Katya Kazakina fingers Steven Cohen as the seller of the Jean-Michel Basquiat that will play an important role in Christie’s May sale. There’s a lot of chatter on the private market about Basquiat pricing right now which may add to the interest:Continue Reading
The art in the Amon divorce, which included a Basquiat work pulled from Christie’s sale in 2015 (and had been bought for £2.7m in 2012,) has seen some clarification on the ownership of the art.
According to the New York Post, a judge in the city has ruled in favor of the husband:Continue Reading
By the end of a 10-minute battle, eight bidders had driven Frank Auerbach’s mesmerising Head of Gerda Boehm to £3,789,000 ($4,710,106), a record for the artist at auction (est. £300,000-500,000). In an interview with the New York Times in 1998 Bowie described the whole gamut of reactions that this work provoked when he looked at it, exclaiming “My God, yeah! I want to sound like that looks”. A portrait of the artist’s cousin, Head of Gerda Boehm was last exhibited at the Royal Academy in London when Bowie lent the work to Auerbach’s much-heralded retrospective in 2001.
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Air Power became the most valuable work sold at the auction tonight when it was pursued by six bidders who pushed the final sale price to £7,093,000 ($8,817,308 ) after a 5-minute bidding battle, double the pre-sale high estimate (est. £2.5-3.5m).
A second work by Basquiat, Untitled, also dated 1984, sold for £2,389,000 ($2,969,766), against an estimate of £500,000-700,000.
Damien Hirst’s Beautiful, hallo, space-boy painting, created in collaboration with David Bowie when he visited Hirst’s studio in 1995, tripled its low estimate to sell for £785,000 ($975,834) (est. £250,000-350,000).
A second spin painting by Hirst, Beautiful, Shattering, Slashing, Violent, Pinky, Hacking, Sphincter Painting, also dated 1995, exceeded its pre-sale estimate to sell for £755,000 ($938,540) (est. £250,000-350,000).
Apparently there’s a little housekeeping on the controversy over the Basquiat works owned by Alexis Adler that have come under dispute from the artist’s estate (which refuses to authenticate works.)
On a side note, the two authenticated works from Adler that were included in the First Open sale had mixed results with the door selling well below the estimate range and one within estimates:
After initially saying that the auction would proceed, Christie’s quietly reversed itself, posting a notice on its website: “Our goal is to allow time for all parties involved to reach an equivalent level of confidence in the validity of these items, so that the sale may resume at a later date.”
Alexis Adler, the owner of the auction items, said in an emailed statement that she was disappointed by the decision and that she “looks forward to bringing the Basquiat Estate to the same level of confidence that she and Christie’s share in the unassailable authenticity of these early and seminal works which she acquired from Jean-Michel.”
Basquiat Auction by Christie’s Is Postponed (ArtsBeat/NYTimes)
The Basquiat estate, which no longer authenticates work by the artist, is upset that Christie’s did not submit the Alexis Adler sale for authentication, according to the New York Post:
Out of the roughly 40-piece collection from Basquiat’s former lover Alexis Adler, the estate’s authentication committee was only presented with seven pieces for inspection, according to the Manhattan federal lawsuit filed by sisters Jeanine Basquiat Henveaux and Lisan Basquiat.
The committee rejected one of the seven works, the suit says. The members believe the $300,000 radiator with the word “Milk” painted across the middle was not done by Basquiat, according to court papers.
The suit says that, unlike with past auctions, Christie’s never bothered to submit the remaining items to the authentication committee because it knew the works were not done by the graffiti artist-turned-art world superstar.
“If the items in the catalog are not authenticated, they are virtually worthless,” the sibling executors claim in court papers filed Tuesday morning.
Update: Christie’s has released a statement concerning the Basquiat work on offer from Alexis Adler:
Christie’s have been in direct and amicable contact with Administrators of the Basquiat Estate about the Estate’s concerns regarding works by Jean-Michel Basquiat that are to be offered for sale by Christie’s on behalf of Alexis Adler. As a result of those talks, Christie’s is moving forward with Thursday’s First Open sale as planned, with the exclusion of a single lot to allow for further review and research. We are pleased to offer these works in celebration of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s artistic legacy and we look forward to continuing the close working relationship that Christie’s and the Estate have enjoyed for many years.