At Christie’s ‘21st Century’ Auction, the Sound of Records Breaking for Women

Seven artists, including 2022 Venice Biennale star Simone Lee and figurative painter Robin F. bottom.

Active bidding in Christie’s sales room allowed the auction house to sell approximately $99 million worth of paintings and sculptures, including buyer’s fees. Experts said the rise was evidence of a higher preference among collectors for younger and more diverse artists than the market, during one of the biggest selling weeks of the year, usually indicates.

There is a growing interest in less-famous female representational painters such as Danielle McKinney, Rebecca Ackroyd, and Williams. Roberta Smith, reviewing Williams’ exhibition of paintings at PPOW in 2017, wrote that she was “very pompous in her staging, style, image and social thrust.” They aim for the impossible idealization of women in both art and advertising, what she calls “a new kind of cool yet visceral bravado.”

It was also an auction debut for an artist like Ackroyd. The artist’s painting “Garden Tender,” depicting a leather belt with studs wrapped around a woman’s chest, sold for $56,700, more than double its estimate, including the auction fee. Lower estimates contributed to the price increase.

More prominent artists, such as the sculptor Simone Lee, also made their mark. Lee’s 2019 bronze work “Stick” sold for $2.7 million. price. It has become a benchmark for artists representing the United States at the 2022 Venice Biennale. Diane Arbus, one of America’s most original photographers, died in 1971. $1 million for a box of 10 photos.

Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui He also achieved top sales with an installation called “Prophet” made of bottle caps woven with copper wire. The gathering fetched nearly $2.2 million including fees, more than double the highest bid.

“Christie’s is thrilled to have achieved such great results for the first-ever women-dominated evening sale,” said Isabella Lauria, who led the ’21st Century’ evening sale at Christie’s. The company sold nearly all of its 26 lots, but one lot was withdrawn before the sale. (A similar sale last November saw 35 parcels earn $114 million.)

“Auction houses were shying away from untested art, especially in the evening sales,” said Natasha Degen, director of art market research at the Fashion Institute of Technology, who believes tastes are changing. She said, “Of the 26 lots, nearly a third, or eight lots, were by artists born in the ’80s or ’90s. Thing.”

The aggressive bid was a change of pace after the company’s lackluster start to the spring sales season last week. While 16 paintings from the collection of Condé Nast’s former chairman, SI Newhouse, sold solidly, few of the fireworks sold, and the industry’s speculation in recent years culminated in the $1.5 billion sale of Condé Nast. I was wondering if the market was cooling after the heat. Art owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen last November.

“The most obvious thing to me is that some of the artists who were at the center of some of the hottest bidding wars in the same auction five years ago are now solid and boring good companies for bidders. said Tim Schneider. The art business editor of Artnet News following the sale. “a Mark Bradford $400,000 below the minimum estimate? Will Rashid Johnson hit the low ratings right? In May 2018, billionaires were jerking off to pay these artists big sums of money. ”

But some good artists, like Jean-Michel Basquiat, still found an audience. Experts said Basquiat’s 1983 painting El Gran Espectaculo (The River Nile), known as “The History of the Negro,” exemplified Basquiat’s taste for history painting. At more than $67.1 million, net of buyer’s fees, it was the fourth most expensive work by an artist ever sold at auction. (The top piece is an untitled painting from 1982 that he sold at Sotheby’s for $110.5 million in 2017.)

But the interest in younger, more diverse artists was clear.

“Historically, even the best working women in the market tended to be very consolidated around some popular names,” Degen noted. “But it’s not just Georgia O’Keeffe and Louise Bourgeois anymore.”

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