Scott Reyburn at Bloomberg throws a little cold water on the good post-sale vibes with this quote:
“The sales are smaller, there’s less top-quality available,” Heinrich zu Hohenlohe, director at the London-based dealers and agents Dickinson, said in an interview. “These auctions have become dry and professional. It’s difficult to get people to bid if there’s no excitement. The selling rates might be good, but the only statistics that matter are turnover and profit.”
Carol Vogel counters with some upbeat dealer noises and follows Damien Hirst’s progress:
Many of the dealers lingering around Sotheby’s after the sale seemed relieved by the evening’s results. “It’s a different-size market now,” said Gerard Fagginato, a London dealer. “But it was healthy.”
The sale also featured two works by Mr. Hirst. Both sold, but neither brought the kind of prices he fetched at his landmark sale here in the fall. “Homage to a Government, the Dwelling Place,” one of his butterfly paintings from 2006, was purchased by a telephone bidder for $1 million. It had been estimated at $820,000 to $1.3 million. And his “Beautiful Exploding Turquoise Nebula Painting (With Money),” a 1998 spin painting that was expected to fetch $410,000 to $574,000, was bought by Mr. Mugrabi for $228,426.
Judd Tully gets the details on buyers:
Slim and Conservative, Sotheby’s Sale Proves a Winner (ArtInfo.com)
Inside Art:Buyers for Warhol and Calder (New York Times)