Christie's tops Sotheby's post-war contemporary sales total with $412 million
If the economic outlook for the art world is to be judged on the past 48 hours in New York then it is very healthy indeed.
On Wednesday night Sotheby’s realised the biggest auction in its 268-year history with an impressive $375 million at its post-war contemporary sale. But rival auctioneers Christie’s last night topped that achievement with a record-breaking sales total of $412 million at its own contemporary sale – claiming to have had the most valuable auction in that category ever.
Jeff Koons' sculpture Tulip was among the star purchases, selling for a record $33.7 million. Records were also set for Franz Kline, with Untitled fetching $40 million, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose Untitled released $26.4 million.
“This evening’s sale set a new record total for any post-war and contemporary art sale. Over the past six years, Christie’s has led this market first over the $200 million, then over the $300 million, and now over the $400 million barrier,” said Brett Gorvy, Deputy Chairman and International Head of post-war and contemporary art.
Eight new auction records were established, 11 works sold for over $10 million, 16 for over $5 million and 56 for over $1 million at the auction in the Rockerfella Plaza last night. Only seven of the 73 works on offer went unsold.
Other highlights of the Christie sale included works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Gerhard Richter - although a piece by the latter estimated to fetch up to $12 million went unsold when the $9 million reserve went unmet.
Sotheby’s claimed Wednesday night’s sale was the best result it ever had for a single auction, beating its’ high pre-sale estimate. By contrast its sale was led by a $75million Mark Rothko (No.1 Royal Red and Blue) which sold for nearly double its estimate. The Rothko Black Stripe (Orange, Gold and Black) auctioned by Christie’s fetched $21.3 million.
"It's very difficult to cover that broad a spectrum [of art from 1948 to today]," Koji Inoue, Christie's vice president and specialist in charge of the sale told Reuters.
"It's amazing that contemporary art has become blue-chip value," he said, adding: "I think we're just seeing the beginning."
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Poldark finale episode 8, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
Peter Kay’s Car Share, TV review: The perfect vehicle for Kay’s comic talents
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove