Monday, June 26, 2006

Astounding Amounts for Artwork

If any of you have been keeping up with anything going on at Sotheby's or Christie's in London recently you would have watched some jaw-dropping art auctions this year...especially for Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary works of art.
Starting in June and continuing through summer is traditionally a slower time for art dealers and high profile auctions. This year seems to have made a turn for the better in terms of record sales for this time of year...and then some.

On June 19th alone sales hit an all-time high of £153,580,000 ($280,238,000 US). There were 73 items that sold for near a million/or over a million (£ or $) Modigliani's portrait of his mistress, Jeanne H├ębuterne au Chapeau (seen to the left), sold for a cool £16.3 million ($29,745, 000 US). This painting, which was completed in 1919, was originally estimated to sell for around £12 million and was part of a private collection.

David Hockney's The Splash was sold for a record (for the artist) £2,920,000 ($5,329,000). Other record breaking sales for artists: Lyonel Feininger (£4,152,000 / $7,688,888) Peter Doig (£1,128,000 / $2,088,888) Frank Auerbach (£456,000 / $844,444) While most of the buyers hailed from the United States (44%) other buyers included 23% European, 14% Russian, 11% British and *8% Asian.

The Asian market for modern artworks has dramatically in the last few years but mostly for their own modern pieces. In addition Christie's of London held their Impressionist, Modern, Post-War and Contemporary art auction from June 20 - 22 and the take for that was £141.5 million ($258m US)

On June 20 - 22 Christie's auction brought in £141.5m ($258m US). 81 lots of art going for at least £/$1m each.

Just incredible.

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