From Josh Baer’s art market newsletter, the Baerfaxt:
– Sotheby’s NY contemporary sale in November will be highlighted by a 1960 Yves Klein, painting “RE 11” estimated in the range of $25 million The sponge relief work, one of 3 major ones this size (the other 2 in museums), has been in a private collection for a long time and was sold at Sotheby’s in 1978 for 43,000 GBP.
First, a little context on that $25 million estimate. MG 9 from the Lauffs collection made $23.5 million in May after a protracted bidding war. In that same sale, indeed minutes after, IKB 1 made $17.4 million. That is not an inconsiderable gap but nothing compared to the next highest Klein price for ANT 131 set two months later in London at $8.4 million. Sotheby’s has been very aggressive in the Klein market. And they’ve reaped the rewards. But Baer adds another twist to the sale. The work is not guaranteed at that record price:
– The Klein work mentioned above is being sold without a financial guarantee to the seller. So does this represent a new phase in the art market? We believe that will be more “A” quality works like this coming to the market by “discretionary” sellers in the near term – but not (yet at least) at fire-sale prices. There may be opportunities soon for fire-sale prices for “B+” and below works on the horizon.
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Baerfaxt (Caption Information after the jump)
sponges, pebbles and blue pigment on panel
78¾ x 65 in. 200 x 165 cm
Executed in 1960.
Est. in the region of $25 million