Contemporary Art Auction at Sotheby's Goes Well.--

Sotheby's rebounded from its disappointing Impressionist auction with a smashing auction of more recent works:

LED by a record-breaking Jeff Koons sculpture and a $US46 million Francis Bacon canvas, Sotheby's has roared back from a dismal Impressionist sale to score the highest total in its history at a contemporary and postwar art auction.

Bacon's Second Version of Study for Bullfight No. 1 far exceeded its $US35 million-plus pre-sale estimate, while Koons' stainless steel Hanging Heart (Magenta/Gold) soared to $US23,561,000, including commission, obliterating the artist's $US11.8 million record set a day earlier by his Diamond (Blue) sculpture.

Both Koons works were bought by the Gagosian Gallery, one of Manhattan's premier contemporary art dealers. Koons' 1600-kilogram sculpture, from his "Celebration" series, became the highest-priced work by a living artist sold at auction.

. . .

While prices have risen astronomically in the past year or two, the $US316 million total for Sotheby's exceeded even its most optimistic forecast of $US299 million for the 71 lots on offer. Only six works went unsold.

Tobias Meyer, Sotheby's head of contemporary art, said the results bore out "the high-quality hunger we're experiencing from a completely global community". Fears the weak dollar would deter US buyers, the traditional collectors of contemporary art, proved unfounded, with most buyers being American.

Sotheby's stock jumped nearly 10% in early Thursday trading.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Contemporary Art Auction at Sotheby's Goes Well.--
  2. Sotheby's Stock Drops Sharply After Disappointing Auction.--
Perhaps it was the Joker bidding on the Bacon paintings?
11.15.2007 10:02am
xyz123 (mail):
Whew, that's a relief!
Now please explain why this is posted at the Volokh Conspiracy? Not exactly relevant to the runner-up for "Best Law Blog."
11.15.2007 10:21am
Mmmmmm, Bacon.
11.15.2007 10:56am
WHOI Jacket:
Pixels are cheap.

So is Bacon.......

Excuse me for a moment.
11.15.2007 11:43am
clearly rigged.
11.15.2007 12:45pm
quasimodo (mail):
The Emperor has no clothes even if he spent millions on them.
11.15.2007 12:54pm
Works by Jeff Koons and Francis Bacon went for mega-bucks at auction. Even knowing as little as I know about contemporary art, this did not strike me as man-bites-dog news.
11.15.2007 1:16pm
Eli Rabett (www):
So, what did you buy for the Volokh building? Gotta use the ad revenue for something.
11.15.2007 1:57pm
I'd give a dollar ninety-five for a Bacon ....lettuce and tomato sandwich.
11.15.2007 2:53pm
bittern (mail):
Oh, thank goodness.
11.15.2007 3:56pm
TruePath (aka logicnazi) (mail) (www):
If you are a planned bidder on one of these pieces of art would it be insider trading to buy shares in Soethbys ahead of time based on what you are planning/willing to bid? Does it change if you happen to have talked to your buddies in the art world beforehand and know they are all going to bid big as well?
11.15.2007 4:49pm
AK (mail):
So in addition to Sunday Copyright Violation Song Lyric, we now have Thursday Random Associated Press Business News Article
11.15.2007 5:14pm
Sean M:
Sheesh, tough crowd.

I suppose they feel that they're not getting enough bang for their subscription fee.

Hey. Wait a second...
11.15.2007 5:21pm
SenatorX (mail):
Art volatility, nice!
11.15.2007 5:45pm
Contemporary art? Blech. Now if the Tate or the BMAG were auctioning off some of their Pre-Raphaelite stock... I wouldn't have the money to buy any, but I'd care.
11.15.2007 8:03pm
fishbane (mail):
Bacon is an interesting artist. I'm not entirely clear on why people would pay for Koons, except for kitch value, and I'd have to be substantially richer to consider those sort of sums reasonable for kitch. OK, for that matter, I'd have to be substantially richer to pay that kind of money for any artwork. A million here, a million there, after a while, you're talking about real money.
11.15.2007 8:52pm