November 17 | New auction records for Carmen Herrera & Mira Schendel
Phillips’ evening sale of 20th century art, which took place in New York on September 16, realized $111.2 million, falling significantly short of its pre-sale high estimate of $144 million. Of the 37 lots, the auction house sold 34 — a sell-through rate of 92%.
A number of lots expected to raise impressive totals flopped somewhat, including Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1987 work Untitled (Devil’s Head), which sold for $3.6 million compared to a high estimate of $5 million. The top lot was Gerhard Richter’s Dϋsenjäger (1953), a painting of an airplane belonging to tech billionaire Paul Allen. The lot — estimated to go for between $25 million and $35 million — was backed by an irrevocable bid, ensuring its sale. It went for $25.5 million to a telephone bidder. Phillips set two artist records at the auction, both for Latin American women artists: Carmen Herrera’s Cerulean (1965) and an untitled work by Mira Schendel (1985-1986) each sold for $970,000. See the list of top lots on Art Market Monitor.
Christie’s New York sale of Modern and Impressionist art yesterday evening brought in a total of $246.3 million, midway between the low and high estimates of $202 million and $283 million. Thirty-nine of the 48 lots on offer were sold, a sell-through rate of 81%. The starring work was a rare painting by Claude Monet from his much-coveted haystack series, Meule (1891), which sold for $81.4 million including premium, a new record for the artist. Brett Gorvy, Christie’s chairman and International Head of Postwar and Contemporary Art, said of the sale: “After a bidding war that lasted an astonishing 14 minutes, Christie’s sold Claude Monet’s haystacks for $81.4 million, surpassing the previous world record and our wildest dreams.” Other high flyers included Buste de Femme (Dora Maar)(1938), which sold for $22.6 million, and Wassily Kandinsky's Rigide et courbe (1934), which sold for $23.2 million. Kandinsky’s painting set another auction record, narrowly surpassing the $23 million paid for his Studie für Improvisation 8 (1909) at a Christie’s auction in 2012. ARTnews has the full story.
UNTITLED art fair, the annual satellite fair to Art Basel Miami Beach launched in 2012, has just released the exhibitor list for its new San Francisco edition which launches in January 2017. The list of over 30 galleries includes established names like New York-based gallery Andrew Kreps and Galerie Perrotin (with spaces in New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Seoul) and younger outfits like Château Shatto in Los Angeles and San Francisco’s Et Al. gallery. Read the full list of exhibitors here.
German artist Anselm Kiefer has called for his first exhibition in China, which is due to open at Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts (Cafa) on November 19, to be called off. Yesterday, Kiefer issued a statement expressing his deep disappointment at not having been consulted about the show, saying: “Throughout my career I have been heavily involved in all my major international exhibitions and it is a matter of deep regret and frustration that the organisers of my first show in China have seen fit to exclude me from this process.” The introduction to the exhibition which features on Cafa’s website, written by the institution’s president Fan Di’an, implies that Kiefer was involved with the project, referring to his “personal participation” in the creation of the exhibition. Kiefer’s London gallery White Cube have said they are “astonished to learn that a major retrospective of the work of Anselm Kiefer is scheduled to take place in China expressly against the artist’s wishes.” More information via The Art Newspaper.