Christie’s London Contemporary Evening = £95.6m

Phillips London Contemporary = £22.8m

Phillips London Evening 615

Phillips June Contemporary Art Auctions realised a combined total of £22,826,925 / $35,838,272 / €32,185,964 selling 73% by lot

Phillips Contemporary Art Evening Auction realised £18,192,400 / $28,562,068 / €25,651,284 selling 84% by lot.

The Contemporary Art Day Sale totalled £4,634,525 / $7,276,204 / €6,534,680 selling 70% by lot

Top Ten Evening Sale Lots

23 Ai Weiwei Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads, 2010 £3,442,500 / $5,404,725 / €4,853,925 WORLD RECORD FOR THE ARTIST AT AUCTION

30 Bruce Nauman Hanging Heads # 1 (Blue Andrew, Mouth Open …), 1989 £1,762,500 / $2,767,125 / €2,485,125

27 Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe (portfolio of 10), 1967 £1,202,500 / $1,887,925 / €1,695,525

39 Sigmar Polke Carnival, 1979 £1,142,500 / $1,793,725 / €1,610,925

35 Ed Ruscha Ship Talk, 1988 £884,500 / $1,388,665 / €1,247,145

29 Andy Warhol Flowers, 1964 £722,500 / $1,134,325 / €1,018,725

11 Raqib Shaw Arrival of the Horse King from the series Paradise Lost, 2011-2012 £722,500 / $1,134,325 / €1,018,725

10 Sherrie Levine Caribou Skull, 2006 £494,500 / $776,365 / €697,245

22 Damien Hirst Veneration, 2007 £482,500 / $757,525 / €680,325

21 Takashi Murakami Pom and Me, 2010 £482,500 / $757,525 / €680,325


Top Ten Day Sale Lots

134 Damien Hirst Beautiful, beautiful, charity childrens, spin painting (with butterflies), 2007 £290,500 / $456,085 / €409,605

148 Yves Klein La Victoire de Samothrace, (S 9), 1962 £170,500 / $267,685 / €240,405

123 Banksy Love is in the Air (AKA Flower Thrower), 2010 £134,500 / $211,165 / €189,645

264 Stanley Casselman IR-40-16, 2013 £134,500 / $211,165 / €189,645

171 Mimmo Paladino Untitled, 1995 £110,500 / $173,485 / €155,805

125 Olafur Eliasson Untitled, 2002 £104,500 / $164,065 / €147,345

128 Gavin Turk Pile, 2004 £104,500 / $164,065 / €147,345 WORLD RECORD FOR THE ARTIST AT AUCTION

132 Marc Quinn Bahia Mangroves Brazil, 2009 £104,500 / $164,065 / €147,345

124 Nigel Cooke In Da Club – Me Time, 2010 £98,500 / $154,645 / €138,885

119 Rob Pruitt White Pandas, 2003 £92,500 / $145,225 / €130,425

Phillips Brings in £18.2m ($28.6m) with Ai Weiwei, Ruscha, Polke and Nauman

Phillips continues to make progress moving itself toward a meaningful position within the Contemporary art megaplex. Last night’s £18m sale was twice the total volume of the previous year’s event. Although the auction house is still bedeviled by its own habit of estimating works on aspirations rather than on realistic expectations.

Colin Gleadell points out that Phillips as come to hold a strong position in the markets of a few painters like Carrol Dunham and Ai Weiwei:

the top two for Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei. After they sold a set of gold plated zodiac figures by him for a record £2.9 million last February to Facebook founding president, Sean Parker, they led last night’s sale with a bronze set estimated at £3 million which they knocked down for precisely that: £3.4 million or $5.4 million including premium, and a new record.

Gleadell was also keeping his eye out for profits:Continue Reading

Want Access to the Best Business Deals? Join the Global UNHW Circuit

The Australian Financial Review had a little fun a few weeks ago with this concept of the UHNW global circuit. As they say, not every one of the rich attends every event with some focusing on the gatherings that pique their interests or present the best business opportunities.

For our purposes, this is another example of the phenomenon that has driven the art market for a decade, where buying art is the price of admission for many other benefits.

