Sotheby’s Allan Stone sale revealed an unexpected weakness in the de Kooning market. Carol Vogel set the expectations in her sale recap:
Timing is everything in the auction world, and with a major de Kooning retrospective set to open at the Museum of Modern Art in September, the prices and demand for his work are poised to escalate.
Sotheby’s had nine paintings by de Kooning, whom Stone both collected and sold. Top among them was “Event in a Barn” from 1947, a layered abstract view in greens, pinks and black of a figure in an interior. Four people tried to buy the painting, which sold to a telephone bidder described only as “American” for $4 million, or $4.5 million with fees, under its low $5 million estimate.
Judd Tully offered an explanation:
the nine de Koonings offered performed below expectations for the most part[….] Sotheby’s senior specialist Anthony Grant attributed part of that sluggishness to the amount of major de Koonings coming to market this week.
Art from Allan Stone Estate is Big Draw at Sotheby’s (New York Times)