Auction Results: Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction this May was a resounding triumph, with 97.3% of works sold and an astonishing 15 new world auction records established. Kicking off the evening was the Collection of Morton and Barbara Mandel, comprising 26 exceptional twentieth-century works, which achieved $107.8 million in a prestigious ‘white glove’ auction with full proceeds benefitting the Mandel Foundation. Following this extraordinary collection, the five works sold to benefit The Studio Museum in Harlem’s new building project totaled $16.4 million and set a new record for Njideka Akunyili Crosby when Bush Babies fetched $3.4 million, quadrupling its pre-sale high estimate. The remaining 14 auction records from the evening included unprecedented prices paid for both emerging and established artists such as David Hockney, Kerry James Marshall, John Chamberlain, Cecily Brown, Grace Hartigan, Barkley Hendricks, and Avery Singer, among others, in a sale that has reshaped how the market will conceive of ‘blue chip’ works.
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Auction Details: This May, Sotheby’s is pleased to offer a selection of superb examples by some of the most exciting and innovative artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Ranging from masterworks by the leading Abstract Expressionists, whose groundbreaking work in the wake of World War II forever transformed the very possibilities of art, to sculptors expanding the traditional boundaries of three-dimensional space, to a group of trailblazing African-American artists who have donated works to benefit the Studio Museum in Harlem, the artists represented in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction this May have possessed a prescient eye and demonstrated a fearless drive to push traditional boundaries.