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Auction Analysis: Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening

  • Sotheby's
February 12, 2015

Every auction has its twists and turns – there are surprises and then there are letdowns. Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening, held on February 10th 2015 will most definitely be remembered for a long period to come. For, if some art auctions tend to bring disappointment or don’t live up to expectations, there are those which excite us with very interesting outcomes! Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening has been such an event!

Sotheby's
Anselm Kiefer – Des Herbsters Runengespinst – fur Paul Celan (lot 35)

Big Players, Big Money!

Let us start with the total numbers from Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening. The sum of hamerprice values adds up to $165,101,127, which makes the difference between this number and the sum of high estimated values of sold lots to be some 4,5% in favor of high estimated total. Although this can be considered to be a “negative” value, things become more clear if we have a look at other date. Namely, 86,7% of total lots was sold, i.e. 65 out of 75 lots. A number of 29 lots were sold for a price higher than the high estimated value. This is almost 40% of all lots, or 44,6% out of sold lots. 20 pieces have found new owners for a price which was in range of estimated values (30%). Number of sold lots under low estimated value was 16. But, there is a much more interesting number to ponder than these…

Sotheby's
Gerhard Richter – Abstraktes Bild (lot 37)

Gerhard Richter’s Piece Breaks a Record and More…

Piece under lot 37 is most definitely the biggest highlight of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening auction. Namely, Gerhard Richter’s Abstractes Bild has found a new owner for $41,473,388. Richter’s piece was bought by an anonymous American buyer and it is now a record for a European artist who is still creating. This piece achieved a difference between hammerprice and high estimated value of 35,7%. Another piece by Gerhard Richter – Wolken (Clouds) – under lot 43 found a new owner for $5,553,168, which is some 19% lower in terms of the high estimated value. It is quite interesting to have a look at how other German artists took a part of the spotlight during the evening of February 10th. Anselm Kiefer’s Des Herbsters Runengespinst – fur Paul Celan (lot 35) achieved a price of $1,259,754, which means that the piece was sold for a price 37% different from high estimated value. Three pieces by Sigmar Polke had found new owners – piece under lot 40 achieved a price 28% higher than the high estimated value. On the other hand, piece under lot 45, was sold for a price which was in range of high estimated values. As for the third piece by Polke (lot 42), it reached a price of 15% higher than the high estimated value. Finally, Martin Kippenberger’s piece, Fickn (lot 41), reached a price of $464,925, which makes the difference between the hammerprice and high estimated value to be 69%.

Sotheby's
Jonas Wood – Studio Hallway (lot 1), detail

Other Highlights of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening

Apart from Gerhard Richter and mentioned German painters, there were some other interesting results… Under lot number 1, a piece by Jonas Wood achieved a hammerprice which was 238% higher in terms of high estimated value. Two Studies for a Self-Portrait (lot 18) by Francis Bacon sold for $20,074,108 which was the second highest hammerprice at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening after record-breaking sale of Gerhard Richter piece (the piece has found a new owner for a price which was in range of the estimated value. In terms of hammerprice / high estimate difference, first place belongs to a piece by James Rosenquist. The piece under lot 11 has found a new owner with a price of 256% higher than the high estimated value. It is, also, interesting to see that all three pieces by Yves Klein have found new owners, but only one for a price higher than the high estimate. Out of 4 pieces by Andy Warhol, lots 52 and 53 are the most interesting ones. Namely, piece under lot 53 has achieved a hammerprice of a 50% difference in relation to the high estimated value. On the other hand, piece under lot 52 remained unsold. As for unsold pieces, we also divert your attention to lot 62, a piece by Takashi Murakami, estimated to reach a price as high as $917,166, which remained unsold. Finally, lot 10, a piece by Robert Rauschenberg, estimated to reach a price higher than $1,8, also went unsold…

In order to see the entire picture, be sure to check out our Detailed Auction Figures on the next page!

