Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

Sotheby's - Art Contemporain Auction Analysis

  • Sotheby's Paris
  • Sotheby's Paris
June 6, 2015

Whoa! Now, that’s an auction! In two sessions, evening and day, Art Contemporain at Sotheby’s Paris sold artworks worth of $26,57 million – or €€28.4 million in original currency and if we include buyer’s premium: a new record for any auction in France. Just two lots left unsold at an evening sale (lots 1 – 33), almost half of all sold lots went over their high estimates, and total money gathered surpassed the sum of high estimates for more than $1.5 million. As it was expected, two paintings by Zao Wou-Ki were stars of this auction.

The Story About Artwork(s) – Zao Wou-Ki’s 1.5.60 and 5.5.60 (1960)

These two paintings were completed in span of four days, sold on the same day in early sixties, never have been exhibited before, and rediscovered together – who are we to take them apart? Although 1.5.60 had lower estimates (golden yellow painting), it was sold for more money than 5.5.60 (blue lagoon painting), which had higher estimated value before the auction. These two paintings depict closely linked stories, they are identical size, 100 x 81 cm, and reflect many (positive) changes in Zao Wou-Ki’s life that occurred in late 50’s. 1960 was a year of intense artistic activity for Zao Wou-Ki who painted nearly forty paintings that year alone. He usually painted slowly and sometimes reworked his canvases over several months, even several years. At the beginning of the 1960s however, he painted many more pictures than in previous years. This sudden frenzy of creation was the result of mentioned changes in his life and his work that provoked a complete renewal and the rise of a period of plenitude.

  • Sotheby's Paris

The Overview of Sotheby's - Art Contemporain

Hm, where to start, when you have this kind of an auction? Maybe the best picture of how good this auction was will bring the fact that it was just some $600,000 short of achieving sum of high estimates for all lots: the whole auction, total of 128 lots, was estimated at $19,510,239 – $27,166,289, and 111 lots that were sold (an excellent 86.7 percent, while we’re at it) went for $26,565,640, or with just -2.2 percent considering all lots. Almost half of lots sold over high estimate (55, or 49.6 percent) and 40 of them went in range of estimated value (36 percent). That golden yellow painting by Zao Wou-Ki had the highest hammer price at $3,711,180, the average hammer price was $239,330, and the median hammer price was $53,981, which means that there were many mid and low priced lots that were sold. Also, eight lots achieved seven-figure prices (two works by Zao Wou-Ki, two by Jean Dubuffet, and one by Joan Mitchell, Simon Hantaï, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Alexander Calder).

Talking of the most successful lot in terms of difference between hammer price and high estimate, Claude Garache’s two works named Sans Titre were true champions, as one of them was sold with +566.4 percent difference, and the other with +216.5 percent – good for first and third place. Otto Wols’ La Tour Bleue had second best +325 percent difference. Zao Wou-Ki’s Sans Titre, Simon Hantaï’s Meun and Jacques Villeglé’s Rue Watteau had +171.4, +120 and +113.3 percent difference, respectively. Of those lots that hadn’t been so successful, Bernar Venet’s A Time For Bonds had the worst result with -33.3 percent difference between hammer price and low estimated, Hans Hartung’s P1973-C52 had -25 and Alexander Calder’s Polygones Noirs had -20 percent difference.

