The evening auctions of Phillips, Sotheby’s, and Christie’s in October concluded, the only events expected for the global art market in the British capital after the cancellation of the Frieze London and Frieze Masters fairs.
Given the uncertainties caused by the pandemic, the results were specially monitored as essential parameters for testing the health of an already hard-tested market.
Faced with this situation, Christie’s and Sotheby’s have developed specific cross-collecting strategies. In particular, they brought together, in a single auction session, modern and contemporary art. The first based in Paris; the second in London.
Phillips, on the other hand, focused on contemporary art alone in the Berkeley Square venue.
The results achieved show an overall tonic market for the period, except for Thinking Italian, Christie’s auction dedicated to contemporary Italian art, this year reinforced by valuable design works.
German contemporary art at auction
Along with the top lot of awards in both categories (Picasso, Dubuffet, Miró, Banksy, Doig), the protagonist of the evenings was also German contemporary art.
For some time now the market has shown a keen interest in contemporary German expressionists. Some of whom have become real stars. In particular Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke. They were sold by Sotheby’s on 21 October respectively for £ 5,138,700 and £ 1,087,693. Successful also the more historicized Georg Baselitz (Christie’s, 22 October, £ 1,762,500).
The evening auctions of this session showed interesting results by other less established artists on the enchantment market. Starting with Albert Oehlen, with two works, Control (2007) and Die Veränderungen (2005), which pass from hand to house. Phillips for £ 475,000 and £ 809,000. Oehlen Untitled (2004), present in the Sotheby’s catalog obtained a good result too with £ 801,500.
German art succeeding in New York
With the London auctions concluded, even moving overseas at Sotheby’s New York Contemporary Art Evening on October 28, Germany obtained good feeds. Abstraktes Bild (1989) by Gerhard Richter doubles the auction base, reaching the auction for $ 4,604,899. This way he consolidated his role as the most attractive German artist for the international market.
Albert Oehlen, with his In der kurve (1998), obtains a new success with $ 1,230,000. That’s certainly a remarkable result for the German artist on the US market.
As also demonstrated by Sotheby’s New York results, the interest in German contemporary art is increasing. In particular, this is not a European phenomenon exclusively and the results achieved bode well.