Carol Vogel pays close attention to the provenance in Sotheby’s $190 million sale last night:
- An installation by the Italian-born artist Maurizio Cattelan, a sculpture of the artist peeking out of a hole in the floor, brought a record price for the artist at auction, selling to a telephone bidder for $7.9 million, nearly twice its high $4 million estimate. The seller, William Acquavella, the Manhattan dealer, bought it for $2 million at Christie’s in 2004.
- Charles Saatchi, the London advertising magnate and gallery owner, who has a reputation for buying the work of emerging artists and then selling them at a profit, was selling an oval wood panel depicting Harriet Tubman, the abolitionist and Civil War spy. The piece is by Matthew Day Jackson, a hot 36-year-old who was the youngest and perhaps least-known artist in the sale. Another telephone bidder paid $662,500 for the work, well above its $400,000 high estimate.
Warhol and Rothko Lead Big Night at Sotheby’s (New York Times)