an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me

Contemporary Contentment: Sotheby’s Happy Night

Travel complications preclude me from giving you a complete rundown of Sotheby’s strong contemporary art sale tonight, other than to say:
—The total of $315.9 million fell just shy of Christie’s $325 million the night before.
—Sotheby’s decisively won the battle of the mega-Koonses with a $23.56 million price for “Hanging Heart” (again, as at Christie’s, from Koons’ dealer, Larry Gagosian, according to Bloomberg). The two Bacons ($45.96 million for “Bullfight” and $33.08 million for the self-portrait) did well and the Chinese artists were strong (particularly Zhang Xiaogang, $4.97 million).
—Only six of the 71 lots failed to sell (all relatively minor by dollar value). Deep sighs of relief issued from art dealers and, particularly, from Sotheby’s personnel, and several bursts of hearty saleroom applause were heard throughout the land.
“Give me your paddle number again,” the usually undemonstrative auctioneer Tobias Meyer asked the winning bidder for the Bacon self-portrait. “I was too happy.”

an ArtsJournal blog