Reactions to Sotheby’s Evening sale of Impressionist and Modern art were focused on the few lots that did exceptionally well, most of those were by Amadeo Modigliani:
Carol Vogel spoke to Nick Maclean:
“It’s a sensible market,” Nicholas Maclean, a private dealer, said after the sale. “Things that were average or overpriced didn’t do well.” As for the Modigliani nude, Mr. Maclean explained: “The timing was perfect. Few Modiglianis have come on the market. It’s what collectors have been looking for.”
She also pointed out that the late Picasso craze might be losing some steam finally:
Late Picassos have been all the rage in recent years, but not on Tuesday night. Of the two on offer, “Man and Woman With a Bouquet,” from 1970, failed to get a single bid, and “Man With a Flag,” from 1969, which had been estimated to bring $5 million to $7 million, sold to a telephone bidder for $4.7 million, or $5.3 million with fees.
Lindsay Pollack made a similar point and then backed it up with an example:
“The sale was strong in areas, and weak where it should be,” said London dealer Alan Hobart of Pyms Gallery, who bought Henri Matisse’s bronze “Deux Negresses,” for $8.5 million on behalf of a client. […]
Another Matisse, the 1934 portrait of model Titine Trovato that failed to sell at Sotheby’s in November, 2008, against an estimate of $18 million, was offered again last night with a lower estimate of $8 million. It didn’t get a single bid.
$68.9 Million Modigliani Gets Auction Season Off to a Healthy Start (New York Times)