Colin Gleadell does a little bit of a deep dive on the Asian buying in New York’s Impressionist and Modern sales. Although major lots— like “a $32 million Warhol of Mao, a $14.7 million bronze spider by Louise Bourgeois, and a record $8.9 million for an ebullient late work by the abstract expressionist Hans Hofmann”—also went to Asian buyers in the Contemporary sales, the most consistent buying and dominant effect was in the Impressionist and Modern market.
There Gleadell found that 40% of Christie’s Evening sale total and 50% of Sotheby’s were paid for by Far Eastern buyers. At Christie’s that included, “lots by Picasso, Renoir, Chagall, and Henry Moore.”
- The van Gogh of a field worker sold well above estimate for $81.3 million, close to a record a price
- The Hepworth, a mahogany carving of an abstracted female figure, sold for $1.6 million – an increase in value by an average 13 per cent each year since 1993, when it last sold, for $57,500
At Sotheby’s, it was “lots by Cézanne, Chagall, Monet and Gauguin.” At Phillips, “the strongest performer was a drawing by Picasso owned by the family of Elvis Presley’s music publisher, Julian Aberbach, which sold for $9.3 million (eight times the estimate), to an Asian buyer.”