8505 - Sotheby's NY Contemporary Curated acheives $26.2 million, one of its highest ever mid-season sale totals

Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (843-4). Oil on aluminum, 21 5/8 by 18 7/8 in. 54.9 by 47.9 cm. Est. $600/800,000. Sold for $1,152,500. Photo: Sotheby's.
Sotheby’s spring season of Contemporary Art auctions commenced today in New York with Contemporary Curated fetching $26,187,625, well over the $16.4/23 million estimate. Coinciding with The Armory Show, the sale opened with In Its Own Light: Property from the Collection of Ed Cohen & Victoria Shaw, led by Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (843-4) well-surpassing its high estimate of $800,000 to achieve $1.2 million. Other top prices from the esteemed New York couple’s collection of Post-War and Contemporary Art included Cecily Brown’s Bonus, and Brice Marden’s Cold Mountain Series, Zen Study 1-6 and Untitled (Window Study No. 1), all of which comfortably doubled their high estimates. In his auction debut, Croatian artist Mangelos achieved $56,250 and $16,250 for Paysage of Phoenix Renascence and Capone respectively. Ed Ruscha’s Broken Pencil emerged as an early highlight of the sale’s various-owner sequence, nearly tripling its high estimate of $450,000 to achieve $1.3 million.

“We are thrilled to start our 2017 Contemporary Art auctions with an outstanding Contemporary Curated result,” commented Grégoire Billault, Head of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Department in New York. “Coupled with the record-setting Impressionist & Modern Art sales earlier this week in London and the strong offerings at the various fairs taking place in New York, it’s clear that there is demand for great works of art at all levels that is creating momentum as we head into the London Contemporary Art sales next week and gather property for the flagship May auctions.”

Courtney Kremers, Vice President, Contemporary Art, noted: “It was an honor to work alongside Ed Cohen and Victoria Shaw for the sale of In Its Own Light, which achieved $7.2 million, far above its high estimate of $5.9 million. Their love for the arts, and the creative forces behind the masterpieces, was matched by spirited global bidding for established artists such as Gerhard Richter, John Currin and Cecily Brown, as well as for relative newcomers including Mangelos and Michael Andrews.”

Emily Kaplan, Head of Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated in New York, said: “We’re overjoyed with the stellar results from today’s sale, which demonstrate Sotheby’s strength and commitment across all parts of the Contemporary Art market. A number of highlights helped to cement the second-highest total for a Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated sale in New York; Ed Ruscha’s Broken Pencil fetched one of the highest prices for a work on paper by the artist in nearly a decade – resulting in a round of applause from the room – and setting two new auction records for female artists: Pat Steir’s The Brussels Group: Misty Mountain Waterfall and Yayoi Kusama’s Sun Green for a work on paper.

These moments, and many more from today, are a glowing representation of not only the diversity of works included in our Contemporary Curated sales, but also the range of price points, and palpable excitement in the market.”