artnews ). The auctions for post war & contemporary art @ Sotheby`s, Christie`s & Phillips (my reports phillips christie`s sotheby`s ames ) brought together $816,8 million, about 20% less than in Fall 2015 ($933.6 million artnews ).
The numbers are not really comparable. They depend partly on the demand from collectors & speculators, who are betting on higher prices, but they are also influenced by the quantity & quality of the art works the auction houses got in their hands. Observers talked about a healthy market and referred to the fact that a high percentage of the offered works found buyers (nytimes).
King Of Contemporary Art
artnews)! "A 7-foot-tall Gerhard Richter canvas, “A B, Still” from 1986, intricately layered with crimson, yellow and blue, fetched $34 million against a presale estimate of $20 million to $30 million" @ Sotheby` s, reports Bloomberg (bloomberg). Above this paragraph you can see my favorite "Richter", his "Düsenjäger", which sold for $25.6 million @ Phillips.
bloomberg). But this result got outgunned by Amy Sillman` s "P". The abstract was estimated for just $70,000 — $100,000, but sold for $504,500. Wow.
There were some rising stars including Adrian Ghenie (born 1977 nytimes). I really love the artist`s humor, his surprising ideas & powerful compositions: Flight into Egypt", Estimate $800,000 - $ 1,200,000 realized $1,387,500 followed by "The Bridge" Estimate $ 1,500,000 - $ 2,500,000 realized $3,943,500 & "Pie Fight Study" Estimate $ 500,000 - $ 700,000. Congrats!
Nice 'n Easy
artnet). The New York based artist is famous for his satirical and funny portraits. Above "Nice 'n Easy" which realized $ 12 million.
Below I show some of my favorites from the auctions, as usual a very subjective selection:
"Nurse Elsa" by Richard Prince followed by Peter Doig`s, "Olin MK IV Part 2"; Francis Bacon`s "Portrait of a Man Walking"; "White Shadow" by Makoto Saito; Clyfford Still`s "Untitled" & Kazuo Shiraga´s "T40".
The auction houses looked like huge museums and together they over-trumped any major museum exhibition of contemporary art I know including New York´s MoMa, Los Angeles`"Broad" and Chicago`s Art Institute. And admission was free, taking pictures allowed - price less.