Christie’s Pre-Season Sale Is a Mix of Good News and So-So News
Today Christie’s First Open sale grossed $6,507,800 worth of art. There were 229 lots offered and 169 of those sold for a 74% sell-through rate. This sale was two-thirds the size of 2007’s sale but pulled in half as much in dollar volume. Both sales had approximately the same sell-through rate.
The star lots of the sale were mostly by big name artists. There was a bidding war for Cindy Sherman’s Film Still which ended with the second highest price for that series. Yves Klein, Anselm Keifer, Jeff Koons, Chris Ofili and Robert Rauschenberg are names most people with a passing knowledge of the art world will recognize.
Some observers are panicking about the sale. Radar thinks the sale is directly linked to the fall of Lehman Brothers’s stock. Maybe it is but the comparison sales come from an accelerating market. If this is what a decelerating market looks like, we’re not in bad shape. Still, here’s what it looked like to Radar:
So, the big shockers: Most of the Yayoi Kusama and the Robert Smithson paintings and the Andy Warhol drawings remained unsold and were withdrawn from the auction. This is a huge deal—all had rising markets in recent years, and Kusama seemed like an unstoppable grower. Now, the Warhol works up weren’t particularly good, and the Smithson paintings were, well, ugly—but they’re important. And nobody wants them for those prices right now.
You can take that for what it’s worth but this graphic is cute.
Art As The Wall Street Bellwether: Uh Oh! (Radar Online)