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By Adrian Darmon
TOUGH TIME FOR CHRISTIE'S POSTWAR AND CONTEMPOORARY ART Christie's London contemporary sale held on March 6, 2019 only totaled 79.3 million GBPwith 93 percent of lots sold, far less from last year's 137.5 million. 50% of the sales were either on or below the low estimates, indicating poor competition. Link
SOTHEBY'S CONTEMPORARY SALE IN LONDON SO AND SO Sotheby's contemporary art sale held in London on March 5, 2019 totaled 93.3 million GBP (including premium), however down from £109.3 million generated by the equivalent sale last year. Link
CHRISTIE'S SALE OF IMPRESSIONIST AND MODERN ART A BIT DISAPPOINTING Christie's sale of Impressionist and Modern art held in London on February 27 yielded 165.7 million GBP, below a pre-sale estimate of at least 179 million after three lots were withdrawn, while a Claude Monet waterlily pond with a weeping willow at Giverny estimated at 40 million was left unsold. Link
2018 WAS GOOD FOR CHRISTIE'S Christie's has announced that their 2018 sales totaled $7 billion (including 653.3 million in private transactions), up six percent from 2017, however below results achieved in 2014 ($8.4 billion) and 2015 ($7.4 billion). Link
RISE OF BUYER'S PREMIUMS AT CHRISTIE'S
For the third time since 2016, Christie's have raised buyer's premiums, above the fees charged by rival auction houses Sotheby's and Phillips.
Phillips announced that it sold $916 million worth of art and collectibles in 2018, the highest total in its 220-year history.
The record sum comes a decade after the Russian luxury goods conglomerate, the Mercury Group, acquired the business, and five years since former Christie's CEO Ed Dolman started to manage the auction house.
FERNANDO MALDONADO MAY BECOME THE FUTURE STAR OF COLUMBIAN PAINTING Most art lovers view Fernando Botero as a great master on the art market but don't know much about other Columbian artists, notably Fernando Maldonado, a painter, drafstman and sculptor born in Bogota in 1962. Link
FINE RESULTS FOR OLD MASTERS AT SOTHEBY'S IN LONDON The Old Master Evening sale at Sotheby's on December 5 2018 in London totalled 30.2 million GBP with an exceptional sell-through rate of 86% - the highest ever achieved by the auction house in this category with a rare oil sketch by Rembrandt van Rijn sold for 9.48 million. Link
EINSTEIN'S LETTER ON GOD SOLD FOR A RECORD PRICE Christie's 4 December sale of Fine printed books and manuscripts realized a total of 5,425,625 USD achieving 75% by lot and 81% by value with Albert Einstein's letter on God sold for 2,892,500 USD,a new world auction record for a letter by the celebrated scientist achieved after a four-minute bidding battle between two clients on the phones. Link
A LUCAS VAN LEYDEN DRAWING SOLD FOR 11,483 MILLION GBP Held by Christie's on December 4 2018, the sale of Old Masters/New Scholars: Works of Art for the benefit of the Rugby School realised a total of 14,794,125 pounds, far exceeding all pre-sale expectations with 83% sold by lot and 99% sold by value. Link
PROMOTING HAITIAN ART Working in Haiti as emergency manager for several years, Alexandre Latour has been profoundly charmed and changed by the beauty and the magic of Haitian art. Link
PHILLIPS FAILED TO MEET EXPECTATIONS IN N Y Phillips' 20th century and contemporary art sale held on November 15 2018 in New York failed to meet expectations with ten lots unsold including a heavily promoted wood combustion painting by Alberto Burri (est. $10 million—15 million); a “Gray Painting” by Christopher Wool (est. $4 million—6 million); and the catalogue's cover lot, a Jackson Pollock painting once owned by Nelson Rockefeller (estimated in the region of $18 million), Link
WORLD RECORD FOR DAVID HOCKNEY AT CHRISTIE'S 81-year-old British artist David Hockney became the most expensive living painter when Christie's sold his Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) (1972) for $90.3 million at its postwar and contemporary art auction in New York which realized a total of $357.6 million, compared with a revised pre-sale estimate of $323 million to $421.5 million. Link
THE BARNEY A. EBSWORTH COLLECTION SOLD AT CHRISTIE'S IN NEW YORK
Part One of Christie's sale of An American Place: The Barney A. Ebsworth Collection totaled 317,801,250,USD with 88% sold by lot,and 99% sold by value.
362.6 MILLION USD FOR SOTHEBY'S SALE OF CONTEMPORARY ART IN N.Y Sotheby's realized a total of 362.6 million USD with 97% of lots sold for its Contemporary art sale held in New York on November 14 though only seven works sold for more than 10 million but this total eclipsed that of last year by 52.2 million. Link
A WORLD RECORD FOR MAGRITTE BUT MITIGATED RESULTS AT SOTHEBY'S Despite five artist records set and a 315.4 million USD total, Sotheby's sale of Impressionist and Modern art was not as successful as expected since Marsden Hartley'sPre-War Pageant (1913), estimated at about 30 million did not reach the 24 million reserve price, which seemed exaggerated in view of the fact that the artist's record set at Christie's in 2008 for « Lighthouse »(1915) only stood at 6.3 million. Link
NOT A GREAT NIGHT FOR CHRISTIE'S Christie's expected a 305 million USD turnover for its Impressionist and Modern art evening sale held on November 11 in New York but had to be content with 279.3 million because of surprisingly unsold pieces. Link
SURREALIST ART EXHIBITION IN COIMBRA Coimbra House Culture in Portugal will inaugurate the largest International art surrealist exhibition on November 17f 2018 with 112 of the world leading artists from 48 countries due to participate in this event. Link
CHRISTIE'S FIAC WEEK AUCTIONS ACHIEVE ALMOST 43 MILLION EUROS Christie's FIAC Week auctions in Paris were concluded on Thursday 18 October with a total of €42,983,625, the second highest figure for this marquee week. The highlight of this week was Picasso's 1922 Guitare, bouteille et compotier which reached an impressive €3,982,500 while world auction records were set for 2 artists including for Belgian artist Pierre Alechinsky whose Mur d'oiseaux sold for €1,387,500, nearly four times its presale estimate. Link
THE EBSWORTH COLLECTION TO BE SOLD BY CHRISTIE'S Nearly 90 works from the Ebsworth collection of modern American masters with rarely seen paintings by Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe and Jackson Pollock, will be auctioned in November at Christie's in New York.The works collected over several decades by Barney A.Ebsworth, a pioneer in the luxury travel industry who died in April age 83, have been estimated at 300 million USD. Link