Sotheby's Paris
Jacques Villeglé – Rue Watteau, 1967 (Lot 168). Estimated at $11,246 – $16,869, sold for $35,987 (+113.3 percent difference).
Sotheby's Paris
Left: Zao Wou-Ki – 5.5.60, 1960 (Lot 8). Estimated at $1,574,440 – $2,249,200, sold for $2,586,580. / Right: Zao Wou-Ki – 1.5.60, 1960 (Lot 9). Estimated at $1,349,520 – $2,024,280, sold for $3,711,180 (+83.3 percent difference).
Sotheby's Paris
ean-Michel Basquiat – Turtle Creek, 1985 (Lot 16). Estimated at $1,620,975 – $2,161,300. When he composed Turtle Creek in 1985, Jean-Michel Basquiat was at the peak of his artistic glory. Three years earlier he was the youngest artist ever to have been invited to the Documenta in Kassel, Germany, his curriculum of exhibitions in museums and institutions was striking, his friendship with the most famous artists of the time was conveyed in real collaborative works, in particular with Andy Warhol.
Sotheby's Paris
Left: Claude Garache – Sans Titre, circa 1980 (Lot 194). Estimated at $900 – $1,350, sold for $8,997, or with whooping +566.4 percent difference between hammer price and high estimate. This was easily the most successful lot of the auction in this regard. / Right: Claude Garache – Sans Titre, circa 1980 (Lot 195). Estimated at $900 – $1,350, sold for $4,273. This Garache’s work had terrific auction as well, as it was sold with +216.5 percent difference. Those two lots combined were estimated at $1,800 – $2,700, and were sold for $13,270.
Sotheby's Paris
Left: Joan Mitchell – Vent De Mer, 1961 (Lot 2). Estimated at $562,300 – $787,220, sold for $1,068,370 – one of the eight lots that were sold for a seven-figure price. / Right: Jean Dubuffet – L’homme Au Plastron Bleu (Lot 3), 1944. Estimated at $506,070 – $730,990, sold for $1,461,980 – this lot doubled its high estimate.
Sotheby's Paris
Zao Wou-Ki – Sans Titre, 1950 (Lot 119). Estimated at $28,115 – $39,361, sold for $106,837, or with +171.4 difference – fourth best result of the auction.
Sotheby's Paris
Simon Hantaï – M.C.5 (Mariale), 1962 (Lot 5). Estimated at $1,686,900 – $2,249,200, sold for $2,417,890.
Sotheby's Paris
Simon Hantaï – Meun, 1968 (Lot 6). Estimated at $202,428 – $281,150, sold for $618,530, or with +120 percent difference.
  • Sotheby's Paris

Sotheby's - Art Contemporain in Details

Please, take your time, look at these two tables and find detailed information in on every lot that was auctioned at Art Contemporain auction at Sotheby’s Paris.

