Although none of the most highly touted lots at Sotheby’s evening sale of Impressionist and Modern art last night exceeded their estimates, there were plenty of sleeper hits. Here are a few of the lots that exceeded Sotheby’s expectations by significant margins.
An amusing tidbit from the The Art Newspaper: Larry Gagosian is now advertising on London’s double-decker buses. A well-timed advertising ploy indeed, assuming that this campaign was launched to coincide with the art world’s infiltration of London for the bid 3rd quarter art sales.
Larry’s ads on London buses (The Art Newspaper)
Carol Vogel gives the rundown on last night’s “lackluster” Impressionist and Modern evening sale at Sotheby’s London. The $165.2 million sale did fall within its estimate of $148.4 million to $217.5 million, and the most highly anticipated lot, a self-portrait by Manet did achieve a new record for the artist ($33 million), but the tone of Vogel’s article indicates that the sale (and the Manet) failed to wow.
She notes that there was only bidder chasing the Manet and quotes dealer Richard Feigen who suggests that the Manet failed to go over estimate because it may be over the heads of many members of the art-buying public:
“The Manet put a damper on the evening,” said Richard L. Feigen, another New York dealer, adding that the painting was not well suited to being sold at auction. “It was a great picture, but he’s not an auction artist,” Mr. Feigen said; the work was too intellectual to have the commercial appeal of paintings and sculptures by Picasso, Giacometti and Modigliani that have brought record-breaking prices over the last few months.
A Lackluster Art Auction in London (The New York Times)
The legal trouble between Edelman and Emigrant began in March, when Emigrant sued Edelman over a history of “late payments, missed payments, other defaults and collateral sales,” according to this Reuters report published last month. The report also included the following quote from Edelman, which foreshadows his recent action against Emigrant:
“I have paid the bank what I believe I owe,” said Edelman, who now runs the Edelman Arts modern art gallery on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “I’m angry. I seldom get angry, but I am.”
Beijing’s leading auction house China Guardian just wrapped up their 22nd edition of quarterly auctions: 2300 works of art sold (over three days) for $311 million. As Colin Gleadell notes in his roundup of market news, that puts China Guardian ahead of Western rivals Christie’s and Sotheby’s:
Beijing auctioneers China Guardian has thrown down the gauntlet to Sotheby’s and Christie’s highly successful Asian operations in Hong Kong with a $311 million series of art and antiques sales, placing them ahead of the Western auctioneers ($256 million and $293 million respectively) at the end of the spring auction series.
Art market news: Dealers at Art Basel sell fast (The Telegraph)
Insider sale information from Sarah Douglas’s report on Scope Basel:
- Marilyn Manson’s paintings, which range from €36,000–90,000 ($53,000–$133,000), apiece sold out; Schenk also closed a deal on a Gerhard Richter painting that she did not bring to the fair, for €1.2 million ($1.8 million).
- Sold mixed-media-on-canvas works by Nuri Kuzucan in the €2,000–20,000 ($3,000–30,000) range.
Beck & Eggeling
- Found buyers for small bronze pieces by Italian artist Gehard Demitz for €5,000 ($7,400) apiece.
- Sold four works by Luis Barba at $48,000 apiece.
Yesterday evening’s sale of photographs from the Polaroid collection totaled $7,197,438 at Sotheby’s New York. Every single lot sold, many above estimate. Here are some of the highlights:
For all the art-loving Bravo addicts out there, Artinfo is doing exit interviews with Work of Art’s weekly losers. Like most recent Bravo shows, Work of Art is a big slice of guilty of pleasure, whose layers feature a touch of cultural zeitgeist, a healthy helping of pure spectacle and a thick coating of delicious despicability. In Artinfo’s Q&A, the lastest artist to get the boot (Trung Nygu-yen), challenges art worlders who are in a huff over the series to stop hating.
I know there are a lot of other artists and professionals and colleagues in the art world talking the show down and stuff, but if someone asked you to do the show, would you do it? It’s that kind of thing. Well, you have this great opportunity to experience this, why wouldn’t you do it? It’s the difference between living an active life and living a passive life. So I always go for the route of active.
Not sure that Nygu-yen’s gonna change anyone’s mind about the show with his active vs. passive argument. Perhaps a better tack to take is that it’s not like fame-mongering is something new for the art world, so why not just sit back and enjoy the show.
Colin Gleadell gets down with Dimitris Daskalopoulos, the Greek businessman whose collection is now on view at London’s Whitechapel Gallery. The collection of Daskalopoulos’s compatiot, Dakis Joannou, is enjoying a much shorter run time at New York’s New Museum, where it has been on display (curated by Jeff Koons) since March. Score one for Daskalopoulos, whose collection will be up at Whitechapel for nearly a year, until May 22, 2011.
But for Daskalopoulos collecting is not a contest… Or is it? Gleadell points out that many of the works in Daskalopoulos’s collection have had major auction moments, a common denominator which suggests that Daskalopoulos has a passion for competing in the fray of the auction salesroom (not to mention a propensity for coming out the victor).
The display reveals Daskalopoulos as a buyer of key works at auction over the years. Apart from the Duchamp, there is a phallic latex sculpture by Louise Bourgeois bought in 2004 for $455,500, the third highest price for Bourgeois at the time. Sarah Lucas’s Bunny Gets Snookered, (1997), was bought a year earlier for $163,500, a record for the British artist then. One of his more recent auction buys is Sherrie Levine’s polished bronze, Fountain (Buddha), cast in 1996 from a different urinal to Duchamp’s, for which he paid a double estimate $444,000 dollars in November 2008, just as the market was plunging into recession.
Dimitris Daskalopoulos interview (The Telegraph)
NPR previews Sotheby’s forthcoming Polaroid sale via audio feed, online summary and slideshow. This collection of photographs is voluminous and high quality enough to merit a two-pronged evening-to-day-sale structure (which is extremely rare in the photography category): The 1,200-plus lot auction will begin at Sotheby’s tomorrow at 5 p.m. and continue in a 10 a.m. session on Tuesday.
Despite judicial sanctification of the sale, its imminent dispersal of a museum-quality collection is still very controversial, especially among the artists whose works comprise the collection. John Reuter, a photographer with many pieces in the collection, albeit none that will be included in the approaching Sotheby’s sessions, laments the sale, and its circumstances in NPR’s story:
“Having been through the dissolution of the company,” he says, “not only is my work in the collection and I can’t get it, and a lot of it was my best work, at certain periods of my life, but I also saw people who were incredible people who made this film and made Polaroid a great company, lose their jobs for no good reason really. So the auction is almost the funeral in a way, because it is the last act in the dissolution of Polaroid.”