A year ago, Adam Lindemann gave the Basquiat market a major shot in the arm when he consigned his mammoth and long-sought-after work at Christie’s where it made a surprising $57m selling to Japanese internet fashion billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.
Before Lindemann’s sale, the Basquiat market seemed to be taking a hit from a few ill-timed repeat sales and sense that buyer’s had been sated. Now it would seem that Sotheby’s is aggressively pushing the market forward with this untitled work from 1982 that is estimated above the record at $60m or more.
And Sotheby’s has backed this play with their own money. It’s a bold, risky move that will ratchet up the expectations for their May sale.
Here’s Sotheby’s release on the work:
Jean-Michel Basquiat completed Untitled in 1982 at a time when he was virtually unknown to the art world. Exhibited only in a small group exhibition called Fast at Alexander Milliken Gallery in New York from June-July of that year, Untitled entered the distinguished private collection from which it is being offered just two years later in 1984, when it was purchased at auction for $19,000. Never loaned for public exhibition since its acquisition 34 years ago, the appearance of the painting to market is made all the more remarkable given that it has been known only from a small thumbnail picture in the artist’s catalogue raisonné.