2 mars 2008

Auction tracking : artists and photographers


Compared to my column of Jan. 20, a few new works were presented by Sotheby's for their sale on 17 March in New York: Another Zhang Xiaogang, the latter to $ 1.8 million (UNSOLD), a triptych by Zeng Fangzhi of the series of Masks (800 K $) (SOLD 1.05 M$ before fees), and we learn that the explosion of the Centre Pompidou of Cai Guo-Qiang, which we have already talked about, was an order from ... the Centre Pompidou! (UNSOLD)
Results of this sale show some change in the value of top Chinese contemporary artists. I think that Zhang, whose work is rather repetitive,was previously overvalued. It may be noted that his painting from his most important style (the Bloodlines series) still made a good price at 937 K$ including fees for a low estimate of 1 M$, but that his later work crashed down at 713 K$ for a low estimate of 1.5 M$.
I do not comment Yue because his work at 769 K$ in this sale was not a major one, and I believe his best works shall continue to lead this market.

A nice set of Aivazovski paintings at Stockholms Auktionsverk on March 13: A scene in Ukranian steppe (Lot 23, 94x148 cm, SEK 4.8 million), (SOLD 4.9 M SEK), a coastal scene in Turkey (Lot 14, 30x56 cm, 3.8 million SEK). (SOLD 4.4 M SEK). In the same sale, and by the same author, there is also a boat in the moonlight (Lot 20, 47x40 cm, 1.4 million SEK). (SOLD 1.9 M SEK). An intimate scene by Konstantin E. Makovski (Lot 74, 128x167 cm) was interesting to spot at 3 million SEK: we mostly see from this artist some single characters or historical scenes. (SOLD 7.4 M SEK).
All these prices probably before fees.

For its sale of Victorian art of June 5, Christie's London puts forward a Jasmine by Albert Joseph Moore (67x50 cm, 600 K£) (SOLD 1.8 M£ including fees) and The Triumph of Love, four panels of watercolor by Burne-Jones (400 K £). (SOLD 460 K£ including fees).
The next day on June 6, in the sale of a collection, a drawing from the youth of Lucian Freud (60 K£), (SOLD 170 K£ including fees), a bizarre painting by Sutherland (250 K£) (SOLD 320 K£ including fees) and a composition showing eggs and lemons by William Scott (300 K£). (SOLD 1.1 M£ including fees).

At Webb's on March 31 at Epsom in New Zealand (I announced that sale in my column of Dec. 30), an ethnic portrait by Charles Frederick Goldie, 26x20 cm, lot 12, $ 100K, (SOLD 160 K$, probably before fees) and , on April 7, an acrylic by Bill Hammond, 211x180 cm, 250 K $. (SOLD 290 K$ before fees)

The catalogue for the next sale of contemporary Inuit art from the auction house Waddington's 14 and April 15 is now online. Waddington's is based in Toronto. (SOLD 60 K Canadian $ a stone and ivory sculpture 20 cm high showing mother and child).

The Belgian art will lead most of the sale by De Vuyst at Lokeren on March 8. Let us mention a bergerie by Eugen Joseph Verboeckhoven (85x125 cm, 85 K €, a reasonable price), (SOLD 96 K€ including fees), a naive tram by Brusselmans (66x81 cm, 50 K €), (UNSOLD), Bathers at watercolor by Delvaux (53x71 cm, 75 K € ). (UNSOLD). In the same sale a classic watercolor by Signac at 40 K €, this time representing Audierne (26x43 cm), (UNSOLD), a blue Michelangelo Slave by Klein 59 cm high which seems expensive at 55 K €, (UNSOLD), and two Rustin (162x130 and 130x162 cm), which are not expensive at 20 K € each. (UNSOLD).

In the sale Le Voyage of SGL Encheres (Schmitz and Laurent) in Saint-Germain en Laye on March 16: an African maternity by Fernand Allard L'Olivier (68x54 cm, lot 227, 10 K €), (UNSOLD), a classic three-headed ethnic pastel by Deckers (55x85 cm, lot 115, 12 K €) (UNSOLD) and 22 works from André Maire including a beautiful Angkor Wat sepia drawing (86x68 cm, lot 339, 6 K €). (SOLD 11.5 K€ before fees).

In the same vein on the same day but a few miles away at Eric Pillon in Versailles, a scene of collecting water by Styka (65x85 cm, lot 82, 18 K €). (SOLD 20 K€ before fees).

In Bretagne Encheres in Rennes on March 16, a nightlife scene by du Puigaudeau (65x81 cm, 40 K€). This is the kind of views that led the value of this artist when price went up for auction more than fifteen years ago. (SOLD 50 K€ before fees).

At Bayeux Encheres on March 24, a small (32x40 cm) still life by van Dael (SOLD 40.5 K€ before fees) and a pair of mythological scenes (73x91 cm) by Jean-Francois de Troy. (SOLD 28 K€ before fees).


