Scott Reyburn gets the placement of Sotheby’s Contemporary offerings for this February in London. With a $100m low estimate, Sotheby’s Contemporary sale rivals the 2008 offerings that marked the last market peak. Except this time, Reyburn notes, there are no guaranteed works among the top lots:
- Bacon’s “Three Studies for a Self-Portrait” dates from 1980 and is one of 11 such smaller-scale triptychs. Painted when the artist was 71 years of age, it has been entered by a European collector. Its formal top valuation is 15 million pounds. The current auction high for this type of triple self- portrait is the 17.3 million pounds paid for a 1975 version at Christie’s International in 2008.
- Richter’s “Abstraktes Bild (769-1)” from 1992 and the 1976 photorealist painting, “Wolke (Cloud).” These contrasting Richters carry low estimates of 7.5 million pounds and 7 million pounds respectively.
- Basquiat’s acrylic, oilstick and collage painting “Untitled (Pecho/Oreja)” had been owned by the Irish rock band U2 until July 2008, when it was sold for 5.1 million pounds at Sotheby’s, London. The painting, dating from 1982-1983, will be reoffered in February with an estimate of 7 million pounds to 9 million pounds.
- Two 1965 monochrome “cut” paintings by the Italian postwar conceptual artist Lucio Fontana — another investors’ favorite — provide the sale’s other big-ticket highlights. The large white single-cut “Concetto Spaziale, Attesa,” is estimated at 2.2 million pounds to 2.8 million pounds, while the smaller blood-red “Concetto Spaziale, Attese,” with four cuts, is priced at 800,000 pounds to 1.2 million pounds.
Bacon Joins U2 Basquiat in $101m Auction (Bloomberg)