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In a live-streamed talk held on Wednesday, Lévy Gorvy representatives gathered to address the impact of the coronavirus on the art market. Looking to the past for answers on how to adapt to the current economic volatility, Brett Gorvy reminisced on the auction moment that reinvigorated the art market after the shock of the 2008 financial crisis.
In a Sotheby’s New York Contemporary Evening sale held in November 2009, a year after financial and art markets seized, Andy Warhol’s colossal silkscreen on canvas, 200 One Dollar Bills, sold for a stunning price of $43.8 million, more than five times its pre-sale low estimate of $8 million.
The painting was well known in collecting circles having been auctioned for $383k in the 1986 sale of Robert Scull's estate. For 26 years after that sale, the work was owned by noted UK collector, Pauline Karpidas. Sotheby's Tobias Meyer had convinced Karpidas not only that the market was stronger than many believed at the time but that putting an attractively low estimate on the work would bring out the bidders.
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