Auction Results: Contemporary Art Evening and Day Auctions, May 19 and 20, 2022 @Sotheby’s

A solid selection of top tier contemporary photography was available in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art sales in New York sale last week, hitting most of the major names that tend to fetch the highest prices. And while there were no positive surprises or unexpected outcomes, the works on offer generally performed to expectations, including the top lot Richard Prince print of cowboys, which found a buyer within its estimate range. When the dust settled across the two sales, the Total Sale Proceeds for photography (of roughly $3.8M) came in above the low end of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 19
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $3655000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $5140000
Total Lots Sold 16
Total Lots Bought In 3
Buy In % 15.379%
Total Sale Proceeds $3839220

Here is the breakdown (using our usual Low, Mid, and High price tier definitions):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 0
Total Low Lots Sold NA
Total Low Lots Bought In NA
Low Buy In % NA
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $0
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $0
Mid Total Lots 4
Total Mid Lots Sold 4
Total Mid Lots Bought In 0
Mid Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $120000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $153720
Total High Lots 15
Total High Lots Sold 12
Total High Lots Bought In 3
High Buy In % 20.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $5020000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $3685500

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 443, Richard Prince, Untitled (Cowboys), 1992, estimated at $600000-800000; it was also the top photography outcome of the sales at $724500 (image above, via Sotheby’s.)

87.50% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were no positive surprises in the sales (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate).

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

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