After seeing the Sotheby’s auction fizzle out last week, I thought record prices might have become a rare event. Of the 76 works on sale, 20 failed to find buyers, including this wheat field painting (pictured) by Vincent van Gogh.
But a Christie’s auction in New York has blown my theory of an auction slowdown out of the water. Among the artists that set new records for their work were Richard Prince, Lucian Freud, Ed Ruscha, Thomas Struth, Jeff Koons and Zhang Xiaogang.
The total for the night was an impressive $325 million, which is the second highest total for a post war and contemporary art auction.
$325 million Christie’s sale reflects buoyant market
“This bewildering diversity at all financial levels of the contemporary art currently in highest demand demonstrates that visual considerations have only limited importance in the making of prices. Ideas, names, some would say the volume of propaganda, are the factors leading to financial triumph. This makes life easy when optimism prevails and commensurately precarious when economic difficulties induce a cooler approach.” International Herald Tribune