Reuters – Sotheby’s set a new auction record for Spanish artist Joan Miro on Tuesday when his 1927 painting “Peinture (Etoile Bleue)” fetched 23.6 million pounds ($36.9 million), but elsewhere the sale failed to meet expectations.
Overall, the auctioneer raised 75.0 million pounds ($117.7 million) at its impressionist and modern art evening sale in London, just beating the low estimate of 73 million pounds but falling short when buyer’s premium is taken into account.
The auction was the first in a busy season of sales of fine art in London which, if the highest expectations are met, could raise up to $1 billion.But it painted an uncertain picture, with the New York Times describing proceedings on the night as “lackluster” and “bumpy.”
Confidence in the art market has been sky high in 2012 despite broader economic concerns, with emerging collectors from Russia, China and the Middle East helping push values to record highs as they seek to snap up the most coveted works.
On offer at Sotheby’s was one of Miro’s most important paintings, and the previous auction record for the artist of 16.8 million pounds was comfortably eclipsed.
“His works from this period are supremely modern, timeless and of great universal appeal, making this precisely the type of painting that today’s international collectors are prepared to lock horns over, as they did this evening,” said Helena Newman, head of Sotheby’s impressionist and modern art in Europe.
Strange Random Auction Quote:
“I used to save all my rejection slips because I told myself, one day I’m going to autograph these and auction them. And then I lost the box.” – James Lee Burke
- Depardieu’s Miro up for sale (reuters.com)
- Sotheby’s Canadian art auction sets records (cbc.ca)
- ‘The Scream’ sells for record $120 million (dawn.com)
- Rare Working Apple-1 Computer Sells for Record $374,500 (pcworld.com)
- Art of Seduction (thisislondon.co.uk)
- Munch’s “The Scream” Sells for $107M at Sotheby’s, $119.9M with commission, Setting A World Record (elliottingotham.wordpress.com)
- Francis Bacon portrait study to fetch £5-7 million (telegraph.co.uk)
- Lichtenstein and Bacon Paintings Top Sotheby’s Sale (nytimes.com)