Each season, Artemundi prepares an auction report analyzing the structural econometrics of the leading auction houses for both their day and evening Sales. Hard data is deciphered and integrated with empiric insights to create an overview that summarizes the secondary art market trends and worldwide public transactions. This in-house study provides our team and investors with unbiased results and keeps us informed with updated knowledge of the marketplace.

2021

New York

Christie’s new recipe of merged sales for Post-War and Contemporary art under one 21st Century umbrella term brought them positive results. With only 2 unsold lots, the evening sale achieved $210M, almost doubling its pre-sale low estimate. Standing nearly two meters tall, Basquiat’s In This Case fetched $93M, becoming the highlight lot of the night. It’s previous 2002 auction result of this painting barely reached $1M.

21st Century & contemporary art - May 2021

New York

Totaling $481M from its 20th Century Art Evening Sale, Christie’s successfully achieved 4% BI with only one passed lot and one withdrawn. The star lot of the night was Femme assise près d’une fenêtre by Picasso, which after 30 protracted bids, sold +64% above its estimate for a total of $103.4M. This artwork was previously sold for $45M at Sotheby’s London in 2013, increasing 45% its value in only eight years.

20th Century & modern art - May 2021

London

Despite the reduced offering of 55 lots, Christie’s XXth Century Evening sale exceeded the 120M GBP total sale mark with a BI rate of 4%. The best indicator for healthy bidding competitions at the auction is the fact that more than 60% of lots auctioned in the evening sales obtained hammer prices above their low initial estimates.

20th Century & contemporary – March & April 2021

2020

London

Inspired by Phillips 20th century sales, Sotheby’s was obliged to combine the Modern and Contemporary Evening departments due to the lack of consignments. From the 49 Modern lots and 48 Contemporary, almost 10% of the lots were withdrawn at the last minute.

20th Century & contemporary – October 2020

New York

Christie’s Global Sale achieved excellent results with only 9% BI. From Hong Kong (with headliners such as Richter, Grotjahn and Condo); to Paris’ most expensive artists (including Pierre Soulages as he nears his 100th birthday who sold at 6,5M EUR); to Britain’s most sought after young painter, Cecily Brown (4,8M GBP) in London. But the real show-stoppers were reserved for the final stage in New York.

20th Century – June / July 2020

London

Sotheby’s Evening sale carried the lowest presale estimate since 2009, and, while realizing £49.9 M against a £41.8 M – £59.6 M estimate, with just four lots going unsold; this Evening sale was down by 36.7% against last year. Sotheby’s relied heavily on three works that had been looted by the Nazis and restored to Gaston Lévy, including the highest estimated lot this year: an £8 M – £12 M neo-Impressionist Camille Pissarro painting of peasants working in a field.

Impressionist & modern – February 2020

London

Sotheby’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening sale featured Hockney’s The Splash which fetched £21M (without premium), barely reaching the low estimate of £20M. Still, the price is nearly eight times the achieved when the work last sold at auction for £2.9 million in 2006. A good result for the Hong Kong billionaire seller, Joseph Lau, who in 2014 was convicted of bribery and money-laundering in Macao.

Post-War & contemporary – February 2020

2019

New York

Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Evening sale pulled off a total of $209m, selling 6 lots above estimates, 16 within the estimated price, 20 below its low estimate. Still, only 8 lots went unsold, representing a 16% BI. The top lot of the night was Charing Cross Bridge by Claude Monet was sold for $27.6M after it remained in the same collection for 40 years. After heated bidding, a new world auction record was established for Tamara de Lempicka when La Tunique rose sold to applause for $13.4m.

Impressionist & Modern – November 2019

New York

While the total was down more than 25% from the equivalent sale a year ago, the Sotheby’s auction ended New York’s auction week on a relatively secure note. With a solid 10% BI, 21 lots offered sold above estimate, 22 within estimates, only 3 below estimate. The night’s biggest lot was Willem de Kooning’s Untitled XXII (1977), for $30.1 M, surpassing by 5% its low estimate. The same Asian bidder previously secured Clyfford Still’s PH-399 (1946) for $24.3 million just two lots earlier.

Post-War & Contemporary – November 2019

London

The secretive British artist’s massive piece of political satire, "Devolved Parliament" (2009), vaulted its high estimate of £2 million to eventually selling for £9.8 million with fees, setting a new Banksy auction record. It tied with a large Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, "Pyro" (1984), for the night’s top prize. Though the results for the Basquiat and the Banksy were equal, the latter was by far the evening’s star lot, inspiring a dramatic bidding war that dragged on for 13 minutes.

