Author Archives: Lindsay Pollock


Top Ten ARTnews Stories: Naming the Dame

The 1913 Armory Show inspired a series of scathing reviews, a poem lambasting Duchamp's famous nude on the staircase, and a contest to identify the figure in the picture. Read More

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American Paintings Sales Move into High Gear

Each season, demand for all areas of the American paintings market—from subdued Hudson River School landscapes to Marsden Hartley’s Cubist creations—continues to rise. In May the Sotheby’s and Christie’s auctions totaled $81.2 million, with each sale raking in over $40 million. Just a few years back, a total in the $20 million range marked a successful sale. Read More

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Imp/Mod Auctions Go with Flow of Buyer Confidence

Results for Impressionist and modern art varied considerably at Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Sotheby’s evening sale, on May 3, yielded $91.3 million, well below the estimated $127.3/183.9 million estimate. Twenty of the 65 lots offered failed to find buyers, a fact Sotheby’s experts admitted was due, in part, to some overambitious estimates. Read More

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Trendy Young Artists Draw New Collectors to ‘First Open’

On March 15 Christie’s held its first auction focusing on the ultra-new. The sale, titled “First Open,” brought stellar results. Not only were auction records achieved for the contemporary section of the sale, but strong prices also were paid for relatively minor works in the postwar section. A full 90 percent of the lots were sold with ease, many zooming far above their high estimates.
Christie’s, which had projected the sale for a total of $3.1/4.4 million, wound up raking in $5.5 million. This total may be a pittance compared to the major biannual contemporary and postwar auctions—Christie’s sold about $124 million last fall in those sales—but it’s a promising start for a category that aims to bring in new buyers. Read More

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Windfalls to Texas Museums From New Breed of Art Patrons

February was a great month for Texas museums. Institutions in Dallas and Houston announced gifts of cash and artwork that amount to an astonishing windfall.
In an usual act of cooperation and generosity, a group of noted Dallas collectors joined forces and promised more than 800 works of postwar and contemporary art—along with an anonymous
$32 million gift for future acquisitions—to the Dallas Museum of Art. Read More

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‘Much Younger’ ADAA Show Attracts Serious Buyers

The annual Art Show, organized by the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) and held at the Seventh Regiment Armory, appeared to benefit from the many visitors in town to see Christo and Jean-Claude’s The Gates in Central Park. The five-day fair, which ran from Feb. 24-28 and celebrated all that is blue chip, also took on a more democratic edge—at least in terms of visitors. Read More

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Bonhams Opens Manhattan Branch

On Feb. 14, London-based auctioneers Bonhams announced it will be opening a branch in Manhattan on 57th Street at Fifth Avenue. The rapidly expanding auction house has taken space on the sixth floor of the Fuller Building, which is already brimming with gallery tenants. Read More

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‘New Energy’ Sends Old Master Sales Soaring

More than $57 million worth of Old Master paintings was traded in New York during January’s auctions sweep. That’s a big jump from 2004, when Sotheby’s and Christie’s together tallied $42 million. Dealers and auction house experts agree there was a “new energy” in the air. Conditions were favorable: With TEFAF (The European Fine Art Fair), Maastricht, on the horizon (March 4-13) and stimulus from the strong euro and some marquee property, museums, collectors and dealers came forward to bid. Although much of the heavy buying was done by the European trade, especially British dealers, the biggest ticket item of all went to a private U.S. collector. Read More

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Auction Houses Seek Strategy To Counter Seller Pressures

In nearly every art category, from Chinese ceramics to contemporary art, new records were set at auction houses last year.
Sotheby’s reports total sales of $2.66 billion for 2004, a big increase from the $1.69 billion the house registered in 2003. Christie’s has not yet released its 2004 figures, but it led the market in 2003 with a $2 billion total. Read More

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China: On the Verge of a Vibrant Art Market

There are an estimated 200 auction houses in mainland China, but not a single salesroom run by international giants Sotheby’s and Christie’s. That may change, however, with the country’s membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a new rule, effective Dec. 11, that allows foreign auction houses to set up shop on the mainland. Though no one in the art world expects drastic changes in the Chinese art market to occur overnight, many art dealers and auction house officials are cautiously optimistic about the new initiative. Read More