Rodin Sells Big At Sotheby’s, Picasso Falters
While the auction house manages to get some big hits, including Basquiat’s Untitled, results remain mixed.
Sotheby’s achieved mixed results for their Impressionist and Modern Art auction. While they managed to sell Rodin’s Éternel printemps sculpture for close to twice the estimate, other top-billed lots failed to attract the interest of any buyer. One of these was Fauvist André Derain’s Les Voiles Rouges, which was one of the highest estimated at $15-20 million. The other highly estimated Fauvist work, Maurice de Vlaminck’s Sous-Bois, managed to hit $16.38 million.
Other big names that failed to sell include Picasso, Edvard Munch, Marc Chagall, René Magritte, Egon Schiele, and Paul Gauguin. Monet remained spectacular, with a painting selling at $9.8 million (the estimate was $3-5 million). The total raked in for the auction was $144 million.
On the other hand, contemporary art seemed to be better off, with Christie’s Bound to Fail auction pulling a total of around $78 million for 39 lots, managing to sell all their provocative stock, while their Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale raked in around $318 million. Stars from the former includes Maurizio Cattelan’s infamous Hitler sculpture Him which went for around $17 million (slightly above its estimate), and Jeff Koons’ One Ball Total Equilbrium Tank by Jeff Koons, reaching over $15 million. In the latter sale, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s large Untitled made a big splash, going for around $57 million.
Sotheby’s, as a whole, seems to be going through rough times, with Artnet reporting that the revenues for the auction house fell by almost one-third during the first quarter of 2016. With two more contemporary Art sales coming up for them, perhaps they’ll strike lucky next time.
This story was written in-house, based various reports, including one from the AFP