Lindsay Pollock on Bloomberg:
- Classic impressionist works priced under $3 million sold best, while most modern works — including an Amedeo Modigliani, a Max Ernst, and a Piet Mondrian — had pre-crash estimates and didn’t sell.
Carol Vogel in the New York Times:
- One surprising failure was Pissarro’s “Pont du chemin de fer, Pontoise,” an 1873 landscape. Christie’s had estimated that it would bring at least $3.5 million. But there was only one bidder, who was not prepared to spend more than $3.2 million, so the painting went unsold. “I was surprised,” said Lionel Pissarro, a Paris dealer who is a great-grandson of the artist. “It is a beautiful painting and it wasn’t overpriced.”
Judd Tully on ArtInfo.com
- “I don’t think this is a good measure of where the market is,” said Jonathan Binstock of Citibank Art Advisory, who was an underbidder on the Signac oil Vieux port de cannes, which went on to make $3,778,500 (est. $2–3 million). “There wasn’t enough appealing work for truly discerning collectors.”
- It’s safe to say that the Russians are back in the market, buying up surrealist works and the more glitzy Art Deco–era pieces such as Tamara De Lempicka’s highly stylized, slickly executed Portrait du Marquis Sommi (1925), which sold to a telephone bidder for a beefy $4,338,500 (est. $2–3 million).
- Another Russian-taste picture, Salvador Dali’s Nu dans la plaine de Rosas, an early oil from 1942 measuring 20 inches square, made a whopping $4,002,500 (est. $2–3 million). It last sold at Christie’s London in June 2002 for £468,650 ($697,395), meaning the seller saw a handsome return.
- On a smaller scale and counter to the lifetime-cast theory, Edgar Degas’s Grande arabesque, troisieme temps, a 15 1/8 inch high bronze cast from the original wax sculpture sometime after the artist’s death, sold to London dealer Gilbert Lloyd of Marlborough Gallery for $662,500 (est. $500–700,000). Having last sold at auction at Christie’s New York in November 2004 for $511,000, it was pretty much a wash for the seller.The
- A similar fate befell another sculpture entry, Aristide Maillol‘s grandly scaled lead piece Monument à Paul Cezanne, from an undated cast, which sold to a telephone bidder for $1,426,500 (est. $1.5–2 milion), barely topping the result made at the same house in May 2005, when it fetched $1,360,000. That result might have something to do with how reluctant sellers are to test their trophies in the currently cautious and well-studied market.
Season Opens Softly at Christie’s (ArtInfo)