was well past 4 a.m.—fielding bids from his British colleagues as well as those in New York and Hong Kong.
Artsy
Christie’s Is Folding Its Postwar and Contemporary and Impressionist and Modern Departments Into One, Shedding Staff in the Process
Christie’s Is Folding Its Postwar and Contemporary and Impressionist and Modern Departments Into One, Shedding Staff in the Process
The auction house says the move is a better reflection of how people collect—but it's also a cost-saving measure.
Artnet
The former Christie’s co-chairman Loïc Gouzer is launching a virtual auction platform.
The former Christie’s co-chairman Loïc Gouzer is launching a virtual auction platform.
Loïc Gouzer, the former Christie’s co-chairman who helped organized the firm’s 2017 sale of Leonardo a Vinci’s Salvator Mundi (ca. 1500) for $450 million, is launching a new members-only virtual auction platform.
Artsy
Sotheby's reopens doors with auction of a Stanley Spencer wartime gem
Sotheby's reopens doors with auction of a Stanley Spencer wartime gem
The 1940 painting, Cottage Garden, Leonard Stanley, is expected to fetch more than £300,000 when it goes on sale in July.
Guardian
Danish Collector Jens Faurschou Is Selling Works From His Esteemed Foundation in a Christie’s Online Auction
Danish Collector Jens Faurschou Is Selling Works From His Esteemed Foundation in a Christie’s Online Auction
The Danish collector Jens Faurschou is auctioning off works from his foundation’s collection at Christie’s this summer to support future exhibitions across the organization’s spaces in Copenhagen, Beijing, Venice, and New York.
Artnet
Christie’s Unveils $30 M. Barnett Newman to Lead Global ‘ONE’ Auction in New York
Christie’s Unveils $30 M. Barnett Newman to Lead Global ‘ONE’ Auction in New York
Christie’s has announced its top lot up for auction in the New York session of its global “ONE” 20th century art sale on July 10. Barnett Newman’s Onement V (1948) is valued with an estimate of $30 million–$40 million.
Art News
Wayne Thiebaud’s Painting of Pinball Machines Could Fetch $25 Million at Christie’s, Shattering the Artist’s Auction Record
Wayne Thiebaud’s Painting of Pinball Machines Could Fetch $25 Million at Christie’s, Shattering the Artist’s Auction Record
Conventional wisdom has it that collectors tend to hold on to trophies during moments of uncertainty. But Christie’s has managed to secure another high-value lot for its upcoming “One” sale, the relay-style auction that will be streamed online and held in different salesrooms around the world in July.
Artnet
The Lost Jean-Michel Basquiat: A New Auction House Just Sold the Only SAMO Tag to Ever Come to Market
The Lost Jean-Michel Basquiat: A New Auction House Just Sold the Only SAMO Tag to Ever Come to Market
In late May, Capsule Auctions, a small house established three years ago out of a storefront in New York’s Alphabet City, announced that it would be auctioning off an oil-on-tarp work by Jean-Michel Basquiat that had never been sold by its original owner. When bidding on the work, which depicts Basquiat’s SAMO tag, opened on May 28, several collectors pushed the price well past the high estimate of $25,000, and it finally hammered, with fees, for $71,875.
Artnet
Auction Houses’ Rapid Shift Online Signals Lasting Impact of Pandemic: Report
Auction Houses’ Rapid Shift Online Signals Lasting Impact of Pandemic: Report
With sales postponed and auction houses left closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a rapid shift to the digital marketplace, data from Invaluable, the Boston-based online secondary market platform, reveals.
Art News
Sotheby’s to Bring $22 M. in Latin American Art to Marquee Auctions, With Work by Kahlo, Botero
Sotheby’s to Bring $22 M. in Latin American Art to Marquee Auctions, With Work by Kahlo, Botero
Sotheby’s has secured a major collection of Latin American art works that will hit the auction block during the week of June 29 in New York. “The Vanguard Spirit: Modern and Surrealist Masterworks from an Important Estate” comprises 35 lots will be offered across Sotheby’s Contemporary and Impressionist sales. In total, these works are estimated to bring in over $22 million. Another selection of 200 works from the private estate will be auctioned across various collecting categories this fall.
Art News
Auction Houses Attract Collectors with Private Sales for Three Key Reasons
Auction Houses Attract Collectors with Private Sales for Three Key Reasons
According to Sotheby’s, the company has received over 150,000 page views from over 40,000 visitors to the private sale pages Sotheby’s has been building out since the pandemic began. David Schrader, the auction house’s worldwide head of private sales, noted there’s “more demand than supply.”
Artsy
The Collection of Cable-Television Impresario Ginny Williams, Full of Top-Notch Works by Women, Could Fetch $50 Million at Sotheby’s
The Collection of Cable-Television Impresario Ginny Williams, Full of Top-Notch Works by Women, Could Fetch $50 Million at Sotheby’s
Some of the most anticipated collections heading to market, such as the Macklowe Collection, are on hold amid the lockdown. But Sotheby’s has managed to secure another high-profile get: the collection of the late Ginny Williams, a highly respected Denver philanthropist who made a fortune in the cable television industry with her husband, Carl Williams.
Artnet
Strong sales as France restarts live auctions
Strong sales as France restarts live auctions
Parisian auction houses have reopened with restricted visitor numbers and heightened sanitary measures. Yet, despite these conditions, response from clients has been generous if the results of Artcurial's first post-lockdown sale are anything to go by.
