In this episode of Masterworks: Expert Voices, join Sotheby’s Michael Macaulay in an examination of Lucian Freud’s 'Portrait on a White Cover'. One of the artist’s final reclining nudes, this masterpiece encapsulates Freud's lifelong fascination with the human form. Thick brushstrokes give the painting a sculptural quality that captures the softness and warmth of human flesh. Portrait on a White Cover will be offered as a highlight of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction. (26 June, London). Click here for more video.
In this 60-Second Gallery, view the breadth of Andy Warhol’s genius through four distinct works, including a 1962 pencil drawing, an acrylic on canvas ‘inkblot’, and a silkscreen painting from his signature Cowboys and Indians series.Warhol's ability to conceptualize and execute in a variety of styles allowed him to continually push the boundaries of art. These works are a testament to his status as a Contemporary Art icon and will be offered in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day Sale (27 June, London). Click here for more video.
In the past two decades, the market for Contemporary Art has outpaced most financial markets – with much of this growth coming from blue-chip artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat. Sotheby’s Mei Moses, a constantly-updated database of repeat art sales, gives Sotheby’s unique insight into the investment performance of Art as compared to other asset classes. Watch this 'Market Report' to see just how far works by Basquiat have outpaced the market as a whole. Click here for more video.
Sotheby’s 16 May auctions in New York started with a bang – the 100%-sold Morton and Barbara Mandel Collection totaled $107.8 million, thanks to a bidding war for a record-setting work on paper by Rothko. Among the myriad artist records were Cecily Brown, Mark Tansey, Barkley L. Hendricks, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Avery Singer, Kerry James Marshall and David Hockney, who alone achieved two records during the Contemporary Art Evening Auction. Five works donated by artists to benefit The Studio Museum’s new building were also 100% sold, totaling $16.4 million, with 37 lots to come on 17 May. Leading the night’s astounding $392.3 million combined total was an iridescent Pollock drip painting from 1949, which had remained in the same private collection since 1983. Ahead, view the evening’s top 10 lots.
It was one for the books with the $157 million sale of Modigliani’s Nu Couché in the Impressionist & Modern Evening Sale, becoming the most expensive artwork auctioned in Sotheby’s history and leading off what would be a billion-dollar week. Two days later, the Morton and Barbara Mandel Collection was 100% sold, led by a record-setting work on paper by Rothko, while a feverish Contemporary Art Evening Auction saw new highs for artists including Kerry James Marshall, David Hockney and Cecily Brown. All of the works donated to benefit the Studio Museum in Harlem sold across both contemporary auctions, many far above their high estimates, and helped to drive the $107.9 million Contemporary Art Day Auction, itself a record total. For more of the best moments of a historic week, click ahead.
Kerry James Marshall’s pivotal Past Times was a highlight of the artist’s recent mid-career survey organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The most significant work by the renowned artist to ever come to auction, Past Times has officially quadrupled the artist's auction record, achieving $21,114,500 in Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Auction (16 May, New York). An extraordinary visual feat that positions Marshall’s singular vision in dialogue with the masters of art history, Past Times has been a cornerstone of Kerry James Marshall’s acclaimed career since it debuted at the 1997 Whitney Biennial. As seen in Past Times and five other lots by the artist – listed below – on offer in Sotheby's Contemporary Art Day Auction (17 May, New York), Marshall has consciously pushed against the constraints of art history throughout his career. With Past Times, he confidently reclaims the presence of figures of African descent in the canon of Western art.
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