NEW YORK—The last round of mid-season contemporary art sales at New York auctions in September yielded uneven results.
On the upside, Sotheby’s third offering from the collection of the late lawyer, turned collector and art dealer, Allan Stone, realized $13.3 million for 56 lots offered, of which just nine failed to sell. By value, the auction realized 88 percent. The sale was heavy with works by Wayne Thiebaud, the West Coast Pop artist who Stone championed and collected for decades (ANL, 12/11/07).
Phillips, de Pury & Company’s “Under the Influence” contemporary art sale, also held on Sept. 23, which included works from an unidentified private American collection, realized $2.8 million, missing the estimate of $3.7 million/5.2 million. Of the 371 lots offered, 70 percent were sold. By value the sale realized 66 percent.
Works by Thiebaud accounted for six of the ten-highest lots, and more than $6.5 million of Sotheby’s sale total. This included the top lot, Tie Tray, 1969, an oil on canvas which realized $2.3 million, compared with an estimate of $800,000/1.2 million, and was bought by a dealer, as well as Standing Man, 1964, which fetched $1.1 million on an estimate of $1.2 million/1.8 million. Also by Thiebaud: the painting titled Lollipops, 1962, which also exceeded its $500,000/700,000 estimate to sell for $1 million; Cherries #1, 1981, sold for $962,500 on an estimate of $500,000/700,000; The Outside Courts at Wimbledon, 1968, sold for $746,500 compared with an estimate of $400,000/600,000; and a 1978 untitled watercolor of a street scene sold for $266,500, falling within the $250,000/350,000 estimate.
The second-highest price of the sale was $1.6 million paid for Willem de Kooning’s Woman as Landscape, 1965-66, an oil on paper mounted on canvas that had been estimated at $800,000/1.2 million. Works by John Chamberlain also figured among the sale’s top prices, including his monochrome steel sculpture, Cord, 1957, which sold for $374,500 (estimate: $200,000/300,000) and an untitled painted metal sculpture, ca. 1960, that sold for $290,500, compared with an estimate of $120,000/180,000. The same price was also given for a Franz Kline untitled oil on paper mounted on board, dated 1948, just missing the low end of its $300,000/400,000 estimate.
Muniz Diamonds Shine at Phillips
At Phillips, the top lot was Vik Muniz’s Jackie (Pictures of Diamonds), 2005, a C-print that sold for $158,500 on an estimate of $100,000/150,000, followed by Kehinde Wiley’s portrait, St. Sebastian II (Columbus), 2006, that sold for $122,500 on an estimate of $80,000/120,000.
Another work by Muniz, Death and Life, after Gustav Klimt (Pictures of Pigment), 2006, sold for $98,500 on an estimate of $50,000/70,000.
A work by Indian artist Subodh Gupta, an aluminum sculpture, Sans Titre #2, Ballot rond (gros), 2006, barely cleared the low end of the estimate, selling for $74,500 with premium, against expectations of $70,000/90,000.