Kenny Schachter, who is no stranger to the Stingel market, was paying attention last week when three major Rudolf Stingel pieces and six other works made $28m. If you’re an AMMpro subscriber, you’ll know already the significance of that number. (Here’s a hint: last week, more money was spent on Stingel than in all of 2016, his second highest dollar volume year.)
Here Schachter is talking about the Zadig & Voltaire collection which mostly underperformed:
One of the only lots that did well, a copper cast by Rudolf Stingel (b. 1956), would have done even better had Gillier not turned down a more generous offer before the auction that exceeded the final hammer price. Another cast from same series, sold by spec-u-lector Françoise Odermatt, made even more the following sale. Stingel’s previous record of $4.7 million tumbled no less than three successive times over the course of two nights, landing at $10,551,000 for a daunting, melancholic self-portrait from 2006—an astounding sum for such an oversized canvas (15 feet in the long dimension).
During the week, 10 Stingels on offer had a gross estimate of $23,380,000 to $33,270,000, and all but one sold; the grand total of $28,786,500 spent was smack in the middle of the range—that’s a lot of market absorption. Admittedly expectations were high, with a lot of pre-sale puffery, but the performance was strong, sane, and steady. In my estimation, Stingel is still relatively cheap compared to his peers, with similar levels of institutional support. In full disclosure, I’m a big fan and a participant in the market (as you could probably tell).