Next Page: Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Detailed Figures

Sotheby's
James Rosenquist – Beach Call (lot 11)
Sotheby's
Lucio Fontana – Concetto Spaziale, Attese (lot 8)

Featured image: Martin Kippenberger – Fickn (lot 41), detail [mc4wp_form]

  • Sotheby's

Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Detailed Figures

Total number of lots:75
Number of sold lots:65
Sold lots [%]:86.7
Number of sold lots over high estimate:29
Over high estimate (Total) [%]:38.7
Over high estimate (Sold) [%]:44.6
Number of sold lots in range of estimated values:20
In range of estimated values (Sold) [%]:30.8
Number of sold lots under low estimate:16
Under low estimate (Sold) [%]:24.6
The results were under estimate spread of [%]:29.8
Lot No.Artist NameArtwork NameLow Estimate $High Estimate $Hammer Price $Hammer High Estimate Difference [%]Hammer Low Estimate Difference [%]
1JONAS WOODSTUDIO HALLWAY 107003137575464925237.9334.5
2HURVIN ANDERSONBARBERSHOP45858376430584705410.884.7
3RUDOLF STINGELUNTITLED611444917166847054-7.638.5
4CY TWOMBLYROME30572204585830524746414.471.6
5YVES KLEINUNTITLED BLUE MONOCHROME (IKB 92)55029967031606830450418.150.9
6JEAN TINGUELYMETA-MALEVICH ‘FORMES MOUVEMENTÉES’30572245858361777734.7102.1
7JEAN TINGUELYFORMES MOUVEMENTÉES305722458583419070-8.637.1
8LUCIO FONTANACONCETTO SPAZIALE, ATTESE764305010700270114379706.949.7
9JOHN CHAMBERLAINSWANS-525350146878757706281244
10ROBERT RAUSCHENBERGUNTITLED (SMALL OIL ON CANVAS #4)12228881834332Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
11JAMES ROSENQUISTBEACH CALL152861229292816483256.1434.1
12CLAES OLDENBURGSTUDY FOR A SOFT SCULPTURE IN THE FORM OF A GIANT KETCHUP BOTTLE764311070031146397.150
13CHRISTOWRAPPED COUCH, PROJECT611449171764198-305
14JEAN TINGUELYSANTANA IV764311070031146397.150
15ARMANDOSILASOLFAMIRÉDO DEUXIÈME GAMME9171712228968783-43.8-25
16CY TWOMBLYUNTITLED107002715286101305610-14.622
17NICOLAS DE STAËLFOOTBALLEURS30572204585830Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
18FRANCIS BACONTWO STUDIES FOR SELF-PORTRAIT198719302751498020074108-271
19ALEXANDER CALDERUNTITLED122288827514981764166-35.944.3
20PAOLO SCHEGGIINTERSUPERFICIE NERA 305722458583419070-8.637.1
21ENRICO CASTELLANIDITTICO BIANCO122288818343321687740-838
22YVES KLEINUNTITLED ANTHROPOMÉTRIE (ANT 9) 458583061144405706020-6.724.4
23ALEXANDER CALDERTWO BLACK DISCS AND SIX OTHERS10700271528610954050-37.6-10.8
24GERHARD RICHTERABSTRAKTES BILD229291530572201993444-34.8-13.1
25AGOSTINO BONALUMIBLU458583611444495496-198
26ALIGHIERO BOETTIMAPPA122288818343321504317-1823
27ALIGHIERO BOETTIIL CIMENTO DELL’ARMONIA E DELL’INVENZIONE458583611444312073-49-31.9
28YVES KLEINUNTITLED BLUE MONOCHROME (IKB 241)305722045858302681278-41.5-12.3
29ENRICO CASTELLANISUPERFICIE BIANCA611444917166999906963.5
30CY TWOMBLYCRIMES OF PASSION I611444091716605553168-39.5-9.2
31DAVID HOCKNEYGREEN TIDE1834332275149829546847.461.1
32FRANK AUERBACHTO THE STUDIOS229291530572201840592-39.8-19.7
33LUCIAN FREUDROBERT FELLOWES9171661222888999906-18.29
34LEON KOSSOFFDALSTON LANE (SUMMER) 458583611444434355-29-5.3
