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    Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

    Andy Warhol – Six Self-Portraits  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £22.6 MILLION

    Stellar names in global contemporary art will feature at sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s in London next week.  Andy Warhol’s Six Self Portraits, completed just months before his sudden death in 1987, will lead Christie’s sale on March 6. Jackson Pollock’s Number 21, 1950 has an estimate of £10-15 million and among the other highlights are works by Basquiat, Mapplethorpe and Lucio Fontana.

    Sotheby’s Contemporary sale on March 7 is headlined by Peter Doig’s The Architect’s Home in the Ravine.  The sale spans the postwar era, Pop art and the pictures generation and features outstanding works by Rudolf Stingel, Bawquiat, Christopher Wool, Hurvin Anderson and Laura Owens.  A maquette by Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North marks the 20th anniversary of the sculpture’s unveiling at Gateshead in the UK.


    Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

    Fashion accessories designer Anya Hindmarch will guest curate an exhibition and auction of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s in London next month. The exhibition will run from September 16-19 to coincide with London Fashion Week, with the auction on September 20.   A passionate advocate of British design and arts, Anya is a trustee of both the Royal Academy of Arts and the Design Museum. Anya’s passion for the arts runs through all that she does, from outstanding craftsmanship to witty and creative interpretations of Pop Art. Handpicking the works that inspire her as both a designer and art-collector, she presents a range of artworks by leading contemporary artists including Keith Haring, Andreas Gursky, Tracy Emin and Yayoi Kusama. Here is a small selection:  UPDATE: DRIVEN BY AN INFLUX OF FIRST TIME COLLECTORS THE SALE MADE £1.8 MILLION

    Keith Haring - Untitled 1982 (£200,000-300,000)

    Keith Haring – Untitled 1982 (£200,000-300,000)  UPDATE:  THIS SOLD FOR £413,000

    Wolfgang Tillmanns - Lighter Blue Concave III 2010 (£18,000-25,000)

    Wolfgang Tillmanns – Lighter Blue Concave III 2010 (£18,000-25,000)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £32,500

    Anish Kapoor - Untitled 2001 (£10,000-15,000)

    Anish Kapoor – Untitled 2001 (£10,000-15,000)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £16,250

    Anya Hindmarch

    Anya Hindmarch


    Friday, October 14th, 2011

    Jussi Pylkkanen selling the record-breaking 'Kerze' by Richter in London tonight. (Click on image to enlarge).

    THERE was a new world record for Gerhard Richter at Christie’s in London on October 14. His Kerze (Candle), painted in 1982, was sold for £10,457,250 after a fierce bidding battle. This was the top price at this evenings auctions of Post-War & Contemporary Art and the Italian Sale.  There were nine artists records.  A life size maquette of Antony Gormley’s iconic Angel of the North (1996) sold for £3,401,250 a world record for the artist at auction. The evening saw record prices for Ahmad Alsoudani, Joe Bradley, Karen Kilimnik, Albert Oehlen, Domenico Gnoli and Arnaldo Pomodoro. Untitled by Martin Kippenberger (1990) sold for £1,329,250 a world record price for a sculpture by the artist at auction.

    The combined total for the sales was  £55,630,000.  Ten lots sold for over £1 million and 20 lots sold for over $1 million. The corresponding sales last year realised £38.2 million. The buyer breakdown was 49% Europe including the UK, 38% Americas and 13% Asia.

    See video post on for October 13.


    Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

    The scene at Sotheby's contemporary evening sale.

    Sotheby’s evening Contemporary Art sale on June 29 brought in £108,803,550 the highest total ever for such a sale in London.  Francis Bacon’s Crouching Nude from 1961 was the top selling lot.  It made  £8,329,250.

