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Doyle: Post-War & Contemporary Art Auction Analysis

  • Doyle
May 16, 2015

Post-War & Contemporary Art auction, that took place at Doyle auction house in New York on Tuesday, May 12, can be described as modestly successful. In a mid-range priced auction of artworks, more than two-thirds of lots were sold. Martin Wong’s work Beijing from 1989 had insanely good auction, but Edward (Ed) Ruscha’s Thinking the same from 1974 led the way for all artworks, with hammer price at $160,000, while doubling its high estimate.

The Story About the Artist: Ed Ruscha

Lot that had the highest hammer price, Thinking the same, is a typical Ruscha’s painting – a combination of words and colors. Ruscha (born in 1937) started experimenting with drawing and painting words and phrases back in 1961, when he created his first word paintings in Paris (oil on paper). Later, he used his interest in words and typography for creating prints and photographs, aside from paintings. Then, in 1970’s, Ruscha started using whole phrases, instead of just words, and in the 80’s he started using “caps lock”, with occasional usage of censor strips or blanks. His highest sold artwork at auction was Smash (a navy blue canvas with the word Smash in yellow), which was bought by Larry Gagosian for $30.4 million at Christie’s in 2014, and his prints go up to $40,000.

Please, scroll down to find out more on the most interesting lots that were auctioned at Doyle auction house.

  • Doyle

The Overview of Doyle: Post-War & Contemporary Art Auction

The auction at Doyle auction house produced a $1.26 million sale, which was the sum of hammer prices of all 46 lots that were sold. The total number of lots was 66, so almost 70 percent of lots changed hands. As we said, the highest hammer price was $160,000, and the average hammer price was $27,397, with median hammer price of $11,000. Fifteen lots were sold over high estimate (almost one third of sold lots, or 32.6 percent), just ten lots were sold in range of estimated values (21.7 percent of sold lots), and most of lots underperformed – 21 of them, or 45.7 percent of sold lots.

Apart from Ed Ruscha’s and Martin Wong’s works, Harry Bertoia had two works in top four – two sculptures, Untitled (Bush) and Untitled (Dandelion). Alfred Jensen’s Egypt’s Magic Square: Truth Magic had the second highest difference between hammer price and high estimate, after Wong’s incredible result. Hunt Slonem’s Finches doubled its high estimate, as well as Ed Ruscha’s Thinking the Same. On the other hand, Karel Appel’s Untitled from 1959, Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Frattali and Larry Zox’s Rotation in Stripes had their hammer prices well bellow their low estimates – all around -47 percent difference.

Alexander Calder – Untitled, 1974 (Lot 4) (Estimated at $40,000 – $60,000. Sold for $85,000. )
Conrad Marca-Relli – Untitled, 1960 (Lot 8) (Estimated at $8,000 – $12,000. Sold for $22,500)
Karel Appel – Untitled, 1959 (Lot 31) (Estimated at $15,000 – $20,000. Sold for $8,000. Appel’s work had one of the worst result, when it comes to difference between hammer price and low estimate: -46.7 percent)
Martin Wong – Liberty Mourning the Death of Her Sister – Beijing, 1989 (Lot 76) (Estimated at $15,000 – $20,000. Sold for $130,000. Wong’s artwork had astounding +550 percent difference between hammer price and high estimate)
Michelangelo Pistoletto – Frattali, 1999-2000 (Lot 66) (Estimated at $8,000 – $12,000. Sold for $4,250. Pistoletto’s work didn’t perform well, as it was sold for almost half of its low estimate)

Alfred Jensen – Egypt’s Magic Square – Truth Magic (Lot 21) (Estimated at $4,000 – $6,000. Sold for $14,000. Jensen’s work had second highest difference between hammer price and high estimate, with +133.3 percent difference)

Marino Marini – Composizione Rossa, 1955 (Lot 27) (Estimated at $100,000 – $200,000. Sold for $62,000)
  • Doyle

Doyle: Post-War & Contemporary Art Auction in Details

In these two tables, you can find details of every lot auctioned at Doyle auction house in New York on May 12, as well as the summary of the auction.

