The Contemporary Art Evening Sale Brings in $38m with 71% Sold
Sotheby’s got the job done this evening in London. The Contemporary Art sale had a respectable 71% sell-through as 45 of the 63 lots went to buyers. Clearly consignors were willing to lower reserve prices because many lots sold below the low estimate. Though there were many artists like Jenny Saville, Antony Gormley, Yves Klein and John Currin who saw their work soar above estimates. Subodh Gupta, Fred Tomaselli and Sean Scully performed well within their estimates too.
Cheyenne Westphal said: “Bidding in tonight’s sale was rational and considered with many long-time collectors actively participating. It is important to keep perspective; this market has witnessed rapid growth. What we have seen tonight is that buyers are continuing to respond to unprecedented saleroom opportunities and works of high quality, fresh to the market and properly estimated continue to perform well.”
To put things in perspective, Sotheby’s reminds us that the sale is the highest total for an October Contemporary art sale in London–even though it was well below the low estimate. More to the point, so far this year Sotheby’s has sold $1.2 billion worth of Contemporary art, 68% more than 2007 which was already a record year well above the previous year.
Bloomberg reports that the Mugrabis bought Andy Warhol’s Skulls for £4.3 million, a price below the low estimate.