Breaking news! The Sotheby’s recorded their biggest auction in their 268-year history. After selling 69 works, recording total of $375 million and achieving 95.6% sales value on Tuesday, Sotheby boosted to all art collectors around the world.
Yesterday, a Mark Rothko painting sold for $75 million and a Jackson Pollock painting for $40 million. Dealers feel this Rothko piece achieved such a high price because of the big size and tropical hues, which are considered desirable aspects by collectors. The Rothko was expected to sell for only $50 million, but five bidders chased after the painting, until a Sotheby’s specialist Charlie Moffett made the last call with $75 million.
Other works included were Andy Warhol’s Suicide piece which fetched $15.2 million and Franz Kline’s Shenandoah which sold for $9.3 million. Sotheby’s specialist Anthony Grant noted that the majority of the buyers were from United States, Malaysia, France, Switzerland and South America.
While many attended the auction, most of the bids were made anonymously over the phone. Other top telephone bids recorded were Willem de Koonin’s Abstraction painting for $19.6 million, the Francis Bacon’s portrait Untitled (Pope) for $29.7 million and Gerhard Richter Abstract Painting for $17.4 million.
With the economy in mind, the Sotheby’s auction took an unexpected turn for many dealers and auctioneers, but the auction art market has always been an adrenaline driven experience. “If you want to talk about the market being happy, healthy and well, well, here it is. That’s probably about as good as it gets.” said Tobias Meyer, auctioneer and worldwide head of contemporary art (Sotheby’s).