It was a packed house at Christie’s post-war and Contemporary evening sale on Tuesday night. Judging by the crowd, you’d think times are much more flush than they really are. But, apparently nothing brings out the 1 percent like whispers of a cooling art market. Are they looking for a good deal? Or do they just want to see the bubble slowly burst?
Sotheby’s may have set a terrifying tone Monday night with its disappointing Impressionist and Modern art sale, but Christie’s faired far better on Tuesday. Their evening sale totaled $318.4 million, with premiums, and landed just between pre-sale estimates of $285.6-398.2 million, with 87 percent of the 60 lots on offer sold.
An untitled painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat broke the artist’s world auction record, selling for $57.3 million at Christie’s
“84 percent of the works were never auctioned before,” said vice president and head of evening sale Sara Friedlander. “Enormous freshness and quality prevailed.”