The art world is creating new records in auctions. Christie’s auction in New York earlier this week created several records. Francis Bacon’s ‘Three Studies of Lucian Freud’ fetched $142.4 million and bettered the previous record for the most expensive artwork at auction by over $20 million. The previous record was held by Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” which was auctioned in May 2012 by Sotheby’s. Another record which was created minutes later was for the most expensive artwork by a living artist in an auction. Jeff Koons’s sculpture “Balloon Dog (Orange)” fetched $58.4 million to create the new record. It was a very successful auction with bidders willing to bid much higher than the estimates made by experts.
The Auction Also Collected the Highest Amount at an Art Auction
The auction that brought the postwar and contemporary work under the hammer fetched a total of $691.6 million which is also a record for the highest collection in an art auction. The previous record was only $495 million. A total of 69 lots were sold in the auction and eleven of them fetched more than $20 million. Only six lots that were offered for sale failed to find buyers. Works by ten artists, including Willem de Kooning, Donald Judd, Ad Reinhardt, Lucio Fontana, Christopher Wool, Wade Guyton and Wayne Thiebaud created new records for their work. The experts were overwhelmed by the response which augurs well for the art market.
The Lot Was Moved Ahead to Ensure Availability of More Bidders
It was a morale booster for Christie’s as well as their previous sale just last week for Impressionist and modern art works ended with a disappointing tally of $144.3 million. Bacon’s work alone fetched almost that much. About six bidders were in the field for the 1969 Bacon triptych including two from Asia and the successful bid was achieved in just six minutes. This lot was estimated to be the most expensive lot in the auction and was originally placed in the catalog as lot number 32 but was moved ahead as lot number 8A preceding most of the multimillion dollar works to ensure the availability of a greater pool of potential buyers with their pockets full. Eight is also considered a lucky number in China and it is naturally attractive to the Chinese collectors.