Friday, November 25, 2016

Contemporary Art: Insights From New York`s Fall Auctions 2016

(Drivebycuriosity) - Last week´ s auctions in New York showed the status quo of the art market (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

The auctions showed that the German artist Gerhard Richter is still the king of contemporary art. There were 18 "Richters" on sale (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.

The auctions had some positive surprises like Andy Warhol`s Lenin which "fetched $8.1 million, above the $6 million high estimate" (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

The auctions also brought a new record for John Currin (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.


No comments:

Post a Comment