With a total turnover of over €16 million ($18.9 million) across 31 auctions and 6,000 lots, Cologne-based auction house Van Ham Kunstauktionen ended a successful spring season with reformatted Classic Week and Modern Week sales. The 2020 total aligns with Van Ham’s H1 earnings of €16.3 million ($19.4 million) generated in 2018.
The live auctions led the bulk of sales. With a semi-annual turnover of €10 million ($11.9 million) the Modern Week auction series was led by four editions from postwar German painter Fritz Winter’s Driving Forces of the Earth series, which together realized €678,000 ($805,006). Two works by American hyperrealist artist Tom Blackwell, exceeded their estimate achieving a combined result of €84,000 ($99,735). The sale saw new records for photo-realists Anthony Brunelli, with a new benchmark of €134,000 (159,101) and Roberto Bernardi at €38,500 ($45,712).
In contemporary art, Insomnia, a painting by Belgian artist Luc Tuymans, realized €148,000 ($175,724), marking a record for the artist in a German auction. In the modern sale, a 1935 work by German painter Georg Schrimpf titled Girl at the Window made €251,000 ($298,018) after being held privately for 70 years. Competitive bidding moved the price far past its low estimate of €50,000, hammering at €195,000 to a German buyer. Van Ham offered significant holdings from the corporate collection of SØR Rusche, a German clothing retailer to auction this series, among which were 150 modern and contemporary works.Continue Reading