It’s not every day that you see the New York Times, which has a deeply ingrained antipathy towards the art market, use its Op-Ed page to promote a potential art market record price. Today, Mary Gabriel writes about the booming market for Ab-Ex painters who happen to be women. In it she reveals that Christie’s has a 10-ft Helen Frankenthaler, Red Square, that is poised to break her $3m auction record set during a day sale earlier this year. The estimate is between $3 and $5m.
The proceeds of the sale will go to Frankenthaler’s alma mater, Bennington College, to fund scholarships.
Gabriel spoke to Christie’s Sarah Friedlander about the appeal of artist’s like Frankenthaler:
“From the market perspective, when you have 15 mediocre [Willem] de Koonings come to market in a season and one amazing Joan Mitchell painting come to market in a season, the market is going to gravitate toward quality,” said Sara Friedlander, international director and head of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s New York. “When the quality is really there, the market just explodes.”