Rebound at Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale

On Thursday evening, Sotheby's held its NYC contemporary art sale, and with good results.  The sale totaled $277.6 million (including buyer' premiums) and landed right in the middle of the pre sale estimate range of $208.6 million to $302.4 million. The sale offered 64 lots, with 60 selling for a strong 93.8% buy through rate, and it sold a very strong 96.7% by value. The top selling lot was a Gerhard Richter work, 1986’s “A B, Still,” (see image) that sold for $33.9 million and it had a $20 million to $30 million pre sale estimate.

Overall, a much better sale than the Monday evening impressionist and modern sale.  The second block quote is a review of the overall week of sale from ArtTactic.  The short post and analysis notes that contemporary art has slowed, this weeks sales have stabilized the market and has perhaps ended the weakness or perceived weakness.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the sale.
What a difference three days makes. On Monday, collectors sniffed at Sotheby’s $157 million lineup of impressionist and modern art, resulting in one of the auction house’s weakest sales in years. On Thursday, collectors practically climbed over the house’s indigo-blue chairs to outbid each other for its contemporary art offerings—leading to a lively, $277 million sale that helped round out New York’s fall auctions on a high note.

Sotheby’s total surpassed its own $208.5 million expectation and will likely inject a measure of confidence in an art market that is been volatile all week, with some pieces soaring and others flopping.

The energy in the house’s York Avenue salesroom on Thursday was palpable, its aisles packed with heavyweight collectors like Chicago’s Stefan Edlis, Los Angeles’s Eli Broad and New York’s David Ganek. The U.S.-heavy crowd was drawn to the sale mainly by a batch of 25 pieces on offer from collector Ann Ames and the estate of her husband, former Oppenheimer & Co. partner Steven Ames.
But it was a German telephone bidder who took home the Ames estate’s prize lot, a red-splattered abstract by Gerhard Richter, 1986’s “A B, Still,” that sold for $33.9 million, over its $30 million high estimate. (Sotheby’s had sold the same work a quarter-century earlier for $264,000.) Another 1988 squeegee abstract by Richter, “A B, St. James,” sold to dealer Dominique Levy for $22.7 million, over its $20 million low estimate.

Other works from the Ames estate included two Willem de Koonings abstracts that sold for $10.4 million and $9.8 million. All in, the 25 pieces from the Ames estate in Thursday’s sale were expected to sell for around $93.7 million but wound up selling for $122.8 million, a sign that wary collectors will pay premiums for art that is already been vouched for by tastemakers they trust.

Elsewhere in the sale, bidders rewarded works that came in bundles. New York dealer Jose Mugrabi paid $18.7 million for a multipanel, wall-length Jean-Michel Basquiat from 1983, “Brother’s Sausage.” The record price for a David Hockney was also reset when a telephone bidder paid $11.7 million for the artist’s six-panel forest scene, “Woldgate Woods, 24, 25, 26 October 2006.”

Andy Warhol’s “Self-Portrait (Fright Wig)” from 1986 also sold for $24.4 million, over its $20 million low estimate.

Overall, the house sold all but four its 64 offerings, helping the sale achieve a robust 96.7% of its potential value. But the house also went to great lengths to insure the sale’s success, locking in outside investors to pledge to buy 11 works in the sale if no one else stepped up; these “guaranteed” works sold for $103.6 million combined
 Source: The Wall Street Journal 

ArtTactic reported on the week of sales
The Post-War & Contemporary Evening sales in New York this November raised a total of $574,028,000 (excluding buyer’s premium), against the total pre-sale estimates of $523,910,000 to $743,120,000. The total among Sotheby’s, Phillips, and Christie’s was 30.7% lower than November 2015, but only 3.1% lower than May 2016, signalling that the market could be reaching the bottom.

Christie’s kicked off the Frieze week auctions in New York with their 61 lot strong Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale achieving $239.46 million against a pre-sale estimate of $216.64 million to $296.61 million, putting it 41.6% below their sale in November 2015.

This was followed by Phillips’ 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale, which achieved a total of $97.16 million, just short of the pre-sale estimate range of $98.72 million to $144.16 million. Phillips’ result was 113.7% higher than November 2015.

Sotheby’s ended the week with their Contemporary Art Evening Sale, which raised $237.41 million, putting it comfortably within the pre-sale estimate range of $208.55 million to $302.35 million. Sotheby’s result was 36.2% lower compared to November 2015.

Christie’s combined market share ended up being 41.7% (down from 49.6% in November 2015) against 41.4% for Sotheby’s (down from 45% in November 2015). 

No comments: