We’re not big believers in the dichotomy between online sales and other sales from either auction houses or dealers. But as the Contemporary art market pushes further down the price scale searching for quality work, there seems to be real action in some of the auction house’s online sales. Sotheby’s just closed one sale that they’re making a little noise about.
The Contemporary Art Online sale ran from February 21st to March 6th and made $2.2m. According to Sotheby’s, there were 550 registrants “and an average of more than 10 bids per lot.”
“The success of this online-only sale was driven by attracting both our established clients looking for more accessibly priced quality works,” Harrison Tenzer, Head of Sotheby’s Contemporary Online sales in New York, said: “as well as new clients who have never purchased from us and are looking for an entry point into Sotheby’s.”
The sale was led by JOHN CHAMBERLAIN’s String of Perils from 1991, a domestically scaled example of the artist’s dynamic crushed metal sculptures, which sold for $170,000, more than double the high estimate. Other highlights included RICHARD HAMBLETON’s Fountain of Youth, circa 1984, which set a new record for the artist at auction selling for $150,000, five times the high estimate, as well as AL HANSEN’s Untitled, circa 1964, which also set a new benchmark for the artist when it sold for $85,000, many times the high estimate. A new auction record was also set for YVONNE THOMAS, with her abstract expressionist canvas, Still Life, circa 1958, achieving $26,000, well above the pre-sale estimate of $9,000.