This analysis of the Contemporary sales results—including a look at market share by artist and a list of the most dynamic lots—in New York is available to AMMpro subscribers. Subscribers get the first month free on monthly subscriptions. Feel free to cancel at any time before the month is up. Sign up for AMMpro here.
The Contemporary art sales in New York last month bounced off the the 2016 drop in volume sharply recovering to a level quite close to the totals seen in 2013. With a total combined sale of $1.07bn, the Contemporary market alone proved once again that it can support a gigaweek all its own (even if there seems to be no indication of moving back to the old two-week schedule.)
On the whole, the sales were strong but so were estimates. The combined hammer ratio of hammer price over low estimate was a conservative 1.11, suggesting that seller's expectations remain a potential brake on the market. Of the thousand lots offered, 850 works sold for a powerful 85% sell-through rate. The average price for a work of Contemporary art in the New York sales was $1.06m. That's a healthy number. As is the combined total of the top ten lots (1%) which accounted for $394m in sales or 37% of the overall total which shows you how top heavy the art market remains.
There may be another way to look at these numbers once we divide our attention between day and evening sales and look at the composition of the sales by artist (below.)
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