$41.6 M. Cézanne Still Life Leads Sotheby’s to Solid $230 M. Imp-Mod Haul

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$41.6 million | Paul Cézanne, Les Pommes, 1889–90

The spring auction season kicked off tonight with a well-stocked Impressionist and modern sale at Sotheby’s that brought in $230 million for the house across 71 lots.

Auctioneer Tobias Meyer, never known for his speediness with the hammer, seemed particularly patient over the course of the evening, with the audience groaning audibly as he accepted another bid on lot 17—a Bonnard landscape that sold for a below-estimate $1.45 million—when the sale was already at minute 35. (All prices include buyer’s premium.) Read More


Samo Meets Swizz Beatz at Sotheby’s

'Punch Bag' (1983) by Jean-Michel Basquiat, at Sotheby’s. (Courtesy Sotheby's)

There’s something jarring about seeing the walls of Sotheby’s gleaming Upper East Side headquarters covered in graffiti.

It isn’t actual graffiti, of course, in Sotheby’s second-floor gallery, S2—it’s photographs of graffiti. And it isn’t by just any graffiti artist. With the paintings and drawings in its new exhibition “Man Made: Jean-Michel Basquiat,” Sotheby’s is betting that, even after the high attendance—some 2,000 people on a weekday—at Gagosian Gallery’s recent exhibition of the street artist-turned-art star, New York isn’t Basquiat-ed out. And if the line stretching from Gagosian midway down 24th Street on April 6—the day that show closed—was any indication, it’s right. Read More


In With the Old: Preview Christie’s and Sotheby’s Old Masters Week Sales

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Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691-1765), An Extensive Landscape With Villas and Figures, Including the Artist Himself, Dining Beneath a Pergola in the Foreground, estimated $2,000,000 - $3,000,000

Christie’s and Sotheby’s kick off Old Masters Week tonight, each with a relatively modest single-owner auction that will be followed by several big-ticket sales in the coming days. Christie’s is opening with Albrecht Durer: Masterpieces from a Private Collection, which includes a rare first edition print of the engraver’s iconic, crustacean-like Rhinoceros and even more valuable works like Knight, Death and the Devil (estimated from $500,000 to $700,000). Sotheby’s will start its series of sales with Property from the Estate of Giancarlo Baroni, an eclectic collection topped by The Entombment of Christ, a dramatic early panel by El Greco estimated from $1 million to $1.5 million (look for the artist’s mentor, Titian, painted in among the spectators). Read More


O’Keeffe Leads $24.2 M. Sotheby’s Auction


It’s really shaping up to a banner month for the art market. Just weeks after solid results at the big fall sales, Sotheby’s posted a $27.6 million result at its American art sales today, with a fine 80.3 percent of lots finding buyers. Including premium, that result was good enough to beat the house’s high estimate of $24.2 million. Read More


Sotheby’s Contemporary Sale Nets $375.1 M., House Record, With $75.1 M. Rothko in Front

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Sotheby’s saw its highest-ever auction total last night during a spirited, two-hour-long postwar and contemporary sale in which auctioneer Tobias Meyer hammered $375.1 million worth of art, including buyer’s premium, a sum that peaked just over the house’s high estimate of $374.7 million for the 69 lots on offer. Fifty-eight of those works sold, for a respectable 84.1 percent sell-through rate by lot, with new artist records for a number of Abstract-Expressionists—Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Arshile Gorky and Hans Hofmann—and for the 40-year-old painter Wade Guyton. Read More