Sotheby's Results - Contemporary Art Day - November 15, 2007 Today’s hugely successful Day sale broke the $100 million mark with an extraordinary $102.4 million (est. $77.4/109.5 million), which is unprecedented for any Day sale of Contemporary art.
23, est. $4.5/6 million). Alexander Calder’s Untitled, 1935, a rare early wood and wire sculpture, similar to those in the Collections of the Tate Modern and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, sold for $4,409,000 (lot 34, est. $2.5/3.5 million).
Other works by Andy Warhol which brought strong prices included his Campbell’s Soup Can (Pepper Pot), 1962, which sold for $8,441,000 (lot 41, est. $7/9 million). This classic pop painting combines Warhol’s keen graphic sensibility with his use of an appropriated image in the manner of Jasper Johns’ flag and target paintings. This work was formerly in the collection of Emily and Burton Tremaine, who had one of the foremost collections of avant-garde and contemporary art on the East coast from the 1950s through early 1980s.
Also by Warhol from his Death and Disaster series was Four Jackies, 1964, which achieved $5,641,000 (lot 13, est. $4/6 million), and Suicide, 1964, which brought $5,193,000 (lot 12, est. $3.5/4.5 million). Works by Chinese Contemporary artists brought strong prices, including Zhang Xiaogang’s Family Portrait, 1994, which sold for $4,969,000 (lot 68, est. $2.5/3.5 million) and Fang Lijun’s Series 2, No. 6, 1991-92, which brought $4,073,000 (lot 65, est. $800,000/1.2 million). The Day sale fetched an extraordinary $102,410,000 (est. $77.4/109.5 million), and highlighting the sale was Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild, which sold for $3,009,000 (lot 519, est. $1.2/1.8 million).
Gabriela Palmieri, Vice President and specialist of Contemporary Art, said: “Following last night’s historic sale, the highest total ever achieved for a Sotheby’s auction, today’s hugely successful sale broke the $100 million mark, which is unprecedented for any Day sale of Contemporary art. Sixty-nine percent of the lots sold above their high estimates, and 16 lots sold for over $1 million, compared to nine last season and one a year ago. Artist records were set for Takashi Murakami and Louise Nevelson, among a number of others.
The market responded particularly well to our single-owner offerings, which provided collectors with the rare opportunity to acquire historically important works which were fresh to the market. We saw strength across a number of periods, from American Pop, with works by Thiebaud and Warhol, to Minimalism, with works by Judd, Marden and Ryman, and also for sculpture, particularly for Calder, which was evident in last night’s sale. Our global team also saw an active climate both in the salesroom and on the phones, with strong American and European bidding.”