Post-War & Contemporary – October 2019

London

Sotheby´s dominated the evening as well as the day. The achieved BI rate of 8% has been one of the highest rate achieved for an evening sale in that category in London since 1988. The sale's total of £98,875,924 included the sale of Claude Monet’s “Nymphéas” (1908) for £23,7M, (16% below its low estimate). This was one out of three guaranteed works from an Argentinian collection.

Impressionist & Modern – June 2019

London

Sotheby's Evening Sales performed smoothly,  since out of the 42-lot sale, just 4 failed to find a buyer, resulting in a BI rate of 10%. Although several works were sold on single bids or to their guarantees, the overall result totaled a £69,263,300. One of the highlights was Francis Bacon's “Self Portrait” (1975) which sold for £14.3M (4% below estimate).

Post-War & Contemporary – June 2019

New York

Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Evening sale came in slightly above the previous year’s sale with a total of $349,859,150. The weight of the sale’s total relied on the top ten lots representing 70% of the total and more than 50% of the total coming from the top three lots.

Impressionist & Modern – May 2019

New York

A potent combination of record-setting Pop art masterworks and a stainless steel rabbit sculpture by you-know-who drove Christie’s sale to a modest total of $538,971,000, 7% short of the pre-sale low estimate. With 17 guarantees, only 5 of the 56 lots offered failed to sell, for a BI rate of 9%, and 47 of the 51 sold lots made over $1 million.

Post-War & Contemporary – May 2019

London

The Brexit drama has already taken its first victims down the February Impressionist & Modern sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s, which totaled £167,180,000 across the three evening sales, representing a decrease in the hammer total of 16.5% from February 2018. The combined sales total ended up well below the pre-sale estimate of £199,420,000 – £266,830,000.

Impressionist & Modern – March 2019

London

Sotheby’s Evening sale experimented with a new distribution of lots, placing female artists first. Almost 20% of the 66 lots offered were by women, its highest ever proportion of female artists. As a result, there were hits and misses. Expectations were high for Jenny Saville’s nine-foot fleshy canvas of a woman’s back, Juncture (1994); but it elicited just one bid, selling over the phone to its guarantor for £4.8m against a brave estimate of £5m-£7m.

Post-War & Contemporary – March 2019

2018

New York

The big-picture auction season started in New York with Christie’s Evening Sale with a rather underwhelming Impressionist and Modern sale that garnered a tepid $279.3M. The tally fell shy of the low end of pre-sale expectations that the auction would net somewhere between $304.7M - $439.6M.

Impressionist & Modern - November 2018

New York

David Hockney’s artwork $90.3 M (with buyer’s premium) at auction, fetched a new record for a living artist, leaving in the dust the previous record held by Jeff Koons and his Balloon Dog (Orange), which sold for $58.4 million at Christie’s in 2013. Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) was snapped up after more than 9 min of bidding, dominated by two rival telephone bidders.

Post-War & Contemporary - November 2018

London

Sotheby’s uninspired October sales were hidden behind Banksy’s prank for the last lot which “self-destructed” before everyone’s eyes after selling for the triple low estimate at £1,042,000. The rest of the 39 lots barely reached its pre-sale low estimate of £34.6M, the lowest figure in a multiple-owner sale in over 5 years. The stunt apparently orchestrated by the elusive street artist was supposedly a surprise for Sotheby’s: “We had no prior knowledge of this event and were not in any way involved.”

Post-War & Contemporary - October 2018

London

Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern sale offered 36 lots, including works by major players including Picasso, Chagall, Monet, and Giacometti. Although only 26 were sold, –resulting in a BI of 28%–, 14 of the lots were secured by guaranteed buyers, making up a staggering 75% of the overall profits. One of the biggest limps was Picasso’s painting of Marie-Thérèse Walter guaranteed by a third party.

Impressionist & Modern - June 2018

London

Sotheby’s and Phillips Post-war & Contemporary Evening auctions in London was 58.7% higher than June 2017 and second-highest total for the two auction houses since June 2015. It is evident that both auction houses benefitted from Christie’s absence from the evening sale schedule.

Post-War & Contemporary - June 2018

New York

Christie’s chalked up $1.79 billion in sales, including every single item from the iconic collection of the late David and Peggy Rockefeller which, for the first time, spread their flagship May sales across two weeks. Equally positive, Sotheby’s sold $859 million, including $157.2 million for a Modigliani nude: the most expensive lot of the season.

