Are the multi-milion dollar prices commanded by a handful of 20th century artists, harming the market for contemporary artists? Is the art market a reflection of our economy? Are more patrons buying art at less than $1,000 or in the millions, with little between?
David Smith Sculpture Sells For Record Price Larry Gagosian, the Manhattan dealer, fought off five aggressive bidders and paid $23.8 million at Sotheby's for David Smith's "CUBI XXVIII" (1965), the last of the artist's renowned Cubi series. "The reason for the high price was plain to lovers of contemporary art: this elegantly composed melding of boxes and columns may be the last example of the series to come on the market for some time. Most of the others are in museums or collections where they will stay for generations. So this last-chance opportunity was irresistible, which is why the sculpture's final price was nearly double its high estimate, $12 million." The New York Times 11/10/05
Rothko Sale Sets Record at Christie's "An oil painting by Mark Rothko has set a new world record of $22.4m for any post-war work sold at auction. The work, entitled Homage to Matisse, was sold at Christie's post-war and contemporary art sale in New York on Tuesday evening. New records were also set for Roy Lichtenstein, Francis Bacon and several other artists. Lichtenstein's In the Car sold for $16.2m, while a Willem de Kooning untitled work from 1977, sold for $10.66m, far above the high estimate of $6m. The sale took a total of $157.4m, exceeding the pre-sale high-end estimate of $145m, with only four of the 70 lots on offer failing to sell." BBC 11/09/05