Art Market Analysis

In order to operate with more caution Artemundi is continuously interested in analyzing the art market with our own means. Here are some free downloadable reports useful to anyone interested in the art market.

linea

Works by Francis Bacon and Cy Twombly each sold for more than $50 million at Christie's Post War and Contemporary art auction, helping drive a $448 million sale that met expectations in an uncertain political environment. Of the 71 lots on offer virtually all found buyers, with only three going unsold. The sale's total nipped at the high pre-sale estimate of $463 million.

The New York auctions began with an Impressionist and modern evening sale at Christie’s Rockefeller Center salesroom that totaled $289 million, handily eclipsing its low estimate of $207 million and falling just short of its $307 million high estimate. Constantin Bancusi’s La muse endormie (1909–10), which sold for $57.4 million to a buyer on the other end of a cell phone clutched in the center of the room by former Sotheby’s rainmaker Tobias Meyer.

The contemporary art market has proved itself immune to the perceived threats of Brexit and the election of President Donald Trump, judging by Sotheby’s performance during its Contemporary Art Evening Auction.

Despite the current sense of uncertainty, it seems that the art world will be hoping it is business as usual, or perhaps even a better market for investment-grade for high-quality artworks, such as the ones that were offered at the past Surrealist auctions at Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

Any lingering doubts about the strength of the art market vanished this season at London's Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sales this week, which raised a total of £307,048,100 (including Buyer's premium). The total between Sotheby's and Christie's was 87% higher than in the same season in 2016, and 108.9% above the June results last year.

Auction house Sotheby's offered over 200 lots on its Latin American art sale, including Frida Kahlo's Niña con Collar, an early painting whose whereabouts had been a mystery for 60 years, which was sold for $1.81 million.  Leading the sale was Tamayo's Sandías y naranja, a 1957 oil and sand on canvas once owned by the film star Audrey Hepburn, which was sold for $2.29 million. A Botero bronze sculpture, Man on a Horse, fetched $1.82 million, and his Homage to Bonnard, a large-scale nude painting, went for $1.39 million. The auction comprising the Evening and the Day Sessions totaled $21,047,375 usd.

By the numbers, Sotheby’s evening November 14 sale of Impressionist and Modern art brought $157.7 million, down from last year’s $306.7 million, and the number of lots was a bit lower (42 this year as compared to 47 in 2015) while the percentage of sales was a bit higher (81%, as compared to 76 % last year). The evening’s sole star was the cover lot, Edvard Munch’s Pikene pa broen (Girls on the Bridge) from 1902, went for $54,487,500 (unpublished estimate in excess of $50 million). 

Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York totaled $276.6 million with 93.8% of lots sold with a surprisingly low BI rate of 6%. Gerhard Richter's A B, Still triumphed at $34 million, with a selection of works from the Stephen & Ann Ames Collection bringing a total of $122.8 million. Rounding out the night, Andy Warhol's Self-Portrait (Fright Wig) achieved the highest total this week for a work by the artist at $24.4 million.

Rebuffing speculation that the bottom has dropped out of the market for young and emerging artists. Speculation continues as to whether Brexit will harm or help the London trade, but the consensus is that foreigners were incentivized to bid at this week’s auctions as the pound slumped to a 31-year low. Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips all noted strong bidding from Asia, the U.S., and Europe. All in all it was a reassuring week for the trade in London, with many noting the market is moving in the right direction.

Financial markets may be fluctuating in the wake of the Brexit vote, but the art market showed its durability at Sotheby’s 28 June Contemporary Art Evening sale. Two artist records led the auction – Jenny Saville’s monumental Shift brought £6.8 million and Keith Haring’s The Last Rainforest which realised £4.2 million. Bidding was strong and competitive from the sale’s opening lots, notably Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Nets (£677,000) and a buoyant Alexander Calder mobile (£1.7 million). 

Helena Newman had plenty to smile about after Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Evening. The strong £103m ($152M) total midway between estimates was surely one reason. Amedeo Modigliani’s Jeanne Hebuterne (au foulard) (1919) had been initially guaranteed by the house, though this was later changed to an irrevocable bid (a type of third-party guarantee). This proved unnecessary, however, as protracted bidding saw the work sell for £34.3m (£38.5m with fees), again, well above its estimate of more than £28m. 

A selection of artworks has gone under the hammer this week as part of Spring Latin American sales in New York, with paintings by Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo among the top lots. Auction house Sotheby's offered around 200 lots on Tuesday, including Tamayo's El Fisgón, which final sale for $970,000 failed to reach its low estimate of $1 million. Another attraction at the same auction was the 1973 painting El Emperador by Chilean artist Claudio Bravo, an example of hyperrealism that also failed its low estimate and sold for $910,000.

