Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips take different paths to ‘Sold!’

By Scott Reyburn
A view of Christie’s in New York this month, with Willem de Kooning’s “Untitled XXV” at center rear. The work sold for $66.3 million against an estimate of $40 million. Credit Brian Harkin for The New York Times
Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips’s latest biannual series of evening auctions of Impressionist, modern and contemporary art, which finished last Thursday, raised a total of $1.1 billion with fees. Despite concerns about a cooling global economy, “Brexit” and fallout from the election of Donald J. Trump, the total was 20 percent higher than the $893.2 million achieved at the equivalent series in May (excluding a $78.1 million themed sale at Christie’s). “I’m very happy, said a smiling François Odermatt, a collector based in Montreal, just before Phillips’s auction last Wednesday. “The more competition the better.” [link]