35ANSELM KIEFERDES HERBSTES RUNENGESPINST – FÜR PAUL CELAN 611444917166125975437.4106
36GEORG BASELITZZWEI KISSEN3821535350145795648.351.7
37GERHARD RICHTERABSTRAKTES BILD21400540305722004147338835.793.8
38GEORG BASELITZHIRTE38215353501461777715.561.7
39GEORG BASELITZOHNE TITEL (EIN NEUER TYP)382153535014556637445.7
40SIGMAR POLKEOHNE TITEL (PORTRÄTIST)45858361144478591328.571.4
41MARTIN KIPPENBERGERFICKN 18343327515046492569153.5
42SIGMAR POLKEUNTITLED38215353501461777715.561.7
43GERHARD RICHTERWOLKEN (CLOUDS) 535013568787455553168-19.33.8
44GEORG BASELITZZWEI REHE611444917166526066-42.6-14
45SIGMAR POLKEUNTITLED535014687875633063-818.3
46RICHARD HAMILTONEPIPHANY229292305722709487132.1209.4
47ANDY WARHOLFLOWERS917166122288812903255.540.7
48JEFF KOONSFLOWERS10700271375749999906-27.3-6.6
49ANDY WARHOLFOUR MULTICOLOURED MARILYNS (REVERSALS SERIES) 382152553501354483204-16.217.3
50JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIATCAMPAIGN458583061144406011724-1.731.1
51TOM WESSELMANNGREAT AMERICAN NUDE #4210700271375749199344444.986.3
52ANDY WARHOLPORTRAIT OF A YOUNG WOMAN (AFTER CRANACH)12228882751498Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
53ANDY WARHOLHECTOR AND ANDROMACHE (AFTER DE CHIRICO)10700271528610229914850.4114.9
54LUCIO FONTANACONCETTO SPAZIALE, ATTESE107002713757491244469-9.516.3
55CY TWOMBLYUNTITLED (ROME)25986373362942Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
56THOMAS SCHÜTTEBRONZEFRAU I183433227514981611314-41.4-12.2
57JUAN MUÑOZPIGGYBACK (CAUCASIAN PIGGYBACK ON CHINESE)458583611444526066-1414.7
58JUAN MUÑOZUNTITLED (SIX FIGURES)12228881834332Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
60STERLING RUBYSP48458583764305Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
61ALEX ISRAELUNTITLED (TRIPTYCH)382153535014388499-27.41.7
62TAKASHI MURAKAMIMAY SATSUKI611444917166Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
63STERLING RUBYSP767643051070027724772-32.3-5.2
64ANDREAS GURSKYKATHEDRALE I611444917166587207-36-4
65RICHARD PRINCEUNTITLED (DE KOONING)275150382153235647-38.3-14.4
66GLENN BROWNSOUL DISCO AMBIENT FUNK 611444917166Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
67RICHARD PRINCETHE SONG 2120 SOUTH MICHIGAN AVENUE611444917166617777-32.61
68CHRISTOPHER WOOLUNTITLED (P492)229291530572202069870-32.3-9.7
70ANISH KAPOORNO. 86878759935979999060.645.4
71JIA AILISERBONIAN BOG3821535350145413511.241.7
72LI SONGSONGSOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME382153535014Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
73CHU TEH-CHUNAVANT LA MÉMOIRE611444917166526066-42.6-14
74KAZUO SHIRAGADATTAN10700271375749Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
75ALEXANDER CALDERBRANCHES SANS FEUILLES7643051070027118332810.654.8
76MANOLO MILLARESCUADRO 38 38215353501461777715.561.7
77GERMAINE RICHIERLA MONTAGNE30572245858355663721.482.1
TOTAL:135388995191840563165101127-13.921.9
TOTAL (Sold lots):122930823172962229165101127-4.534.3

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Featured image: Francis Bacon – Two Studies for Self Portrait (lot 18) All images courtesy of Sotheby’s [mc4wp_form]