Welcome to our fantastic Tuesday blog! I have been keeping in touch with my friend Mary Hammon Lee, Fine Art Advisor at . We loved her contribution to our blog as much as you all did and asked her back to touch on a hot topic in the art world: the incredible increase in fine art prices over the last few years. We read about this and see it on TV, but so few of us get to witness this first hand. Cue Mary Hammon, who is fresh from a trip to New York where she saw a record setting night of art sales at both Christies and Sotheby’s! Below she shares the exciting event from an insider experts perspective. Although these events were in NYC, this news impacts the global art market and collectors everywhere!
Hope you all enjoy and stay warm!
Take it away Mary Hammon…
November in New York! Hello Again Everyone! It was exciting to craft my previous blog and am thrilled that you all enjoyed reading it! This entry gets into the technical and fiscal aspects of fine art collecting, which of course, I find absolutely thrilling. I visited New York this month for the major Impressionist and Modern Art Auctions (November 4 & 5), and I also had an opportunity to come face to face with the big-ticket Contemporary works, which sold for astronomical prices just a week later (November 11 & 12). Buyers and dealers flock from all over the world to partake in these back-to-back sales, and bidders were exceedingly generous this year. A few impressive numbers for you to ponder below:
Impressionist/Modern Evening Sale totals:
Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Sale totals
Christie’s: $852,887,000 (this is the highest total in auction history!) Sotheby’s: $343,621,000
To put this into perspective, this is the world we live in right now: a $65,125,000 Edouard Manet painting is considered a bargain in comparison to a $100,965,000 Alberto Giacometti sculpture. Amazing!
Why the fantastic increase in sales? The auction houses have gone to great lengths to educate Asian and Middle Eastern collectors on these specific art categories to encourage bidding on western masterpieces. Van Gogh’s “Still Life with Daisies and Poppies” was reportedly purchased by a Chinese buyer for $61,765,000.
What’s interesting is that these auctions are not necessarily larger in size than in previous years, but individual works are selling for higher prices. The quality of the work, within the context of the artist’s career, as well as provenance, play a key role in this. Buyers are also interested in art that is “fresh to the market” (i.e. held in a private collection for a significant amount of time).
While these figures may limit aquisitions many interested in art colleting, the good news is that there are many interesting and engaging works available at all price points. Auction houses are continuously conducting sales throughout the year with estimates falling far below the million dollar mark.
And while the focus of my visit to NYC was on the Auctions, here are other points of interest that you can take part in as well…
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Highlight: Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection For those that can’t make it to the Met this year, not to worry. This collection of masterpieces by Picasso, Braque, Gris and Leger will be donated to the museum for all to enjoy in the years ahead. For those in Houston, be sure to catch director Gary Tinterow in conversation with Mr. Lauder at the Museum of Fine Arts to learn about his fascinating life as an art collector and philanthropist.
The Museum of Modern Art Highlight: Henri Matisse, The Cut-Outs Matisse initially used cut-outs of painted paper to plan large scale pieces, but ultimately embraced them as works of art in their own right. This was one of the most charming exhibitions I have ever seen, which included his plans for a variety of murals, book illustrations & theater sets, as well as collages that were ultimately transformed into stained glass windows. There were also photographs of the artist at work – the man knew how to work a pair of scissors!
Mark Rothko’s “No. 21 (Red, Brown, Black and Orange)” sold for $44,965,000\
Edouard Manet’s “Le Printemps” sold for $65,125,000
Peter Doig’s “Pine House (Rooms for Rent)” sold for a record $18,085,000
Cy Twombly’s “Untitled” sold for $69,600,000
That is all i have for you today!
See you Next Time,