Impressionist & Modern - May 2018

New York

The mood at Phillips and Christie’s could not have been more different from the Modern and Impressionist Sale. A handful of big lots were either withdrawn, failed to generate bids or had consignors too stiff-necked to take advantage of their best opportunities. Sotheby’s biggest lots held little drama selling on few bids but there was a steady stream of unanticipated, dogged competition that repeatedly perked up the room and revived interest for new artists in the Evening catalogue such as Jonas Wood, John Chamberlain, Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Kerry James Marshall.

Post-War & Contemporary - May 2018

London

Christie’s kicked off the 2018 auction season with its Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale which offered 65 lots and achieved £114,103,000 without premium. This total barely made through its pre-sale low estimate by +2% and had a BI of 22%.

Impressionist & Modern - March 2018

London

Christie’s £137 million Evening auction (including buyer’s fees) broke the record for a Contemporary sale in Europe. With only 5 of the 65 offered lots failed to sell, Christie’s London team fetched an excellent BI rate of 8%.

Post-War & Contemporary - March 2018

2017

New York

The Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening sale at Christie’s New York yesterday realized a mammoth sale of $786 Million and the blockbuster "Salvator Mundi" accounted for a disproportionately large share (57%) of the total sales About 42.9% (21) artworks sold above the high estimate and a significant number of artworks (39 %) sold above the high estimate The rest, 18.4 % artworks sold below the low estimate.

Post-War & Contemporary – November 2017

New York

Christie’s pulled off its second-highest total for an Impressionist and Modern evening sale last night, 13 November, in New York. The $479.3m total (with fees) was double that of last year's sale. The evening’s top lot was van Gogh’s "Laboureur dans un champ", painted in early September 1889. The dazzling landscape sold -without a guarantee- at $72 million, coming to $81 million with fees, one million shy of the artist’s record.

Impressionist & Modern – November 2017

London

Sotheby’s contemporary sale’s total of £50.3 million, including buyer’s premium, was the highest-ever total for a Sotheby’s auction during Frieze Week. But four of the 47 lots were withdrawn, two of which were announced before the sale, possibly an indication of sellers’ last-minute jitters, but over 88% of the remaining lots sold. The night had several pleasant surprises, including a record for Josef Albers, which estimates of £700,000 – £1,000,000 was heavenly surpassed +171% at a final sale of £2,540,000.

Post-War & Contemporary – October 2017

London

The second season of sales in London kicked off with a £149.4 million ($191.7 million) Impressionist and modern art evening sale in Christie’s, with the house ably finding buyers for all but two of the 32 lots on offer, en route to a sell-through rate of 94 percent. That’s a marked improvement over the equivalent sale last year when a slew of withdrawn lots led to a calamitous auction that totaled just £25.6 million ($32.8 million), the lowest haul for the event since the peak of the financial crisis.

Impressionist & Modern – June 2017

London

The over-arching concern about the Contemporary art sales in London this week was whether Christie’s departure would destabilize the market. If uncertainty hung over the summer season in London after Christie’s decision to pull its contemporary June sales, Sotheby’s managed to find its footing with a solid auction last night (28 June). The house took £52.6m (£62.4m with fees) against an estimate of £44.3m-£60.6m.

Post-War & Contemporary – June 2017

New York

The New York auctions began with an Impressionist and Modern evening sale at Christie’s Rockefeller Center salesroom that totaled $289 million, handily eclipsing its low estimate of $207 million and falling just short of its $307 million high estimate. Constantin Bancusi’s "La muse endormie" (1909–10), which sold for $57.4 million to a buyer on the other end of a cell phone clutched in the center of the room by former Sotheby’s rainmaker Tobias Meyer.

Impressionist & Modern – May 2017

New York

Works by Francis Bacon and Cy Twombly each sold for more than $50 million at Christie’s Post War and Contemporary art auction, helping drive a $448 million sale that met expectations in an uncertain political environment. Of the 71 lots on offer virtually all found buyers, with only three going unsold. The sale’s total nipped at the high pre-sale estimate of $463 million.

Post-War & Contemporary – May 2017

London

Any lingering doubts about the strength of the art market vanished this season at London’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sales this week, which raised a total of £307,048,100 (including Buyer’s premium). The total between Sotheby’s and Christie’s was 87% higher than in the same season in 2016, and 108.9% above the June results last year.

