Latest Art Market News


The art market is thriving. Fine art is confidently viewed by financial experts as one of the best performing asset categories of 2010. The international Modern and Contemporary art markets are up by an average of 25%, against FTSE’s 11% and Dow Jones 9%, and by all accounts this trend will continue through 2011- ArtLyst.



Koons’ Pink Panther Goes Under The Hammer $20 -$30 M Estimate

The German publisher and art collector Benedikt Taschen, known for his glossy art books including a delightful publication of Koons fornicating with his ex porn star wife, La Cicciolina, is selling his 1988 porcelain sculpture of a tacky  blonde woman holding a large pink panther cuddly toy. It is going under the hammer, this May at Sotheby’s spring Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York. The polychrome porcelain sculpture has a pre-sale estimate of 20 -30 million dollars. This is the artist’s proof from an edition of ‘only’ three others. The “Banality” Series”  includes works with titles such as “Michael Jackson and Bubbles,”  “Bear and Policeman” and “Ushering in Banality. The series baffled and nauseated critics and  gallery goers internationally when they were first unveiled. “Together with Balloon Dog and Bunny, Pink Panther is a 20th-century masterpiece and one of the most iconic sculptures of Jeff Koons’s oeuvre,” stated Tobias Meyer, Worldwide Head of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s. He would say that!

 Armory Week New York  8/03/11

British Related Sales Highlights Armory Show and ADAA Art Show

1)White Cube:  Antony Gormley sculpture, for £250,000, two recent abstract pieces by Sergei Jensen for €38,000 and €42,000, as well as pieces that were not on view by Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst
2)Hauser & Wirth: sold several works by gallery artists, including Martin Creed, Louise Bourgeois, and Paul McCarthy; prices ranged from $25,000-250,000
3)Blain/Southern: Matt Collishaw’s 13-piece series of Old Master-style still life photographs depicting fast-food morsels like onion rings and cheeseburgers,  $10,000 apiece.
4)Lehmann Maupin: Gilbert & George pieces made from postcards , some 25 of them had sold, for £16,750 (around $26,000) apiece
5)Thaddaeus Ropac:  Georg Baselitz’s mammoth 2006 “Adieu (Remix)” painting for €600,000, a signature 2008 Tony Cragg sculpture titled “Bent of Mind” for €520,000, an untitled 2010 painting by Jason Martin for £65,000, and a Robert Longo drawing for $30,000
6)David Zwirner: sold two paintings by Alice Neel. “Nancy” (1980) had an asking price of $850,000 and “Ed Meschi” (1933), was price-tagged at $500,000.
7)Pace Gallery: sold works by Chinese artist Zhang Huan, at prices  ranging from $50,000-$100,000




In every generation there has been a centre of the art world. In the 19th and early 20th century it was Paris. New York dominated the post-war years and London made a go of it in the 1990’s – 2000’s. The focus seems to now fall on the art fairs with Art Basel is Switzerland and Miami ,Frieze in London and Armory Week in New York. This is echoed by strong fairs in countries as far afield as India Russia and China. This year Bonuses are down by around 40% in the States but it hasn’t really made a difference to sales in the high-end reaches of the art market. Many of the top galleries have been reporting steady sales however the midrange galleries seem to be taking the brunt of the no –sales.

The 17th edition of New York’s annual fair, The Armory Show runs through the weekend. This year looks to be reflective of the healthy sales in the auction rooms globally. Over 600 galleries spread beyond the Armory venue over seven art fairs making it hard work for collectors to see everything during New York’s unofficial arts week. The Armory Show was founded by four entrepreneurial art dealers in 1994 and first held at the Gramercy Hotel. It has now exceeded all expectations, with millions of dollars exchanging hands every day. We will get a better idea of the figures after the weekend as this is traditionally the peek selling period.






