Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Auction: Contemporary Art Evening and Day Sales, May 12 and 13, 2009 @Sotheby's

With the photography auctions for the most part on the move to the European spring season (save Swann and Bonhams coming in mid May), the focus has shifted in New York to the top end Contemporary Art sales. Sotheby's is up first, with its Evening sale on May 12, followed by the Day sale May 13. While there are only 2 photographs in the Evening sale (Jeff Wall and Gilbert & George), there are a total of 52 lots of photography on offer across the two days, with a massive total High estimate of $5337000 on these lots alone. (Evening sale catalog cover, top, Day sale catalog cover, bottom, at right.)

Here's the breakdown:

Total Low lots (high estimate $10000 or lower): 0
Total Low estimate (sum of high estimates of Low lots): NA

Total Mid lots (high estimate between $10000 and $50000): 29
Total Mid estimate: $877000

Total High lots (high estimate over $50000): 23
Total High estimate: $4460000

The fact that there are zero lots in the Low range is a strong reminder of just how different this section of the market is from the overall photography market.

Below is a list of the photographers who are represented by more than one lot in the two sales (with the total number of prints for sale in parentheses):

Cindy Sherman (5)
Thomas Ruff (3)
Gregory Crewdson (2)
Fischli & Weiss (2)
Tom Friedman (2)
Barbara Kruger (2)
David LaChapelle (2)
Louise Lawler (2)
Florian Maier-Aichen (2)
Vik Muniz (2)
Richard Prince (2)
Andres Serrano (2)
Jeff Wall (2)

To our eye, the lots in this sale are solid but generally not superlative pieces, so just how well the sale will do on the whole is hard to predict. The two Jeff Wall lightboxes, Sunken Area (lot 10) and Diagonal Composition No. 3 (lot 371) are our particular favorites of what is on offer.

May 12, 2009

May 13, 2009

1334 York Avenue
New York, NY 10021

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