SPRING AUCTION season in NEW YORK: Picasso & Leonardo DiCapricoThe NY Spring season of mega auctions is under way. What does it all mean?
Sotherby's is just a few blocks away & Christies very near, so off we went.
"How the art world has changed!" says my husband, an auction veteran for 50 years. Even in 15 years I have seen a shift.
But it looks as if things are really in upheaval. As an excellent Ft piece by John Gapper http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/1d20e4b6-d47c-11e3-bf4e-00144feabdc0.html. points out there is dirty work at the crossroads.
Last Tuesday saw a 1932 Picasso sell for $28 million & a Monet waterlily "Japanese Bridge" 1918 for 14m.
But as the Ft tells us, this may not be the real figure. And 14m seems a snip when this week's Richter is estimated at 25-35 million with Jeff Koons' Popeye sculpture even more. Then there's Christies's Bacon triptych 3 studies of John Edwards (1984)" estimated $80 million.
The Tuesday sale was slow & boring. Majority bidding on the phones, little actual excitement. Many key works did not sell, Too overpriced. Gone the gowns & smart attire; gone the anticipation of live bids & a room bristling with competition. 30% of the buyers were from Asia, all invisible. The real glamour nowadays lies in the vast doorstep catalogues with their immense glossy research. The installation for the 4 or 5 day viewing is another is spectacle, an art form in itself. And maybe the fact that Leonardo DiCaprico was there! www.sothebys.com
The auction houses - a duopoly- have recently turned themselves into art dealers. Currently 2 separate selling exhibitions fill Sotheby's second floor. 43 Dubuffet paintings & sculptures, $65,000 to $3.5m + 25 works by Vasarely: Op Star (today everyone's a star), 85,000-half a million. There is a price list but u have to ask. Again the installation is stunning, & almost overwhelms the art.
Not missing a trick, there's new jewellry by Anish Kapoor & Botero's wife, Sophia Vari, for sale. As it was US Mother's Day I tried on a few Kapoor rings which he makes in editions of 10 to 100 with the London goldsmiths firm of ..... Gold & blue enamel my choice!