    The Duerckheim Collection of contemporary German art, which comprised the first 34 lots, realised £60,401,650.  Almost every lot here was contested by multiple bidders. New artist records were established for Blinky Palermo, Sigmar Polke, Eugen Schönebeck, Markus Lüpertz and Georg Baselitz.
    Andy Warhol’s electric pink acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas of Blondie’s lead singer Debbie Harry – the only major painting of renowned lead singer of the new wave and punk rock band ever to come to auction – sold for £3,737,250/ against an estimate of £3.5-5.5 million.  An early Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, Untitled, made £5,417,250 to become the second highest priced lot.
    Headlining the Duerckheim collection were a number of paintings by Sigmar Polke. His record was broken three times in quick succession.  Dschungel, the largest of the Rasterbilder (dot paintings) from the 1960s ever to appear for public sale, made £5,753,250.  A new record was set for Georg Baselitz when Spekulatius from the celebrated ‘Hero’ series sold for £3,233,250. Baselitz’s Grosse Nacht made £2,393,250.  There was exceptional prices for Gerhard Richter whose 1024 Farben from 1974 more than doubled its pre-sale high estimate to make £4,297,250. Buyers from 14 countries took part in an auction which was 89.8% sold by lot and 93.9% by value.  No less than 29 works sold for over £1 million, and 45 lots made over $1 million.
    See posts for April 26 and June 7.


    Thursday, May 12th, 2011

    The Andy Warhol self-portrait from 1963-64. (click on image to enlarge).

    FOUR photo booth images of Andy Warhol in blue

    The re-discovered Rothko from a private collection. (click on image to enlarge)

    made a record $38.4 million over a high estimate of $30 million at Christie’s post-war and contemporary sale in New York on May 11.

    The sale total of  $301,683,000 was the biggest tally for a New York evening contemporary sale since May 2008.  No less than 62 of the 65 lots on offer found buyers.  There were records for Cy Twombly and Richard Diebenkorn while a Cindy Sherman at $3.9 million fetched the highest price ever for a photograph at auction.

    The photo-booth style Warhol Self-Portrait, 1963-64 was the top lot and a new record for a Warhol self portrait.  At the same sale Warhol’s 1986 self portrait – the one with spiky hair – made  $27,522,500.
    A re-discovered Mark Rothko work, Untitled No. 17, signed and dated 1961, made $33,682,500.


    Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

    Takashi Murakami Flowers from the Village Pontokan Acrylic and platinum leaf on canvas mounted on aluminium frame Executed in 2011 Donated by the artist. Estimate £120,000-150,000. Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: IT MADE £373,250

    Jeff Koons Inflatable Flower (Orange) 2011 High chromium stainless steel with transparent colour coating Executed in 2011, this work is 1 of 5 unique versions Donated by the artist. Estimate £200,000-300,000. Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE £337,250

    THE world’s leading contemporary artists have donated works to be auctioned in aid of the new space at the Serpentine Gallery. The Serpentine Sackler Gallery will open in 2012 to coincide with the London Olympics.
    The sale by Sotheby’s on June 30, 2011 will feature 46 works.  Artists who donated include John Currin, Gilbert & George, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Chris Ofili, Richard Prince, Paula Rego and Cindy Sherman.  There is work by Ron Arad, Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Phyllida Barlow, Matthew Barney, Louise Bourgeois, Cecily Brown, Glenn Brown, Anthony Caro, Thomas Demand, Olafur Eliasson, Fischli & Weiss, Yang Fudong, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Douglas Gordon, Antony Gormley, Subodh Gupta, Andreas Gursky, N.S. Harsha, Susan Hefuna, M.F. Husain, Jitish Kallat, Anish Kapoor, Ellsworth Kelly, Bharti Kher, Jeff Koons, Yayoi Kusama, Maria Lassnig, Annie Leibovitz, Shirin Neshat Gabriel Orozco, Paula Rego, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Do-Ho Suh, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gillian Wearing and Rachel Whiteread.
    The innovative arts venue will be housed in the listed building formerly known as The Magazine in Kensington Gardens.  The building will be fully renovated by Pritzker Prize winning architect Zaha Hadid to create a new destination for contemporary culture.
    UPDATE:  THE sale brought in £4,545,675  more than double the low estimate of £2.2 million. The Serpentine Sackler Gallery will open in 2012 in Kensington Gardens. John Currin’s Edwardian was the top lot. It made £713,250.

    John Currin, Edwardian executed in 2011 (estimate £300,000-400,000). Click to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE £713,250.