Total number of lots:128
Number of sold lots:111
Sold lots [%]:86.7
Total [$]:26,565,640
Number of sold lots over high estimate:55
Over high estimate (Total) [%]:43
Over high estimate (Sold) [%]:49.6
Number of sold lots in range of estimated values:40
In range of estimated values (Sold) [%]:36
Number of sold lots under low estimate:16
Under low estimate (Sold) [%]:14.4
Results were under estimate spread of [%]:28.2
Max Hammer [$]:3,711,180
Average Hammer [$]:239,330
Median Hammer [$]:53,981
Median Hammer Average Hammer Difference [%]:-77.4
Lot No.Artist NameArtwork NameLow Estimate $High Estimate $Hammer Price $Hammer High Estimate Difference [%]Hammer Low Estimate Difference [%]
1Yayoi KusamaStardust89,968134,952146,1988.362.5
2Joan MitchellVent De Mer562,300787,2201,068,37035.790
3Jean DubuffetL'Homme Au Plastron Bleu506,070730,9901,461,980100188.9
4Maria Helena Vieira Da SilvaAutomne112,460168,690179,9366.760
5Simon HantaïM.C.5 (Mariale)1,686,9002,249,2002,417,8907.543.3
6Simon HantaïMeun202,428281,150618,530120205.6
7Jean DubuffetNomade Aux Traces De Pas Dans Le Sable1,574,4402,024,2802,024,280028.6
8Zao Wou-Ki5.5.601,574,4402,249,2002,586,5801564.3
9Zao Wou-Ki1.5.601,349,5202,024,2803,711,18083.3175
10Alexander CalderPolygones Noirs1,686,9002,249,2001,349,520-40-20
11Gerhard RichterAbstraktes Bild562,300787,220Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
12On KawaraJuly 5, 1978224,920337,380359,8726.760
13François Morellet2 Trames De Lignes Perpendiculaires134,952202,428118,083-41.7-12.5
14Lee UfanFrom Line No. 790188337,380449,840539,8082060
15Roman Opalka1965/1-∞, Detail 3923102-3945738393,610506,070393,610-22.20
16Jean-Michel BasquiatTurtle Creek1,686,9002,249,2001,686,900-250
17Alexander CalderStabile202,428281,150Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
18Andy WarholSigmund Freud (Ten Portraits Of Jews Of The Twentieth Century)449,840674,760449,840-33.30
19ChristoBrite Green Store Front, Project134,952202,428157,444-22.216.7
20Andy WarholSandra Brant157,444202,428134,952-33.3-14.3
21Joan MitchellSans Titre (Diptyque)674,760899,680719,744-206.7
22Pierre SoulagesPeinture 81 X 65 Cm, 2 Septembre 1986202,428281,150303,642850
23Maurice EstèveLe Branchu202,428281,150269,904-433.3
24WolsLe Tourbillon449,840674,760393,610-41.7-12.5
25Georges MathieuAhinoam The Jezreelitess And Abigail The Carmelitess112,460168,690112,460-33.30
26Jean DubuffetSans Cérémonie112,460168,690123,706-26.710
27Karel AppelMeeting In Space134,952202,428191,182-5.641.7
28Jean-Paul RiopelleSavanne168,690224,920168,690-250
29Serge PoliakoffComposition Abstraite168,690224,920247,4121046.7
30Nicolas De StaëlLes Martigues89,968134,952269,904100200
31ChristoThe Pont Neuf, Wrapped (Project For Paris)168,690224,920236,166540
32Vassilakis TakisSignal78,722112,46076,473-32-2.9
33Charles Hossein ZenderoudiVav + He + Alef134,952202,428191,182-5.641.7
101Yves KleinVictoire De Samothrace (S9)112,460168,690191,18213.370
102Tom WesselmannStill Life With Goldfish And Nude112,460168,690191,18213.370
103Richard PettiboneAndy Warhol, Saturday Disaster, 196416,86922,49224,7411046.7
104Richard PettiboneAndy Warhol, Campbell'S Turkey Noodle Soup16,86922,49231,4894086.7
105Mike BidloNot Warhol (One Silver Marilyn, 1962)16,86922,492Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
106Philippe HiquilyLa Caravelle (Maquette, Sculpture Monumentale Ii)20,24328,11516,869-40-16.7
107Alexander CalderSnakes56,23078,72284,3457.150
108Tadashi KawamataTree Huts Plan22,49233,73839,36116.775
109Bernar VenetA Time For Bonds13,49520,2438,997-55.6-33.3
110Bernar Venet233.5° Arc X 256,23078,72295,59121.470
111Bernar VenetRandom Combination Of Two Indeterminate Lines67,47689,96856,230-37.5-16.7
112Jean DubuffetArbre Logologique44,98467,47653,981-2020
113Pierre AlechinskyPelures En Lecture6,7488,99713,49550100
114Jean DubuffetMotif8,99713,49514,6208.362.5
115Jean DubuffetSite Avec 2 Personnages89,968134,952123,706-8.337.5
116Chu Teh-ChunComposition N°2156,23078,72289,96814.360
117Zao Wou-KiSans Titre56,23078,72295,59121.470
118Zao Wou-KiSans Titre (Poisson)134,952202,428Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
119Zao Wou-KiSans Titre28,11539,361106,837171.4280
120Zao Wou-KiSans Titre39,36150,60744,984-11.114.3
121Hans HartungSans Titre22,49233,73839,36116.775
122Hans HartungSans Titre44,98467,47647,233-305
123Jean FautrierSans Titre56,23078,72269,725-11.424
124Germaine RichierL'Araignée Ii (Moyenne)33,73844,98444,984033.3
125Otto WolsLa Tour Bleue11,24622,49295,591325750
126Henri MichauxPeinture Mescalienne28,11539,36152,85634.388