Sotheby’s has had its second best financial results for business since 2007. Consolidated Sales* were $2.0 billion in the fourth quarter and $4.8 billion in the year, an increase of 57% and 74%, respectively. For the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2010, total revenues were $318.0 million and $774.3 million, respectively, an increase of 46% and 60%, when compared to the same periods in the prior year. This is almost entirely due to an increase in auction commission revenues stemming from strong sales around the world during the periods. In 2010, there was a 105% increase in the number of works sold over $1 million, the point at which the buyer’s premium rate decreases from 20% to 12%. As a result, offsetting the increase in auction commission revenues is a decline in auction commission margin from 20.4% to 18.0% in the fourth quarter and from 20.7% to 18.3% in the full year, largely attributable to this change in sales mix towards higher valued items in both periods. Operating income for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $155.5 million, a $56.6 million, or 57%, growth from the prior period. For the full year, operating income was $274.0 million, a $220.9 million, or 416% increase from the prior year. These increases are largely due to the aforementioned growth in revenues and are offset by higher incentive compensation costs stemming from the strong results of the periods as well as an increase in direct costs of services that is consistent with the level and composition of our auction offerings during these periods. Net income for the fourth quarter was up 31% on prior year to $96.2 million, or $1.38 per diluted share and $161.0 million, or $2.34 per diluted share for the full year (compared to net income of $73.6 million, or $1.09 per share in the fourth quarter of 2009 and a net loss of ($6.5) million, or ($0.10) per share for the full year of 2009). The auction house has had ups and downs since its founding 267-years ago but this is set to push the boundaries in all categories.




Top 10 Warhol Prices

Andy Warhol Died 24 years ago on February 22, 1987. Here is a list of his top ten best selling canvases.

1. Eight Elvises executed 1963 sold $100m 2008 via French art consultant Philippe Ségalot

2. Turquoise Marilyn executed 1964  sold $80m 2007 via a private sale through dealer Larry Gagosian.

3. Green car Crash or Burning Green Car 1 executed 1963 $71.7m 2007 sold at Christie’s auction house in New York to Philip Niarchos.

4. Men In Her Life executed 1962 $63.4m 2010 at New York’s  Phillips de Pury

5. 200 One Dollar Bills executed 1962 $43.8m 2009 sold at Sotheby’s London

6. Coca Cola 4 Large Coca Cola executed  1962 $35.36m sold Sotheby’s auction, New York .

7. Self Portrait executed 1986 $32.5m 2010 Sotheby’s, New York .

8. Big Campbell’s Soup Can with Can Opener Vegetable executed 1962 sold $23.8m 2010, Christie’s New York

9. Silver Liz executed 1963 sold $18.3m in  2010  at Christie’s New York.

10. Mao executed 1972 $17.4m sold 2006 at Christie’s New York






One of the highlights of the Christies evening sale last week only caught my eye today. It redefines an undervalued trend in the art market. A painting by “French Pop Artist ”, Martial Raysse has sold for £4 million at Christies London to New York-based advisor Christopher Eykyn. This confirms that the “pop” art pricing phenomenon is not confined to American and British Artists. If there is one French artist who stands out working in the period as a contemporary of Warhol,Wesselman Hamilton and Blake it is Raysse who visited and exhibited in America during the early Sixties. Raysse’s Last Year in Capri was painted in 1962, the same year as Warhol’s first “pop art” exhibition of Campbell’s soup can paintings, and exhibited in Los Angeles in 1963. The 6ft painted collage, probably taken from a fashion magazine, places Raysse at the birth of pop art, and was always going to excite collectors. In the past, his work has mostly been sold in Paris. But in 2007 he was promoted to the international art set at the Venice Biennale with a mini-retrospective at Francois Pinault’s Palazzo Grassi, and the following year broke the million-pound mark at a sale in London. Last week, with an estimate of £1-£1.5 million, Last Year in Capri became the most expensive work made by a living French artist, selling. This sets the wheels turning for an international explosion for the Pop Art genre. A body of work created from 1960-1975.






COLLECTION TOTAL £9,764,563 / $15,828,357


London – Phillips de Pury & Company’s February Contemporary Art sales realize £9,764,563
/$15,828,357 in total selling 83% by value and 78% by lot.