The Art Newspaper
Christie’s Will Replace Its Marquee June Sales in New York With a Streaming ‘Relay’ Auction to Unfold Across Four Cities Worldwide
Christie’s Will Replace Its Marquee June Sales in New York With a Streaming ‘Relay’ Auction to Unfold Across Four Cities Worldwide
Forced to delay sales during one of its most high-profile seasons, Christie’s has unveiled a radical solution to holding the star-studded auctions of Impressionist, modern, postwar, and contemporary art it had planned for New York during the week of June 22: a four-part “relay” sale that will take place across four international art-market hubs.
Artnet
Christie's scraps major June New York sales in favour of one 'global relay' auction in July
Christie's scraps major June New York sales in favour of one 'global relay' auction in July
As the coronavirus crisis continues to eat its way further into the art market calendar, Christie's has scrapped its major New York evening sales, postponed from this week until the week of 22 June, in favour of one, multi-location "relay" sale.
The Art Newspaper
Price Check! Here’s What Sold—and for How Much—at the Frieze Art Fair’s Inaugural Online Viewing Room
Price Check! Here’s What Sold—and for How Much—at the Frieze Art Fair’s Inaugural Online Viewing Room
In the Before Times, the art world would be sunburnt and burned out after a weekend of Frieze New York festivities on Randall’s Island. These days, though, the only glare is from the blue light of computer screens as gallerists and VIPs peruse the digital booths in Frieze’s inaugural Online Viewing Rooms, which run through May 15.
Artnet
Online exhibition calls for release of ‘disappeared’ Bangladeshi photographer Shafiqul Islam Kajol
Online exhibition calls for release of ‘disappeared’ Bangladeshi photographer Shafiqul Islam Kajol
The artist-led campaign 'Where is Kajol?’ has launched an online exhibition of the work of Shafiqul Islam Kajol, the renowned photojournalist currently imprisoned under Bangladesh’s notoriously draconian Digital Security Act.
The Art Newspaper
UK galleries and auction houses can reopen from 1 June, government says
UK galleries and auction houses can reopen from 1 June, government says
The British prime minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap to easing lockdown, first delivered in a pre-recorded television broadcast on Sunday and followed up with a more detailed dossier on Monday, has been met with confusion by many in the art trade who simply want to know: when can we reopen?
The Art Newspaper
First live auction in Germany after lockdown features painting bought for Hitler
First live auction in Germany after lockdown features painting bought for Hitler
A painting by Carl Spitzweg that was sold under duress in the Nazi era and hung for decades in the German president’s villa is the highlight of a sale later today at the Munich auction house Neumeister, the first art auction with a live audience after the coronavirus lockdown in Germany.
The Art Newspaper
Sotheby’s CEO Confirms Plans to Reopen, Addresses Long-Term Changes to Market
Sotheby’s CEO Confirms Plans to Reopen, Addresses Long-Term Changes to Market
Today, Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart noted in a memo the company has commenced plans to reopen select offices in Europe and Asia, with preparations being made to reopen the New York and London headquarters pending the lift of government restrictions. Sotheby’s Hong Kong spring sales will still be held as previously announced between July 5 to 11 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Art Market Monitor
Sotheby’s Is Eagerly Reopening Salesrooms—and Aggressively Cutting Costs—to Repay Almost $120 Million in Debt This Year
Sotheby’s Is Eagerly Reopening Salesrooms—and Aggressively Cutting Costs—to Repay Almost $120 Million in Debt This Year
When French-Israeli telecom magnate Patrick Drahi took Sotheby’s private last year, many industry observers said his purchase marked the end of an era in art-market transparency. That’s because, as the only major publicly traded auction house, Sotheby’s was required to make detailed quarterly reports about the state of its business, when its peers were not.
Artnet
Tech Kingpin Sean Parker Bought an Old Master Painting at Christie’s for Almost $6 Million. After That, Things Got Messy—Fast
Tech Kingpin Sean Parker Bought an Old Master Painting at Christie’s for Almost $6 Million. After That, Things Got Messy—Fast
Call it a case of seller’s remorse. After a consignor successfully sold an Old Master painting at Christie’s for a considerable profit at auction last year, she had an abrupt change of heart, touching off a legal dispute that entangled not only the auction house, but also the work’s celebrity buyer: tech billionaire Sean Parker, the founder of Napster and first president of Facebook.
Artnet
Sotheby’s prepares to reopen galleries in New York and London
Sotheby’s prepares to reopen galleries in New York and London
The first real test of the art market since the coronavirus outbreak could come as soon as next month as Sotheby’s forges ahead with plans to hold its bellwether Impressionist, Modern and contemporary art auctions in New York. In an email sent today, Charles Stewart, the firm’s chief executive, says Sotheby’s is “actively preparing” for the reopening of its galleries in New York and London. Meanwhile, teams are returning to work in a number of offices in Europe and Asia.
The Art Newspaper
Should We Be Worried About Sotheby’s Ability to Meet Its Obligations?
Should We Be Worried About Sotheby’s Ability to Meet Its Obligations?
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Going private was supposed to alleviate Sotheby’s need to deal with public disclosures that could roil the art market. Yet last week Sotheby’s issued an independent auditor’s report of the auction house’s financial statements for 2019 and 2018 that caused a flurry of questions about the firm’s future in the wake of the global pandemic.
Art Market Monitor