Art market’s R5.6bn palette
In what is shaping up to be another blockbuster auction season in New York, 10 works of art that are heading to Sotheby’s and Christie’s next month are valued at almost $500 million (R5.6 billion) combined.
Among the trophies is Alberto Giacometti’s chariot sculpture, estimated at more than $100 million at Sotheby’s, and a pair of Andy Warhol paintings of Elvis Presley and Marlon Brando that are expected to fetch $130 million at Christie’s.
The high-end art market is showing no sign of slowing down as collectors see paintings and sculptures as a good investment. New York’s major spring impressionism, modern and contemporary art auctions in May tallied $2.2 billion, 22% higher than last November, when $1.8 billion worth of art was sold. Estimates for 10 works offered by Sotheby’s and Christie’s total $478 million.
Suzanne Gyorgy, head of art advisory and finance at Citigroup, said Asian collectors had played a big role in boosting prices.
So far, the highest-priced work is Giacometti’s painted bronze sculpture Chariot, which was cast in 1951/52. Giacometti’s Walking Man bronze sculpture sold for $103.4 million at Sotheby’s in London in February 2010, which was a record at the time for any work of art at auction. Chariot could surpass Giacometti’s personal record.
A Francis Bacon triptych is the most expensive work of art sold at auction, fetching $142.4 million last November.
Sotheby’s also scored the consignment of Vincent van Gogh’s 1890 painting Still Life, Vase with Daisies and Poppies, estimated at $30 million to $50 million.
Across town, Christie’s impressionist and modern art sale on November 5 will include Edouard Manet’s Le Printemps, a jewel-like 1881 portrait of a woman holding a parasol.
Estimated at $25 million to $35 million, it is being sold to benefit a private US foundation supporting environmental, public health and other charitable causes, Christie’s said.