- “I felt everybody was falling asleep tonight,” said Manfredi della Gherardesca of the London based MDG Fine Arts Ltd. “There was nothing here I would kill for.” Still Gherardesca snared Yves Klein’s “Untitled Monogold” in gold leaf on pressed wood board from 1959 for $1,538,500 (est. $700-900,000), a work which last sold at Sotheby’s London in February 2001 for £201,500 ($293,988) and Damien Hirst’s butterfly-encrusted and gloss paint tondo, “Awakening” (2007) for $1,650,500. Asked about the 84-inch diameter Hirst, Gherardesca said it was “playroom decoration.”
- Francis Bacon oil-on-canvas entry, “Study for a Portrait” (1978), measuring just 14 by 12 inches, sold to New York collector Donald Bryant for $4,282,500 (est. $4-6 million). It last sold at Sotheby’s London in February 2008 for £2,036,500 ($4,047,098), a wash for the seller and a possible boon for the newbie Bacon collector.
- Arshile Gorky abstraction, “Khorkom” (ca. 1938), which sold to New York dealerJack Tilton for $2,770,500 (est. $3-4 million). “People are looking for the trendy thing and not the connoisseurship thing,” said Tilton, expressing delight in his purchase. “They’re not a lot of those early Gorkys.”
Katya Kazakina cadges this good quote from David Benrimon:
- “There’s a little adjustment in the Warhol market,” Benrimon said. “It’s been flat since last year.”
GalleristNY had rivals complaining about false representation on Warhol’s Double Elvis, perhaps that’s why it was “Bought In” by the Mugrabi family at $37m:
- “Well, it wasn’t that impressive anyway,” dealer Emilio Steinberger (whose gallery, Haunch of Venison, is owned by Christie’s) said after the sale. “Did you see it? It was really more like one-and-a-half Elvises.”
- “The quality was so-so,” said dealer David Nahmad, who nonetheless walked off with one of the evening’s Calders, which sold for a hammer price of $1.2 million. “It’s all about merchandise. Christie’s was very lucky to get the Pincus Collection. It’s getting very hard to find quality material in any category.”
Carol Vogel was one among many reporters who knew where the Twombly went:
- There appears to be an endless appetite for high-end abstract paintings. A classic 1970 blackboard painting by Twombly, “Untitled (New York City),” covered in rolling sweeps of white scrawl, was expected to reach $15 million to $20 million. It sold to Stavaros Merjos, a Los Angeles collector, for $15.5 million, or $17.4 million with fees, just above its low estimate but nevertheless a record for the artist at auction.
$44.8 Million, Going Twice at Sotheby’s (New York Times)