Impressionist & Modern – March 2017

London

The contemporary art market has proved itself immune to the perceived threats of Brexit and the election of President Donald Trump, judging by Sotheby’s performance during its Contemporary Art Evening Auction.

Post-War & Contemporary – March 2017

London

Despite the current sense of uncertainty, it seems that the art world will be hoping it is business as usual, or perhaps even a better market for investment-grade for high-quality artworks, such as the ones that were offered at the past Surrealist auctions at Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

Surrealist – March 2017

2016

New York

By the numbers, Sotheby’s evening November 14 sale of Impressionist and Modern art brought $157.7 million, down from last year’s $306.7 million, and the number of lots was a bit lower (42 this year as compared to 47 in 2015) while the percentage of sales was a bit higher (81%, as compared to 76 % last year). The evening’s sole star was the cover lot, Edvard Munch’s "Pikene på Broen (Girls on the Bridge)" from 1902, went for $54,487,500 (unpublished estimate in excess of $50 million).

Impressionist & Modern – November 2016

New York

Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York totaled $276.6 million with 93.8% of lots sold with a surprisingly low BI rate of 6%. Gerhard Richter’s "A B, Still" triumphed at $34 million, with a selection of works from the Stephen & Ann Ames Collection bringing a total of $122.8 million. Rounding out the night, Andy Warhol’s "Self-Portrait (Fright Wig)" achieved the highest total this week for a work by the artist at $24.4 million.

Post-War & Contemporary – November 2016

New York

Auction house Sotheby’s offered over 200 lots on its Latin American art sale, including Frida Kahlo’s "Niña con Collar", an early painting whose whereabouts had been a mystery for 60 years, which was sold for $1.81 million. Leading the sale was Tamayo’s "Sandías y Naranja", a 1957 oil and sand on canvas once owned by the film star Audrey Hepburn, which was sold for $2.29 million. A Botero bronze sculpture, "Man on a Horse", fetched $1.82 million, and his Homage to Bonnard, a large-scale nude painting, went for $1.39 million. The auction comprising the Evening and the Day Sessions totaled $21,047,375 USD.

LatAm – November 2016

London

Rebuffing speculation that the bottom has dropped out of the market for young and emerging artists. Speculation continues as to whether Brexit will harm or help the London trade, but the consensus is that foreigners were incentivized to bid at this week’s auctions as the pound slumped to a 31-year low. Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips all noted strong bidding from Asia, the U.S., and Europe. All in all, it was a reassuring week for the trade in London, with many noting the market is moving in the right direction.

Post-War & Contemporary – October 2016

London

Helena Newman had plenty to smile about after Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Evening. The strong £103m ($152M) total midway between estimates was surely one reason. Amedeo Modigliani’s "Jeanne Hebuterne (au foulard)" (1919) had been initially guaranteed by the house, though this was later changed to an irrevocable bid (a type of third-party guarantee). This proved unnecessary, however, as protracted bidding saw the work sell for £34.3m (£38.5m with fees), again, well above its estimate of more than £28m.

Impressionist & Modern – June 2016

London

Financial markets may be fluctuating in the wake of the Brexit vote, but the art market showed its durability at Sotheby’s 28 June Contemporary Art Evening sale. Two artist records led the auction – Jenny Saville’s monumental "Shift" brought £6.8 million and Keith Haring’s "The Last Rainforest" which realised £4.2 million. Bidding was strong and competitive from the sale’s opening lots, notably Yayoi Kusama’s "Infinity Nets" (£677,000) and a buoyant Alexander Calder mobile (£1.7 million).

Post-War & Contemporary – June 2016

New York

A selection of artworks has gone under the hammer this week as part of Spring Latin American sales in New York, with paintings by Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo among the top lots. Auction house Sotheby’s offered around 200 lots on Tuesday, including Tamayo’s "El Fisgón", which final sale for $970,000 failed to reach its low estimate of $1 million. Another attraction at the same auction was the 1973 painting "El Emperador" by Chilean artist Claudio Bravo, an example of hyperrealism that also failed its low estimate and sold for $910,000.

LatAm – May 2016

New York

Gigaweek opened with teaser sales. Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips made sure that their respective events went well. Phillips, which guaranteed more than half of its lots, may have backed up that success with its investment in the art. Sunday night’s twentieth-century and contemporary art evening sale at Phillips auction house brought in $46.5 million.