Here’s Jean Pigozzi’s take on the circuit where he says lots of business is getting done:

After attending the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, he flew to the TED ideas conference in Vancouver, mingling with the likes of Yuri Milner, the tech investor, and Larry Page of Google at the “billionaires’ dinner.” Next came the art auctions in New York and the Cannes Film Festival, where he threw a pool party attended by Woody Allen, Uma Thurman and billionaire Paul Allen.

In the next few weeks, after the Art Basel fair, he will be off to the Wimbledon tennis tournament and “the Mediterranean milk run” – the summer megayacht procession leading from St. Tropez to Portofino and Capri.

Continue Reading

Islamic State Looting Artifacts Estimated at $300m

Bloomberg looks at ISIL’s looting and smuggling:

Islamic State acts as a supplier for a complex chain involving at least five brokers and dealers, said Michael Danti, an adviser to the U.S. State Department on plundered antiquities from Iraq and Syria. The extremists are closely linked to Turkish crime networks in the border towns of Gaziantep or Akcakale, he said.

Once the artifacts are smuggled into Turkey, a broker will cash them for resale to dealers who have pockets deep enough to pay for storage and wait up to 15 years to sell, when law enforcement is less focused on them.

Archaeologists estimate that as much as $300 million worth of antiquities are now flooding the market through Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan as part of Islamic State’s transactions.

Islamic State Is Selling Looted Art Online for Needed Cash (Bloomberg Business)

Phillips London Contemporary Sale Highlights

Marina Picasso’s Ceramics 100% Sold at Sotheby’s


Marina Picasso's Pitcher

Marina Picasso’s collection of unique ceramics by her grandfather were 100% sold at Sotheby’s today for an estimate beating £12.3m ($19.3m.) Here’s some of Sotheby’s press release on the sale:

The ‘White Glove’, 100% sold, auction saw 87% of lots achieving prices above their high estimates.

James Mackie, Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art specialist, said: “Today’s auction of unique Picasso ceramics was a landmark moment for sales of the artist’s work, setting a new benchmark for this medium. […] Unlike Picasso’s editioned ceramics, each work is truly a one-off and this is why we saw such a fevered demand from collectors.”

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Cady Noland Scuttles Deal for Log Cabin Work


Cady Noland has repudiated another work claiming it had been restored without her consent. Scott Mueller, an Ohio collector, had tried to buy the work, “Log Cabin Blank with Screw Eyes and Cafe Door,” from a German gallery, Court House News reports:

Mueller, a trustee at Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), claims that he agreed to buy the sculpture through a dealer at the Berlin-based Janssen Gallery on July 2, 2014. He said that he paid more than a million to the gallery’s Singapore office, but that Noland got furious once informed that that Mueller planned to restore the work.

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Sotheby’s Strong Sale Hints at Guarantee Fatigue

Malevich, Suprematism, 18th Composition

Sotheby’s very strong sale of Impressionist and Modern art last night, the second highest total achieved at the house in London, might have been even stronger had a few of the top lots taken off. Part of the problem may be guarantee-fatigue. Here’s what Daniela Luxembourg told Melanie Gerlis about the restituted Malevich:

Dealers said that its third-party guarantee may have been a deterrent. “The market doesn’t like guarantees,” Daniella Luxembourg said after the auction, though she described the evening sale as “very good” overall.

Former Sotheby’s Imp-Mod deal-maker, Emmanuel DiDonna chimed in:

“Not everyone likes to bid against the guarantee,” said New York-based art dealer Emmanuel Di Donna. “It means that the works are kind of presold.”

Judd Tully included his own list of works that were poised for take off but may have been held back by a third-party guarantee:Continue Reading

Ascribe to Create ‘Unique’ Digital Artwork

Techcrunch reports that a new startup called Ascribe has raised $2m to adapt the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin to protect digital artwork:

The founders, Bruce Pon, Trent McConaghy, and Masha McConaghy have experience in banking, hardware, and curation. Masha, a Ph.D. from the Sorbonne, curated at the Louvre and ran galleries in Europe and Canada. […]

“The idea to use blockchain to allow artists to create digital scarcity germinated in mid-2013 when Trent and Masha asked ‘Can you own digital art, like you own bitcoin?’ Trent built a prototype in fall-2013. In mid-2014, we decided to leave our companies to start Ascribe full-time. Since then, we’ve been refining the technology and working with early users.”

Ascribe Raises $2 Million To Ensure You Get Credit For Your Art (TechCrunch)