The Master, Judd Tully, has the most comprehensive look at Sotheby’s Evening sale:
- 27 lots made over a million dollars, and of those, seven made over five million dollars. Along the way, bidder set records for four artists, including Alice Neel, whose funky, though masterful, double-portrait of Jackie Curtis and Rita Red from 1970 (est. $400-500,000) that attracted a half-dozen bidders and made $1,650,500. New York dealer David Zwirner was the underbidder.
- The Neel was one of 20 lots from the single owner trove of the late St. Louis collectors Mary Schiller Myers and Louis Myers, a group that made $24,491,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $17-24 million. Those works sold under a global reserve, meaning that high-performing lots (like the Neel) allowed others to sneak in at low prices, such as the evening’s greatest bargain, Alexander Calder’s Extreme Cantilever, an early standing mobile (dated 1940 and estimated at $1.-1..5 million) that went to New York dealer Jeffrey Deitch for $842,500.
- Another highlight of the sale was an early Jasper Johns, Gray Numbers, from 1957 (est. $5-7 million), which sold to a telephone bidder for $8,706,500 with New York dealer Jack Tilton as the underbidder. It last sold at Christie’s New York in Nov. 2003 for $5,271,500.
- David Hockney’s iconic, though rather awkward, California Art Collector (1964), sold to fashion legend Valentino for $5,458,500 (est. $5-7 million), well above the $1,020,000 it last sold for at Sotheby’s New York in November 1993.
Warhol Sends Sotheby’s Soaring (ArtInfo.com)