The London auction season opened with a low-key yet reassuring result, as Christie’s "Impressionist and Modern Art" evening sale delivered £66,430,000. Small-scaled works seemed to be the flavor of the evening as Alberto Giacometti’s 11-inch high bronze Femme debout, from a posthumous 1976 cast, made £1,082,500, and the 16 by 13-inch Fernand Léger oil on canvas Le moteur, a mini tour-de-force from 1918, snared £5,234,500.

Gigaweek opened with teaser sales. Christie’s, Sotheby's and Phillips made sure that their respective events went well. Phillips, which guaranteed more than half of its lots, may have backed up that success with its investment in the art. Sunday night’s twentieth-century and contemporary art evening sale at Phillips auction house brought in $46.5 million.

The London auction season opened with a low-key yet reassuring result, as Christie’s "Impressionist and Modern Art" evening sale delivered £66,430,000. Small-scaled works seemed to be the flavor of the evening as Alberto Giacometti’s 11-inch high bronze Femme debout, from a posthumous 1976 cast, made £1,082,500, and the 16 by 13-inch Fernand Léger oil on canvas Le moteur, a mini tour-de-force from 1918, snared £5,234,500.

The Contemporary art evening sale at Sotheby's auction house realised a final total of £69,461,000 with a BI of 27% from the 59 artworks offered. The sale was led by Lucian Freud’s tender portrait of his lover Bernadine Coverley, pregnant at the time with their daughter Bella. The 1960-61 work was pursued by six bidders and sold for £16.1 million, more than £9 million above the pre-sale low estimate and a new record for an early painting by the artist.

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale on November 6th, 2015 featured a broad array of pictures, works on paper and sculpture by the leading artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Highlights included an oil portrait of a bather by Paul Cézanne which was once owned by Paul Signac, a 1906 Fauve picture by Raoul Dufy from a distinguished Asian collection, a monumental port scene by André Lhote from a private collection in Scandinavia, and an extremely rare and widely published oil by Heinrich Campendonk from the collection of Jules and Gladys Reiner.

The Contemporary Art Day Auction at Sotheby's totaled $98,025,250 with 80% of lots sold. The sale was led by Roy Lichtenstein's Modern Painting with Yellow Interweave from 1967 which sold for $3.4 million, and Heat by Kenneth Noland, which set a new record for the artist at auction selling for $3.3 million. A Cy Twombly blackboard painting, Untitled (New York City), was the top lot in the Contemporary Art Evening Auction selling for $70.5 million, and is also the most expensive work sold at Sotheby's worldwide in 2015.

Alfred Taubman's estate auction launched unsuccessfully last night. The eclectic collection once belonged to the magnate who resigned from his chairman’s role in 2000 amid a price-fixing scandal between Christie’s and Sotheby’s. . This precedent affected significantly the perceived value of the auctioned artworks, despite the fact that twelve pages of the catalogue tried to "clean" the moral character of the collectionist.

The total amount sold in Post-War and Contemporary Auctions including the Italian Art sales was $336,378,719 USD, corresponding 41.4% to Christie’s, 41.3% Sotheby’s and 17.2% to Phillips. The auctions were held parallel to Art Frieze and Frieze Masters in London in mid October. The noteworthy results correspond to the Italian art sales held in both mayor auction houses, the total sold surpassed the total from the evening sales and many price records were established. These two sales added $129,313,364; a 17% increase from last October’s Italian Sale, indicating a growing demand for this specific art market.

The total amount sold was $669,087,875 USD; 9.5% above last May’s auctions and 0.5% below last November’s sales. Despite being less than half of the Post-War and Contemporary Sales, the total achieved remained in the markets’ total average from the last couple of years. From this total, Sotheby’s sold 63% and Christie’s 37%. In general, the unsold rate of 23% was in line with the market’s average, in total 769 artworks were offered for sale and 590 found buyers.

The total amount sold in Post-War and Contemporary Auctions was $2,060,717,775 USD; 42.4% above last May’s auctions and 40% above last November’s sales. This has been the highest total for an auction season in this art category. The result was 208% above the total achieved at the Impressionist and Modern Art sales. Christie’s sales accounted for 71% of the sales while Sotheby’s share was considerably lower at 23% and Phillips maintained its position with almost 6%. The outstanding result was due to the very high-end market, 23 lots were sold above 20 million dollars and 202 surpassed the million-dollar threshold.
error: Content is protected !!