Total number of lots:66
Number of sold lots:46
Sold lots [%]:69.7
Total [$]:1260250
Number of sold lots over high estimate:15
Over high estimate (Total) [%]:22.7
Over high estimate (Sold) [%]:32.6
Number of sold lots in range of estimated values:10
In range of estimated values (Sold) [%]:21.7
Number of sold lots under low estimate:21
Under low estimate (Sold) [%]:45.7
Results were under estimate spread of [%]:33.1
Max Hammer [$]:160000
Average Hammer [$]:27397
Median Hammer [$]:11000
Median Hammer Average Hammer Difference [%]:-59.8
Lot No.Artist NameArtwork NameYearLow Estimate $High Estimate $Hammer Price $Hammer High Estimate Difference [%]Hammer Low Estimate Difference [%]
3Alexander CalderUntitled197240000600008000033.3100
4Alexander CalderUntitled197440000600008500041.7112.5
5Franz KlineRocking Chair200003000011000-63.3-45
6David SmithUntitled19573000050000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
8Conrad Marca-RelliUntitled19608000120002250087.5181.3
11James BrooksUntitled1977700090009000028.6
12Paul JenkinsPhenomena Terrestrial Signals19853500045000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
13Esteban VicenteUntitled60008000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
17Ray ParkerUntitled, #P-1411964150002000015000-250
18Al HeldUntitled1969700090007500-16.77.1
21Alfred JensenEgypt's Magic Square: Truth Magic4000600014000133.3250
22Fred SergenianUntitled30005000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
23Manoucher YektaiUntitled, Still Life195210000150002300053.3130
24Kenzo OkadaUntitled196510000150007500-50-25
26Angelo SavelliEllen's Birthday1958700090005500-38.9-21.4
27Marino MariniComposizione Rossa195510000020000062000-69-38
28Marino MariniUntitled1953600008000050000-37.5-16.7
31Karel AppelUntitled195915000200008000-60-46.7
32Karel AppelFigure150002000011000-45-26.7
33Theodoros StamosInfinity Field, Jerusalem Series1989400006000027500-54.2-31.3
34Theodoros StamosInfinity Field, T-Series 1990-1991 400006000027500-54.2-31.3
35Cleve GrayZen Gardens #7419821000015000180002080
37Robert NatkinUntitled, Hitchcock Series1987400060005000-16.725
38Wolf KahnGreat Barn on the Hinesburg Road1974150002500018000-2820
39Larry ZoxRotation in Stripes1964700090003750-58.3-46.4
40Harry BertoiaUntitled (Dandelion) circa 1960s 120000180000100000-44.4-16.7
41Harry BertoiaUntitled (Bush) circa 1960s 500007000013000085.7160
42Harry BertoiaBush circa 1960 3000050000550001083.3
43Harry BertoiaUntitled (Poppies) circa 1960s 100001500010000-33.30
44Clement MeadmoreRound Midnight19965000070000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
45Renato Guiseppe BertelliProfilo Continuo40006000800033.3100
46Roman Opalka1249460-12525601965200003000017000-43.3-15
48Cirilo Martinez NovilloConil de la Frontera500070004000-42.9-20
54Juan Genoves13919718000120006000-50-25
55Antonio SeguiUntitled19748000100007000-30-12.5
56Claudio BravoOld Donkey20053000050000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
57Lois Mailou JonesHaiti19571000015000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
60Leroy NeimanSylvester Stallone19851000020000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
61Mario CeroliUntitled40005000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
62Leon Golubwork)19891500020000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
63Edward RuschaThinking the Same19746000080000160000100166.7
65John WesleyChairs over the Danube1977100001500014000-6.740
66Michelangelo PistolettoFrattali 1999-2000 8000120004250-64.6-46.9
67Michelangelo PistolettoFrattali 1999-2000 800012000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
68Mel BochnerBlah Blah Blah20141500017000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
69Mel BochnerBlah Blah Blah201310000150007000-53.3-30
70Elizabeth MurrayUntitled1990600080005000-37.5-16.7
71Markus LupertzUntitled1982500070001000042.9100
72Shuvaprasanna BhattacharyaChaitanya19961000015000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
73Joao Camara FilhoAccidentes de Equitacion1991400060006000050
74Hunt SlonemFinches20025000700014000100180
75Hunt SlonemWoodpeckers1996300050002250-55-25
76Martin WongBeijing19891500020000130000550766.7
77Keith HaringUntitled (Dog Barking at Acrobats)198410000150002100040110
78Ruud Van EmpelBoy20144000050000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
79Russell YoungMagnificent Seven2008800012000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
81Huang GangStrength of the Dragon2001800012000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
82Shepard FaireyFlag20101500020000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
83Margaret KilgallenUntitled circa 1996 150002500015000-400
84KAWSCompanion Pink and Grey (two works)20018000120007000-41.7-12.5
85Judith Supine (Brendan Fagan)20th Century Black Eye Sisters201440006000800033.3100
86Bast20th Century Double Marilyn400060002500-58.3-37.5
87Tauba Auerbach50/50, Zoom In/ Zoom Out2008800012000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
88Ivette ZighelboimUntitled (Pair I/Vulture)200750007000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
89Raphael Mazzucco20th Century Sensibility2014500070006500-7.130
90Johan AnderssonMariam Ibrahim20151200018000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
TOTAL (Sold lots):90100013660001260250-7.739.9

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All images courtesy of Doyle.