Sotheby's inaugurated its Frieze
week auctions on October 5, 2017 in London with a £50.3 million sale (including
buyers' premium) against an overall estimate of £60 million, its best for an
October contemporary art sale in London.
Five lots remained unsold, including Jean-Michel Basquiat's portrait Bronze(estimate £5-7 million),which carried a guarantee from Sotheby's meaning a
loss for the auction house. The top price was registered for Cy Twombly's Untitled from 1962,
inscribed with the words “Blood, Flesh,
Youth, Mirror, Clouds” which eventually fetched £6.4 million, within its estimate.
Homage to the Square: Temperate (1957) by Josef Albers sold for a record price of
£2.3 million -more than double its estimate. The painting had previously
sold in 2007 for £445,600, while a composition, Bandaids
with Butterfly, by Alex da Corte doubled its estimate at £40,000. A huge 2010-2012 sea painting by Belgian artist Thierry de Cordier, exhibited at the Venice Biennale
in 2013, sold for £380,750 against a £250,000 estimate. A large C-print by
Wolfgang Tillmans, Greifbar 26, estimated at £150,000, soared to £548,750,
near the artist's record.
House (2005-2007) by British artist Howard Hodgkin, who died early this
year, went for £890,750 against an estimate of £ 350,000 while David Hockney's 15
Canvas Study of the Grand Canyon (1998), sold above forecast for £6 million ($8 million),
his second best price ever.
Bought in 2009 by Charles Saatchi for a record £ 97,500 and resold four
years later for a record 302,500, Untitled (Beach Scene) by Hurvin Anderson,
nominated for the Turner Prize this year, went for £ 890,750 while Anthony
Gormley's "Sublimate V1" doubled its estimate to sell for £758,750. Andreas
Gursky's Stateville Illinois fetched £308,750, under its estimate after the
room remained silent for a certain time while his Bahrain 11, guaranteed with a £550,000 low
estimate failed to sell. Richard Prince's car hood Point
Courage (1988-89) went within its estimate, for £1.5 million,
an untitled papier-mâché sculpture by Franz West reached £308,750, its top
estimate while Andy Warhol's 5 Deaths, sold for a bargain price of £968,750 against a £ 2million estimate.Overall, Sotheby's did not fare too well
since many guaranteed works failed to sell.