Auction Results: Contemporary Art Evening and Day Auctions, May 18 and 19, 2017 @Sotheby’s

While the jaw-dropping $110M Basquiat sale likely sucked nearly all the air out of the room, a Wolfgang Tillmans “bump” was the prominent factor for the photography included in Sotheby’s recent Contemporary Art sales in New York. Perhaps as a reaction the artist’s recent Tate Modern retrospective, all 4 of the Tillmans prints that were available here (3 of them being large scale abstracts) generated positive surprise outcomes. With the help of a solid result for the top lot Richard Prince cowboy and a generally low overall Buy-In rate (21%), the Total Sale Proceeds for photography fell meaningfully above the aggregate pre-sale estimate.

The summary statistics are below (all results include the buyer’s premium):

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 23
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $2945000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $3999000
Total Lots Sold 18
Total Lots Bought In 5
Buy In % 21.74%
Total Sale Proceeds $4750375

Here is the breakdown (using the Low, Mid, and High definitions from the preview post):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 1
Total Low Lots Sold 1
Total Low Lots Bought In 0
Low Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $8000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $10625
Mid Total Lots 8
Total Mid Lots Sold 6
Total Mid Lots Bought In 2
Mid Buy In % 25.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $246000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $307500
Total High Lots 14
Total High Lots Sold 10
Total High Lots Bought In 4
High Buy In % 28.57%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $3745000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $4432250

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 32, Richard Prince, Untitled (Cowboy), 2001, estimated at $1400000-1800000 (image in preview post). It was also the top photography outcome of the sales at $1812500.

94.44% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there was a total of 6 positive surprises in the sales (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Sotheby’s):

Lot 13, Wolfgang Tillmans, Freischwimmer 123, 2004, estimated at $200000-300000, sold at $660500 (image in preview post)

Lot 419, Wolfgang Tillmans, Freischwimmer 176, 2011, estimated at $60000-80000, sold at $324500

Lot 422, Wolfgang Tillmans, Blushes #60, 2000, estimated at $60000-80000, sold at $200000

Lot 438, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gillian & Christopher, 1993, estimated at $50000-70000, sold at $150000

Lot 536, Vik Muniz, Wheat Field with Cypresses, After Van Gogh (Pictures of Magazines), 2011, estimated at $30000-50000, sold at $137500

Lot 538, Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Can Money Buy You Love?), 2011, estimated at $15000-20000, sold at $47500

The complete lot by lot results can be found here (Evening) and here (Day).

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Read more about: Barbara Kruger, Richard Prince, Vik Muniz, Wolfgang Tillmans, Sotheby's

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