    Antony Gormley Measure III grey Iron executed in 2011. Donated by the artist. Estimate £80,000-120,000. Click to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE £253,250


    Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

    Andy Warhol's Sixteen Jackies. (click on image to enlarge)

    Andy Warhol’s Sixteen Jackies made $20,242,500 at Sotheby’s contemporary art sale in New York on May 10.  The auction  brought in $128.1 million and 47 of the 58 lots were sold.

    In the early 1960s Warhol’s rows of soup cans and movie stars were screened within a single canvas. With the Jackie paintings the artist created numbers of small panels later assembled into large compositions for the first time.  He employed eight Jackie images from smiling wife to grieving widow with their mirror reversals through the press coverage of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy surrounding her husbands assassination.
    The images follow Jackie from her arrival at Dallas, through the motorcade, the assassination, the administration of the oath of office for the new President Johnson and the funeral in Washington.
    Jeff Koons’ Pink Panther, one of the most important works by the artist ever to have appeared at auction, sold for $16,882,500. The work last appeared at auction in 1999 when it made $1.8 million.  The porcelain sculpture is the artist’s proof from an edition of three, with the other examples in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.
    Art of the last 30 years fared well. Six of the seven Warhol’s at the sale were sold, totalling over $31 million.
    The result followed the  $54.8 million achieved the previous night for the Allan Stone collection, bringing Sotheby’s overall two day total to $182,910,000.


    Saturday, March 12th, 2011

    Pink Panther by Jeff Koons. (click on image to enlarge)

    Sotheby’s Contemporary Art sale in New York on May 10  will include one of the most important works by Jeff Koons ever at auction. Pink Panther from 1988 draws on many of the themes that have come to define Koons’ output.
    The porcelain sculpture is the artist’s proof from an edition of three with the other examples in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and a prominent private American collection.  It is part of the artist’s iconic Banality series that includes Michael Jackson and Bubbles, Bear and Policeman and Ushering in Banality. Pink Panther is estimated to fetch $20/30 million.


    Friday, February 18th, 2011

    Enter Yellow is the title of this 1999 work by Sean Scully (click on image to enlarge)

    Small Grey Wall by Scullly dates from 2002. (click on image to enlarge)

    Enter Yellow by the Irish artist Sean Scully made a hammer price of  £409,250 at Sotheby’s  Contemporary art evening auction in London on February 15.  It had been estimated at £300,000-500,000.

    The following day Scully, who draws inspiration from the low stone walls of the west of Ireland, had another work at Sotheby’s day sale.  His work entitled Small Grey Wall, signed and dated 2002, made a hammer price with buyer’s premium of £289,250.  It had been estimated at £200,000-300,000.

    Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds Make Four Times Estimate

    Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

    Gerhard Richters Abstraktes Bild, the top lot at Sotheby's Contemporary sale in London. (click on image to enlarge)

    The first of Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds (Kui Hua Zi) ever to appear at auction made £349,250 (£3.50 per seed) at Sotheby’s auction of contemporary art.  The 100 kilograms of the porcelain seeds made more than four times the pre-sale estimate of £80,000-120,000 in London. Four bidders both in the saleroom and on the telephones battled to acquire 100,000 of the artist’s seeds.  The seeds in this work of art are not from Tate Modern’s 11th Unilever Turbine Hall commission.

    Sunflower Seeds draws together many of the themes and formal concerns of Weiwei’s work to date.  Sotheby’s described it as a sculptural piece which is at once singular and complex in form and meaning.  This one was executed in 2010 and is from an edition of ten unique variants.
    This evening’s Contemporary Art evening sale realised £44,359,900.  When results from last weeks ‘Looking Closely’ sale are added it brings the total for Sotheby’s Contemporary Art auction series  so far this season to £88,022,550.  This is the  second-highest total for a February Contemporary Art sales series in London, and the highest total since July 2008.
    The top lot was as Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild of 1990, which sold for £7,209,250.
    (see post for February 10)
    UPDATE: The contemporary art day auction brought in a total of  £13,930,200 at Sotheby’s on February 16.  The result brings the overall total for contemporary art at Sotheby’s this season to £101,952,750. This is well above pre-sale expectations of £56-78million.