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Phillips de Pury & Company’s February Contemporary Art Evening sale realized £5,409,200 /$8,725,040
with 84 % sold by value and 83% by lot.

Top Ten Lots

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Overrun, £ 1,127,650 /$1,818,899
Raqib Shaw, Absence of God III… And His Tears of Blood Will Drown the Cities of Men II,
Ilya & Emilia Kabakov,

The Painting on an Easel, £361,250/$582,696
Rudolf Stingel, Untitled, £361,250/$582,696
Rudolf Stingel, Untitled, £337,250 / $546,682
Peter Fischli & David Weiss, 4 Hostessen (4 Stewardesses), £277,250/$447,204
Günther Uecker, Mutation, £223,250/$360,102
Wade Guyton, Untitled, £213,650/$344,617
Karel Appel, Birds Over the Red Sea, £205,250/$331,068
Albert Oehlen, Untitled, £193,250/$311,712

Artist World Records

Wade Guyton, Untitled, £223,250/$360,102
Jim Lambie, Night Divides the Day, £91,250/ $147,186
Georg Herold, Untitled, 121,250/$195,576

Valencia Contemporary Art Collection 

The Valencia Contemporary Art Collection realized £1,585,300/$2,569,771 selling 88% by value and
77% by lot.

Top Ten Lots 

Günther Förg, Untitled, £97,250/$157,642
Imi Knoebel,
Imi Knoebel,
Imi Knoebel,
Imi Knoebel, Mouth of Mekong £79,250/$128,464
Dubossarsky & Vinogradov, Total Painting. Summer £73,250/$118,738
Nedko Solakov, Romantic landscapes with missing parts £60,050/$97,341
Art & Language,

Portrait of V. I Lenin by Charangovitch.. ,

Jason Martin, Aphrodite, £ 55,250/$89,560
Bernard Frize,
, Structure, £55,250/$89,560
Sarah Morris, Sony (Los Angeles), £55,250/$89,560
Remy Zaugg, Eln Baltt Papier II No. 41 – 42 (A Sheet of Paper II No. 41 – 42), £49,250/$79,834
Thomas Zipp, A.B.P.C.H.O. Hahn, £48,050/$77,889

Artist World Records

Remy Zaugg, Eln Baltt Papier II No. 41 – 42 (A Sheet of Paper II No. 41 – 42), £49,250/$79,834
Imi Knoebel,

Mouth of Mekong,

Nedko Solakov,

Romantic landscapes with missing parts,

Art & Language,

Portrait of V. I Lenin by Charangovitch..

Bernard Frize, Structure, £55,250/$89,560

Contemporary Art Day Sale 

The Contemporary Art Day Sale realized £2,770,063/$4,490,272 selling 78% by value and 77% by lot.

Top Ten Lots

Raymond Pettibon,

Untitled (The Ocean’s Greatness), £121,250/$196,546
Matthias Weischer,

Kleiner Vorhang,



Bridget Riley,

Reverse Curve,

Piotr Uklanski,

Untitled (Idra),

Os Gêmeos,

Untitled (O Pai, O Mae, o filho, a empregada, a filha de empregada, o cachorro, o
ouelhinha o gato e o passarinho), £63,650/$103,177
George Condo,

Trash Man, £61,250/$99,286
Anselm Reyle,

Untitled, £58,850/$95,396
Tony Oursler,

Multicoloured MPD (25 Head),

Tracey Emin,

Sleeping with You,


Artist World Records

Guyton \ Walker,


Tony Oursler, Multicoloured MPD (25 Heads), £56,450/$91,505
Os Gêmeos, Untitled (O Pai, o filho, a empregada…, £63,650/$103,177
David Mach, Mickey Head, £49,250/$79,834
SEEN, Batman, £49,250/$79,834