127Serge PoliakoffSans Titre28,11539,36161,85357.1120
128Serge PoliakoffSans Titre112,460168,690114,709-322
129Étienne HajduTentative De Metal I8,99713,4957,310-45.8-18.8
130Étienne HajduIsabelle16,86922,4928,435-62.5-50
131Jean-Michel AtlanSans Titre50,60773,09973,099044.4
132Hans HartungP1960-822,49233,73835,9876.760
133Jean-Michel AtlanSans Titre28,11539,36135,987-8.628
134André LanskoyLes Ombres Du Printemps50,60773,09969,725-4.637.8
135Germaine RichierL'Homme De La Nuit (Grand)78,722112,460168,69050114.3
136Hans HartungT1951-3078,722101,214129,32927.864.3
137Vassilakis TakisSignal39,36161,853Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
138Vassilakis TakisSignal22,49233,738Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
139Lucio FontanaConcetto Spaziale39,36150,60765,22728.965.7
141François Morellet3 Trames De Grillage 0° 10° 78°28,11539,36135,987-8.628
142Conrad Marca-RelliSans Titre20,24328,115Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
143DadamainoVolume44,98467,476Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
144Victor VasarelyCitra-Biss56,23078,722112,46042.9100
145Victor VasarelyVega-Re44,98467,476106,83758.3137.5
146Gerhard RichterHaut I6,7488,9977,310-18.88.3
147Gerhard RichterHaut Ii6,7488,9976,748-250
148Julio Le ParcOnde 139, Serie 47 N°156,23078,722134,95271.4140
149Sol LewittPlan Jw Gal13,49520,24313,495-33.30
150Sol LewittIncomplete Open Cube Drawing6,7488,99714,62062.5116.7
151Sol LewittFolded Paper8,99713,49516,8692587.5
152Peter SaulLow Morals, Filthy Mind78,722112,460119,208651.4
153Gilles AillaudPhoque16,86922,492Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
154Gérard SchlosserIl A Fallu Revenir11,24616,86911,246-33.30
155Valerio AdamiL'Été En Suisse20,24328,11535,9872877.8
156Antonio SeguíSubir Para Ir Bajando33,73844,98442,735-526.7
157Antoni ClavéMaquette De Rideau D'Avant-Scène Pour Revanche16,86922,49219,118-1513.3
158MattaSans Titre44,98467,47640,486-40-10
159LucebertSans Titre11,24616,86911,246-33.30
160MattaWas Noah A Drunkard?22,49233,73842,73526.790
161MattaL'Age Du Tu Et Du Toi134,952202,428Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
162Karel AppelSans Titre11,24616,86915,744-6.740
164Robert CombasComposition Aux Coqs Et Masque22,49233,73828,115-16.725
165Jean TinguelySans Titre8,99713,495Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
166Yves KleinTable Bleue 11,24616,86924,74146.7120
167Philippe HiquilyMarathonienne20,24328,11535,9872877.8
168Jacques VillegléRue Watteau11,24616,86935,987113.3220
169Niki De Saint-PhalleClarice28,11539,361Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
170ArmanDirty Paintings44,98467,476Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
171CésarSculpture Plate13,49520,24311,246-44.4-16.7
172Niki De Saint Phalle & Jean TinguelyNana Machine16,86922,49221,367-526.7
173Philippe HiquilyLa Pudique13,49520,24317,994-11.133.3
174Olivier DebréGris Coulé De La Montagne11,24616,86929,24073.3160
175Paul JenkinsPhenomena Soul'S Shield28,11539,36140,4862.944
176Sam FrancisSans Titre (Sf74-805)6,7488,9977,872-12.516.7
177Sam FrancisSans Titre (Sf60-1388)16,86922,492Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
178Hans HartungP1973-C5222,49233,73816,869-50-25
179Jean-Paul RiopelleIceberg No.3156,23078,72258,479-25.74
180Georges MathieuSans Titre44,98467,47651,732-23.315
181Serge PoliakoffSans Titre20,24328,11553,98192166.7
182Jean-Paul RiopelleSans Titre16,86922,49235,98760113.3
183Antoni TàpiesNoir Aux Quatre Entailles140,575202,428Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
184Nicolas De StaëlComposition6,7488,9977,310-18.88.3
185Hans HartungP1960-6216,86922,49224,7411046.7
186Jean-Paul RiopelleSans Titre13,49520,24340,486100200
187Jean BazainePaysage De Mer11,24616,86929,24073.3160
188Serge PoliakoffComposition Abstraite28,11539,361Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
189Agustín CárdenasGrande Stèle16,86922,49211,246-50-33.3
190Arnaldo PomodoroDisco7,87210,12113,49533.371.4
191Arthur Luiz PizaTrame 416,86922,492Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
192Chen ZhenCitizen Lc 50928,11539,36124,741-37.1-12
193Philip TaaffePortal With Ornamental Fragments8,99713,4958,435-37.5-6.2
194Claude GaracheSans Titre9001,3508,997566.4899.7
195Claude GaracheSans Titre9001,3504,273216.5374.8
196Jeff KoonsBalloon Dog (Blue)10,12113,49511,246-16.711.1
197Katrin FridriksMilkyway11,24616,86911,246-33.30
TOTAL (Sold lots):18,030,26525,049,79226,565,6406.147.3

Sign up now for My WideWalls and be up-to-date with contemporary and street art.

All images courtesy of Sotheby’s.