What the Press said about the Contemporary Sales:
Colin Gleadell in the Telegraph:
It may have appeared that the contemporary art boom was still in full swing after a record £261 million was spent during the week – £48 million more than last year. But subtract the buyer’s premium and the figure reduces to about £222 million, which does not look quite so good when compared with the £229 million to £330 million the sales were estimated to fetch.
Altogether, 21 per cent of 1,311 lots offered went unsold. So, while great and powerful works are continuing to attract competition and higher prices, anything lesser, especially where estimates have been stretched too high, is meeting resistance.
The Art Newspaper questions Phillips de Pury’s tactics:
Phillips de Pury had hoped to steal a march on its rivals by staging its event in what Simon de Pury described as a late afternoon Evening Sale on Sunday 29 June but might have been advised to wait for the momentum created by Christie’s and Sotheby’s. Although London agent Ivor Braka paid £3.5m for the most expensive work in the catalogue, an untitled painting from the final chapter of de Kooning’s career (1984), other valuable consignments failed to perform.
Carol Vogel in the New York Times:
After the sale Brett Gorvy of Christie’s said, “This is a market where people want to be able to tick all the boxes, the right artist, the right painting, a fantastic provenance.”