Sotheby’s London

February sales have achieved a milestone. The $394 Million realized is the highest total in Sotheby’s history. The series includes Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Art auctions which totaled  £242,109,075 / $393,550,838 / €286,186,170. This surpasses all pre-sale predictions. The series represents the highest total achieved in London by any auction house this season and is the second highest total for any sales season held at Sotheby’s in London. In the course of the two weeks of sales, Sotheby’s established the three highest prices of the London season, leading the field in sales of Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary Art, as well as establishing the highest prices across a number of related periods. The top price for a painting was for a painting by Pablo Picasso titled “La Lecture” from 1932 which sold for £25,241,250 ($40,711,612). This was followed by Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for Portrait of Lucian Freud from 1964 which realized £23,001,250 ($37,004,411) The next success was Surrealist art a Salvador Dalí Portrait de Paul Eluard, 1929, sold for £13,481,250 ($21,688,635) this is a record price for Surrealist art and a record for the artist who has underachieved for years.


Phillips de Pury London Contemporary Art Evening Sale Highlights

Phillips de Pury in London completed the successful week of contemporary evening sales in their New York style Howick Place premises in Victoria with 29 selective lots the achieving £5,409,200 ($8,725,040). 24 of the lots found buyers the highpoint being Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Overrun” (1985) which sold for for £1,127,650 $1,815,517 see photo

Robert Rauschenberg’s multi-layered “Address Unknown” (1998) – estimated at £250-350,000 – failed to sell.

  • Jean-Michel Basquiat Overrun, £ 1,127,650 /$1,818,899
  • Raqib Shaw, Absence of God III… And His Tears of Blood Will Drown the Cities of Men II £553,250/$892,392
  • Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, The Painting on an Easel, £361,250/$582,696
  • Rudolf Stingel, Untitled, £361,250/$582,696
  • Peter Fischli and David Weiss, 4 Hostessen (4 Stewardesses), £277,250/$447,204
  • Gunther Uecker, Mutation, £223,250/$360,102
  • Wade Guyton, Untitled, £213,650/$344,617
  • Karel Appel, Birds Over the Red Sea, £205,250/$331,068
  • Albert Oehlen, Untitled, £193,250/$311,712

World Records Achieved:

  • Wade Guyton, Untitled, £223,250/$360,102
  • Jim Lambie, Night Divides the Day, £91,250/ $147,186
  • Georg Herold, Untitled, 121,250/$195,576



Christies Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Auction totals £14.2 million

The Day sale at Christies on the 17th February featured Andy Warhol, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
The highest results were as follows:

  • Andy Warhol – £713,250
  • Maria Helena Vieira da Silva – £361,250
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat – £361,250
  • Neo Rauch – £313,250
  • Takashi Murakami – £301,250
  • Gerhard Richter – £289,250




Christies Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction totals £61.3 million

The Evening sale at Christies on the 16th February featured Andy Warhol, Martial Raysse and Gerhard Richter.
The highest results were as follows:

  • Andy Warhol – £10,793,250
  • Martial Raysse – £4,073,250
  • Gerhard Richter – £3,177,250
  • Jeff Koons – £2,953,250
  • Lucio Fontana – £2,729,250
  • Willem de Kooning – £2,505,250
  • Lucio Fontana – £2,281,250
  • Piero Manzoni – £2,169,250




Sothebys Contemporary Art Day Auction totals £13.9 million

The Day sale at Sotheby’s on the 16th February featured Richter, Ofili, and Valdes.
The highest results were as follows:

  • GERHARD RICHTER – £589,250
  • MANOLO VALDES – £457,250
  • BARRY FLANAGAN – £457,250
  • CHRIS OFILI – £433,250
  • LUCIO FONTANA – £397,250
  • JOSEF ALBERS – £361,250
  • JEAN-PAUL RIOPELLE – £337,250
  • MARK BRADFORD – £313,250




Sothebys Contemporary Art Evening Auction sale totals £44.4 million

The Evening sale at Sotheby’s on the 15th February featured Richter, Warhol, and Hockney all priced with seven figure estimates.
The results with prices paid over £1m were:

  • GERHARD RICHTER – £7,209,250
  • ANDY WARHOL – £3,177,250
  • JUAN MUÑOZ – £3,065,250
  • ROBERT RYMAN – £1,889,250
  • FRANZ GERTSCH – £1,497,250
  • DAVID HOCKNEY – £1,329,250
  • LUCIO FONTANA – £1,273,250
  • GLENN BROWN – £1,273,250



Warhol Red Self -Portrait Leads Christie’s Contemporary Sale

A large Andy Warhol self-portrait is to be auctioned at Christie’s King Street in London next week. It has been in private hands since 1974 and is expected to fetch up to 3 times the high estimate of of-5 million pounds. The portrait was first exhibited at the Expo 67 Worlds fair in Montreal Canada. The painting measures 6ft by 6ft (1.8m by 1.8m) Works by Damien Hirst Gerhard Richter, Jean-Michel Basquiat are also on offer. Jeff Koons’s Winter Bears sculpture is estimated to fetch between 2.5m and 3.5m. While more contemporary artists like Anthony Gormley and Jake and Dinos Chapman will also feature at the auction. Viewing starts today.The auction is on 16 and 17 February at Christie’s in London.



Sotheby’s “Looking Closely” sale totals £93.5 million

Francis Bacon’s triptych portrait of British painter Lucian Freud realized double its high estimate selling for 23 million pounds ($37 million) at Thursday’s Sotheby’s auction in London. The triptych’s source was said to be from George Kostalitz, the late Geneva-based collector, an Eastern European businessman. Four artist records were set, 25 lots fetched over one million pounds, and 28 made over a million dollars. A new auction record for a surrealist work by Salvador Dali’s was also achieved when “Portrait de Paul Eluard” bidding ended at 13.5 million pounds. The sale totalled 93.5 million pounds.




Pierre Bonnard trumps Gauguin at Christie’s London

Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale totaled 61.9 million GBP $136.3 million which was a 79% selling rate from the 46 lots offered. Part of the evening included a special Surrealist section which brought in $36.9 million. Pierre Bonnard’s “Terrasse a Vernon” has sold for £7.2 million and ANDRE DERAIN Bateaux a Collioure, 1905 realized £5,865,250 but Gauguin’s homage to Van Gough, a still life with sunflowers titled “Nature morte a ‘L’Esperance,” has failed to sell at Christie’s 09/02/11. It had been expected reach 10 million pounds ($16 million). According to the company’s website, the auction total realized 61.9 million pounds including buyer’s premium. This was towards the lower end of the spectrum of up to 81 million pounds ($130.4 million) and a solid start to the upper end of the auction season.

Auction summary Total Lots 46

35 sold
17 sold within their estimates
14 sold above their high estimate
4 sold under their low estimate
11 unsold




Record Growth as 2010 Figures are Published

Sotheby’s saw sustained growth last year, posting annual auction results of $4.3 billion. Christie’s reported even better figures with sales of $5 billion. This was a 53 per cent increase on their 2009 figures, which totalled $2.3 billion. Several milestone Auction records were set in 2010 including Giacometti’s Walking Man $104,327,006 a record price for a work of art at auction and $106 million for Picasso’s ‘Nude Green Leaves and Bust’ which realized the fourth highest price ever for a painting at auction. Is this just a bull market? The question must be asked. This week Sothebys have posted results for their first Impressionist and Modern sale of 2011. Picasso’s 1932 portrait of his 17 year old muse, Marie-Therese Walter has continued the growth spurt at $40.7 million (25.2 million pounds) in London. La Lecture, at best a second rate Picasso, sold to an unnamed phone bidder, who was no doubt oblivious that the picture failed to sell 10 years ago at auction, for 3 million.

China, Russia and India’s rising class of wealthy investors will keep the market buoyant, but will the bubble burst, as it did in Japan in the early 90s? Booms and busts are happening more frequently. Speculators move in and out of different areas of the art market trying to cash in on the latest trends. This factor has lead to crashes in the past. Information and a good clear vision is always necessary for sucess in any market. follow your passion and have a group of good advisers. It is possible to do extremely well in the current climate.