Scotts­dale Art Auc­tion

Con­sis­tent bid­ding and a huge turnout help bring in $13.2 mil­lion at the Scotts­dale Art Auc­tion.

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS -

Scotts­dale, AZ

Auc­tion lots come and go so quickly, usu­ally at the rate of a lot every minute, it’s easy to for­get about the artists be­hind each and every work. Look past the data—the lot num­ber, the high and low es­ti­mate, the ham­mer price, the full sold price with pre­mi­ums—and the artists and their lives be­gin to take shape.

This all came into sharp fo­cus April 6 dur­ing the Scotts­dale Art Auc­tion, where artist Mark Mag­giori had a new work avail­able to bid­ders: Lot No. 160, Elec­tric Desert, es­ti­mated at $20,000 to $25,000. Mag­giori was in the room when the piece sold. He paced ner­vously in the back. He ducked be­hind his hat. When the auc­tion­eer called him up, he jogged to the front to nod and wave, but quickly returned to the back of the room. (Scan our QR code on this page and see it all for your­self.) When the ham­mer fell, Elec­tric Desert re­al­ized $99,450, a new record for the still-rising West­ern star. When he turned around, he was all smiles. The sale of the work wasn’t just a num­ber on a spread­sheet; it was proof he was on the right track as an artist, it was le­git­i­macy in the auc­tion world, it was vin­di­ca­tion for the late nights in the stu­dio, and it was a huge show of sup­port for his art­work. These are the mo­ments

that make auc­tions so much fun.

Mag­giori was one of nu­mer­ous artists who had suc­cess­ful re­sults in the April sale, which re­al­ized more than $13.4 mil­lion across two ses­sions, with 95 per­cent of the lots find­ing new own­ers. For auc­tion part­ner Brad Richard­son, the sale was a tremen­dous suc­cess. “We’re very pleased. When we can have more than $13 mil­lion in sales with 95 per­cent of lots sold, and some still sell­ing now af­ter the sale, that’s one of our best sales,” he says. “And we had 500-plus peo­ple in the room with lots of ac­tion in the room, as well as on the phones and in­ter­net. Ev­ery­thing brought good dol­lars with some great runs. And the auc­tion records were re­ally great as well.”

The new records in­clude Lo­gan Maxwell Hagege’s Breaking Through the Storm, which more than tripled its high es­ti­mate of $75,000 when it sold for $234,000; and Melvin Warren’s

Rem­nants of the Herd, which sold for $497,250, also tripling its high es­ti­mate, which was set at $150,000. “The Warren piece is one of the few paint­ings that peo­ple re­fer to by name, and a lot of peo­ple be­lieve it’s the great­est work he ever painted,” Richard­son says. “We’re pleased it per­formed so well and had so many bids.”

Other top lots were Thomas Moran’s

Cas­tle Rock, Green River, WY (est. $3.5/4.5 mil­lion) that sold for $2.75 mil­lion; Al­bert Bier­stadt’s post­card-sized Sun­set – Salt Lake (est. $150/250,000) that sold for $315,900; Henry Shrady’s Elk Buf­falo bronze (est. $200/300,000) that sold for $380,250, a world

record for the sculp­tor; E. Martin Hen­nings’ Across the Val­ley (est. $20/40,000) that sold for $105,300; Z.S. Liang’s Wa­ter Lily (est. $45/65,000) that sold for $93,600; and two works from Frank Ten­ney John­son, Smoke of a .45 and Be­neath the West­ern Moon, that sold for $672,750 and $222,300.

Art by Martin Grelle sold ex­cep­tion­ally well, re­al­iz­ing more than $860,000 across seven lots. His top piece was Of­fer­ings on the Wind, which sold for $438,750, more than clear­ing its $175,000 high es­ti­mate. G. Har­vey work re­al­ized more than $619,000 across 12 lots, while Kyle Polzin’s paint­ings re­al­ized more than $342,000 across five lots, each one sur­pass­ing the high es­ti­mate.

In the auc­tion’s first session, which had no re­serves, 44 per­cent of the lots sold above the high es­ti­mates, in­clud­ing works by Bruce Cheever, Glenn Dean, James Boren, Grelle, Eric Sloane, David Mann, Andy Thomas and Char­lie Dye, whose Cutting Out a Stray sold for $58,500, well above the $30,000 high es­ti­mate.

“Over­all, the mar­ket is in a good place as peo­ple are out there chasing the best paint­ings,” Richard­son says. “We feel very op­ti­mistic about the mar­ket.”

Mark Mag­giori, Elec­tric Desert, oil on board, 35 x 40”. Artist World Auc­tion Record. Es­ti­mate: $20/25,000 SOLD $99,450

Mark Mag­giori with his wife, Pete­cia, at the Scotts­dale Art Auc­tion.

Lo­gan Maxwell Hagege, Breaking Through the Storm, oil on can­vas, 40 x 60”. Artist World Auc­tion Record. Es­ti­mate: $50/75,000 SOLD $234,000

Martin Grelle, Of­fer­ings on the Wind, oil on linen, 48 x 60” Es­ti­mate: $125/175,000 SOLD $438,750

Melvin Warren (1920-1995), Rem­nants of the Herd, oil on can­vas, 36 x 60”. Artist World Auc­tion Record. Es­ti­mate: $100/150,000 SOLD $497,250

Henry Shrady (1871-1922), Elk Buf­falo, bronze, 22½”. Artist World Auc­tion Record. Es­ti­mate: $125/175,000 SOLD $380,250

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