Post-War & Contemporary – May 2016

New York

A Claude Monet water lily work from 1919 led last Impressionist and Modern sale at Christie’s, where the hammer total of $121.9m fell short of the estimated $138.3m to $203.4m it was meant to take in. But just seven of the 51 lots on offer failed to find buyers resulting in a healthy sell-through rate of 86 percent. The figure is especially robust for the category, which is considered harder to sell than more trendy contemporary art (Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern sale earlier in the week had a sell-through rate of just 66%).

Impressionist & Modern – May 2016

London

The Contemporary art evening sale at Sotheby’s auction house realised a final total of £69,461,000 with a BI of 27% from the 59 artworks offered. The sale was led by Lucian Freud’s tender portrait of his lover Bernadine Coverley, pregnant at the time with their daughter Bella. The 1960-61 work was pursued by six bidders and sold for £16.1 million, more than £9 million above the pre-sale low estimate and a new record for an early painting by the artist.

Post-War & Contemporary – February 2016

London

The London auction season opened with a low-key yet reassuring result, as Christie’s “Impressionist and Modern Art” evening sale delivered £66,430,000. Small-scaled works seemed to be the flavor of the evening as Alberto Giacometti’s 11-inch high bronze "Femme debout," from a posthumous 1976 cast, made £1,082,500, and the 16 by 13-inch Fernand Léger oil on canvas "Le moteur," a mini tour-de-force from 1918, snared £5,234,500.

Impressionist & Modern – February 2016

2015

New York

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale on November 6th, 2015 featured a broad array of pictures, works on paper and sculpture by the leading artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Highlights included an oil portrait of a bather by Paul Cézanne which was once owned by Paul Signac, a 1906 Fauve picture by Raoul Dufy from a distinguished Asian collection, a monumental port scene by André Lhote from a private collection in Scandinavia, and an extremely rare and widely published oil by Heinrich Campendonk from the collection of Jules and Gladys Reiner.

Impressionist & Modern – November 2015

New York

The Contemporary Art Day Auction at Sotheby’s totaled $98,025,250 with 80% of lots sold. The sale was led by Roy Lichtenstein’s "Modern Painting with Yellow Interweave" from 1967 which sold for $3.4 million, and "Heat" by Kenneth Noland, which set a new record for the artist at auction selling for $3.3 million. A Cy Twombly blackboard painting, "Untitled (New York City)", was the top lot in the Contemporary Art Evening Auction selling for $70.5 million, and is also the most expensive work sold at Sotheby’s worldwide in 2015.

Post-War & Contemporary – November 2015

New York

Alfred Taubman’s estate auction launched unsuccessfully last night. The eclectic collection once belonged to the magnate who resigned from his chairman’s role in 2000 amid a price-fixing scandal between Christie’s and Sotheby’s. This precedent affected significantly the perceived value of the auctioned artworks, despite the fact that twelve pages of the catalogue tried to “clean” the moral character of the collectionist.

Taubman Collections: Masterworks – November 2015

London

The total amount sold in Post-War and Contemporary Auctions including the Italian Art sales was $336,378,719 USD, corresponding 41.4% to Christie’s, 41.3% Sotheby’s, and 17.2% to Phillips. The auctions were held parallel to Art Frieze and Frieze Masters in London in mid-October. The noteworthy results correspond to the Italian art sales held in both major auction houses, the total sold surpassed the total from the evening sales and many price records were established. These two sales added $129,313,364; a 17% increase from last October’s Italian Sale, indicating a growing demand for this specific art market.

Post-War & Contemporary – October 2015

New York

The total amount sold was $669,087,875 USD; 9.5% above last May’s auctions and 0.5% below last November’s sales. Despite being less than half of the Post-War and Contemporary Sales, the total achieved remained in the markets’ total average from the last couple of years. From this total, Sotheby’s sold 63% and Christie’s 37%. In general, the unsold rate of 23% was in line with the market’s average, in total 769 artworks were offered for sale and 590 found buyers.

Impressionist & Modern – May 2015

New York

The Contemporary Art Day Auction at Sotheby’s totaled $98,025,250 with 80% of lots sold. The sale was led by Roy Lichtenstein’s "Modern Painting with Yellow Interweave" from 1967 which sold for $3.4 million, and "Heat" by Kenneth Noland, which set a new record for the artist at auction selling for $3.3 million. A Cy Twombly blackboard painting, "Untitled (New York City)", was the top lot in the Contemporary Art Evening Auction selling for $70.5 million, and is also the most expensive work sold at Sotheby’s worldwide in 2015.

Post-War & Contemporary – May 2015