Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Art Sells

(photos courtesy of, Phillips de Pury & Co., and

Yesterday, a Warhol painting sold at Sotheby's for $35.4 million. The day prior, at the smaller, strictly contemporary auction house on the other side of Manhattan, Phillips de Pury & Co., one of Warhol's Elizabeth Taylor pieces sold for $63 million. Considering that the owner of the Coca Cola, which sold for $35.4 million, purchased the piece in the 80's for $143,000, this price is considerable. According to the New York Times, in a summary of the evening auction, waiters at Sotheby's offered bidders and audience members alike old-fashioned bottles of Coca-Cola. Call it product pushing, but Andy his Coca Cola [4] Large Coca Cola had a great night, with said piece grabbing the evening's highest price. Per Bloomberg, Christie's will join the competition for highest grossing Warhol, as his Campbell's Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable), goes up for auction tonight. With the high estimate for bidding at $50 million going into the auction, it will be very interesting to see where the price lands. Many of his other pieces beat out their own estimates last night, a very promising sign for the market. In addition, many of Andy's lesser known works, such as the 1984 screenprint The Scream (after Munich), pictured above, went for $242,500 at Phillips de Pury & Co. last night. For a profile of the artist offered on Sotheby's website, click here.

Andy, however, is not the only contemporary artist who is currently impressing the auction market. Lichtenstein was also catching attention and a high price at Sotheby's, with his Ice Cream Soda. In addition, Francis Bacon and Richter brought sky-high prices at the auction house on York Ave. A Rothko brought $22.5 million. Overall, Sotheby's fetched a whopping $222,454,500. No doubt to the delight of their Chairman of Worldwide Contemporary Art and most famous auctioneer, Tobias Meyer.

Just this week, Lindsay Pollock of Art Market Views, quoted art adviser Mary Hoeveler as saying, "The appetite at the very top seems insatiable. You can name your price." While most of us might not quite be "at the very top," positive auction results such as these can only be good news for all of us in the art market.

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