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Young, Emerging Artists Buoy Christie’s Open House Auction

Christie’s second Open House sale in New York on Jan. 14, demonstrated a thriving market for moderately priced works by emerging and established artists alike.

NEW YORK—Christie’s second Open House sale in New York on Jan. 14, demonstrated a thriving market for moderately priced works by emerging and established artists alike. Of 248 lots on offer, 218, or 88 percent, fetched $3.5 million. By value the auction was 94 percent sold.

Kara Walker’s untitled paper cutout mounted on paper, circa 1993-94, nearly tripled its high estimate when it brought $145,000 (estimate: $30,000/50,000), scoring the top price of the sale. In its wake came Jules Olitski’s 1966 acrylic on canvas, Exact Origins, which sold for $109,000, and Louise Nevelson’s untitled 1982 wall relief that sold for $87,400 (estimate: $35,000/45,000).

Christie’s head of sale Erica Barrish reports “strong, consistent bidding throughout . . . with noticeable support for younger emerging artists, as well as continued success for those already established in the marketplace.” She adds that the sale provided bidders with “the widest range of price points for buying in this very popular collecting field.”

An untitled 1983 Robert Rauschenberg fabric- and-paper collage sold within estimate for $67,000 (estimate: $60,000/80,000); and a modestly estimated Hans Hartung 1980 acrylic on panel, T1980 E32, sold for $58,600 (estimate: $20,000/30,000). The same price was realized for William H. Bailey’s 1981 Untitled (Still life), nearly tripling the $20,000 high estimate.

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