Gallerist New York spotted a big buyer at last night’s sale and Dan Duray spoke to Christie’s Brooke Lampley who says the sale is evidence of a strong middle market:
In the room Steven Platzman, an art advisor from California, picked up a hotly contested Claude Monet, Chemin (1885), for $5.1 million, an Alfred Sisley from 1873, Pommiers en fleurs—Louveciennes, for $2.4 million and Dans la salle à manger by Berthe Morisot (1880) for $483,000. He bought on behalf of clients.
“These are classic Impressionist pictures,” he said, of what drew him to the pieces. “All of them new to market out of private collections.”
Judd Tully got a little more color on the story:
“I work as an art advisor for people out West,” said Platzman as he headed out of the salesroom, tailed by a number of dealers desperate to give him their business cards, “and I help them make decisions about what they buy.” He said each of his purchases were for different clients.
Katya Kazakina has some dealer comments:
“This was generally a sale that didn’t have any stars,” said Phyllis Hattis, a private art dealer in Manhattan. “There wasn’t any excitement to the art.”
And some other market participants:
“It’s very hard to get the most stellar Monet or Matisse these days, so buyers are looking for the best within what’s available,” said Suzanne Gyorgy, global head of art advising and finance at Citi Private Bank. “There are a lot of new buyers from emerging economies in the Impressionist market, which is historically the entry point into collecting once they look beyond the regional artists or reach a level of wealth when they can afford a $1 million picture.”
Kelly Crow points out that many of the night’s best sales went to Asian buyers or unknowns:
A man and a woman who turned up, unfamiliar even to some of the auction specialists, won an $11.3 million Egon Schiele, “Self-Portrait with Model (Fragment).” The Schiele was expected to sell for up to $7 million.
Carol Vogel too points out the international support underneath the Impressionist and Moderns market:
“We had strong bidding from Europe and America,” Steven P. Murphy, Christie’s chief executive, said. “But the addition of buyers from India, Russia and China carried the night.”
The experienced auction watcher also caught a pair of sales that were both profitable and made a loss:
“Femme Assise en Costume Rouge Sur Fond Bleu,” a 1953 portrait of one of the artist’s lovers, Françoise Gilot, regally seated in a chair, went to a telephone bidder for $7.5 million or $8.5 million with fees. It had been estimated to fetch $7 million to $10 million. The price may not have seemed very high on Wednesday night, but it seemed like a hefty sum to those who remember its last sale price — at Sotheby’s in 1995 where it brought $662,500. […]
Monet’s “Argenteuil, fin d’après-midi,” an 1872 landscape in a golden sun, which had an estimate of $5 million to $7 million, brought $5.3 million or $6 million including Christie’s fees. Surprisingly, the price was less than the $5.4 million the seller had paid for it in 2011 at Sotheby’s in London.