Leclere sells in Marseilles on March 8 in a general auction sale a group of the Crucifixion composed of three chestnut statues life scale created in the middle of the thirteenth century in Catalonia and passed through the Puech collection. The package was announced at 200 K € by La Gazette de l'Hotel Drouot and 250 K € on the site of the auction house (Lot 146). Some misses are announced, but the polychrome is still visible. (UNSOLD)


Three days of sales at Christie's London:
On 1 April, modern pieces "for every budget."
On 2 April, the sale of the most important lots: a wide selection of Rembrandt with a collection of 85 prints published by a successor of Basan (Lot 95, £ 80 K), (UNSOLD), some Dürers, (maximum 29 K£), a Picasso print of Saltimbanques 120 K£ (Lot 220), (SOLD 168 K£), a Boîte of 1958 by Duchamp estimated £ 20 K (Lot 155) (SOLD 104 K£) that it will be interesting to compare with those announced by Piasa (see previous column), a lithograph by Munch (Lot 207, £ 100 K ), (SOLD 204 K£), a portfolio Anatomy by Basquiat (Lot 275, £ 80 K). (SOLD 90 K£). Also complete sets of 10 prints by Warhol (Campbell's Soup, lots 343 and 344, 70 and 80 K £ (both UNSOLD) ; Electric Chairs, lot 345, £ 70 K (UNSOLD) ; Mick Jagger, lot 350, £ 180 K (UNSOLD) or 4 prints (Muhammad Ali, Lot 351, £ 60 K). (SOLD 72 K£).
On April 3, works published by The Paragon Press including three portfolios by Damien Hirst (30, 30 and 25 K £). (SOLD 72, 54 and 53 K£).
Above results include fees.


On May 27, in Hong Kong, Christie's present fifteen clocks from eighteenth century coming from a Tokyo museum being renovated. The most important are musical automated clocks, some of them from Guangzhou workshops (4.5, 2.5, 2 and 1.5 MHK$), (top SOLD 40 MHK$) and an English one to 4.5 MHK$ (SOLD 36 MHK$).


On March 13, at Drouot, under the hammer of Binoche and Renaud Giquello, the Cabinet Revel, expert, presents a Latin Nuremberg Chronicle (1493) at 60 K €. (SOLD 32 K€ before fees, according to La Gazette de l'Hôtel Drouot ?)

On April 29, at Drouot Pierre Bergé et associés present a collection of books and drawings of the East and the Holy Land, including ancient manuscripts and incunabula. (SOLD 150 K€ before fees an in-folio by Bernhard von Breydenbach, Peregrinationes in Terram Sanctam. Moguntina (Mayence), 1486 ).


On March 11 in London, Sotheby's sells a collection of violins including one from Venice by Carlo Tononi at £ 80K. (SOLD 180 K£ including fees).


I wrote on Dec. 12:
Christie's announced as the voluntary dispersal in 3 sales at New York, from April 2008 to April 2009, of the collection of photographs of Bruce and Nancy Berman. The first sale will be devoted to Diane Arbus. The date is now known: April 10, (maximum SOLD 115 K$ including fees) two days after the sale of photos of Phillips de Pury.

In a general sale in London on March 15, Phillips de Pury sells a Performance My America (102x150 cm) by Zhang Huan, which does not seem expensive at 8 K£ (Lot 278) (SOLD 6.8 K£ including fees) and two lots (91 and 92, each at £ 1200 ) of five Polaroids by Araki. (SOLD 1.1 K£ including fees and UNSOLD).

On May 21, at Drouot, Le Mouel sells photos of Africa, including a Scarred girl, Dahomey 1967, by Irving Penn evaluated 25 K €. This is a reprint of 1985. (SOLD 20.5 K€ before fees).


Please note that I am not only concerned in expensive lots: lots 93 to 110 in the London sale of Phillips de Pury in March 15, display from £ 50 single robots, dinosaurs, supermen and superwomen signed by Bandai Co., Billiken Co, and others... (SOLD 2,7 K£ including fees a superb naughty vinyl dinosaur 45 cm high made in 2007 by Megahouse Artworks, that was estimated 450 £ ; 7 UNSOLD).

On March 29, at the Ambassador Hotel in Paris, the expert Francois Theimer glorifies Albert Marque: he introduces under the hammer of Lombrail Teucquam a doll for fashion made by the sculptor in 1915, (SOLD 56 K€ before fees) and on the same day releases his book "Albert Marque . Un sculpteur, une poupée. "


With an estimated $ 150 K, Heritage sells on 3 and 4 June in Dallas a 1788 compilation by Publius supporting the Federalist constitution of the United States. Publius was the collective name of James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton. (SOLD 260 K$ including fees).


On May 3, in Dallas, Heritage sells the helmet worn by Joe Namath in Super Bowl 1969. Starting bid 50 K$. (withdrawn).