Auction Results: Contemporary Photographs, October 1, 2020 @Sotheby’s

A bit too much softness in the mid price tier muted the results of the Contemporary Photographs sale at Sotheby’s in New York last week. Rare vintage prints from Valie Export performed well, and the top lot Cindy Sherman film still found a buyer, but in the end, the Total Sale Proceeds (of just over $1.1M) fell at the low end of the aggregate pre-sale range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 89
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1073000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1638000
Total Lots Sold 63
Total Lots Bought In 26
Buy In % 29.21%
Total Sale Proceeds $1100106

Here is the breakdown (using our typical Low, Mid, and High definitions):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 39
Total Low Lots Sold 30
Total Low Lots Bought In 9
Low Buy In % 23.08%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $286000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $211176
Mid Total Lots 48
Total Mid Lots Sold 31
Total Mid Lots Bought In 17
Mid Buy In % 35.42%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $1102000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $699930
Total High Lots 2
Total High Lots Sold 2
Total High Lots Bought In 0
High Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $250000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $189000

The top lot by High estimate was lot 13, Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #84, 1978, estimated at $120000-180000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $119700 (image above via Sotheby’s.)

74.60% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 5 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Sotheby’s):

Lot 8, Dinh Q. Lê, The Characters, 2002, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $30240

Lot 18, Valie Export, Einkreisung (Encirclement) from Körperkonfigurationen (Body Configurations), 1976, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $60480

Lot 19, Valie Export, Zuhockung II (Squat in II) from Körperkonfigurationen (Body Configurations), 1972, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $25200

Lot 54, Taryn Simon, Cryopreservation Unit, Cryonics Institute, Clinton Township, Michigan, 2004/2007, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $15120

Lot 68, Cindy Sherman, Untitled (for Chicago), 1986, estimated at $3000-5000, sold at $11970

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Cindy Sherman, Dinh Q. Lê, Taryn Simon, Valie Export, Sotheby's

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