A Historical Document and Important Pieces of Contemporary Art Fetch Record Prices During Sotheby’s New York Marquee Week
A series of major auctions during Sotheby’s New York marquee week offered some of the most prized and valuable assets in the auction industry. The historic week totaled a record USD 1.33 billion in sales for the auction house. Kicking off Sotheby’s New York marquee week auctions was the white-glove Macklowe Collection. The first part of the famed collection brought in a whopping $676 million.
Sotheby’s witnessed strong results throughout the week, breaking the record for an important historical document. A single copy of the United States Constitution sold for $43.2 million in a single-lot auction. The selling price listed is inclusive of Sotheby’s buyer’s premium and overhead premium.
Modern Evening Auction
The first event of Sotheby’s New York marquee week fetched a total closing amount of $282.9 million. The Modern Evening Auction, led by one of Frida Kahlo’s last and most important masterpieces, yielded a personal record for the artist. Diego y yo, dated 1949, sold for $34.9 million. It also set a new benchmark for a work of Latin American art at auction. Claude Monet’s Coin du bassin aux nymphéas sold for $50.8 million, topping the sale with the highest closing bid. Featuring the theme of water lilies, the painting enjoys a profound spot in the artist’s oeuvre and remains one of the most iconic pieces of the Impressionist movement.
The Now Evening Auction
Bridging the various techniques and trends that shaped art over the last 20 years, the Now Evening Auction highlighted works by notable contemporary artists like Mark Bradford and Matthew Wong. A 1996 artwork by Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara titled Nice to See You Again sold for $15.4 million. Another important lot from the evening event was a Banksy artwork titled Trolley Hunters. This particular lot sold for $6.7 million. The painting previously appeared in Barely Legal, a Banksy exhibition in Los Angeles that helped the artist achieve global recognition. Method Man, a key piece from Mark Bradford’s mid-career, closed at just over $6 million.
The Constitution of the United States
With this single lot Sotheby’s event, a first printing copy of the United States Constitution returned to the auction world after 33 years. This print is one of only 13 surviving copies of the “Official Edition” of the United States Constitution. Sotheby’s auctioned this significant historical document to benefit the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation. It achieved a record price of $43.2 million after a furious bidding war.
Contemporary Evening Auction
The major concluding event of Sotheby’s New York marquee week highlighted works of contemporary art beginning with the Pop Art movement. An offered Roy Lichtenstein piece that demonstrates the semiotic correlation between art and illusion is Mirror #1. The second painting from Lichtenstein’s seminal collection of Mirror paintings, Mirror #1 appeared in Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Auction and sold for $4.6 million. Another notable result from this auction was a Roy Lichtenstein artwork titled Two Paintings. It achieved $20.4 million.
Other high-grossing lots included Spree by Cecily Brown ($6.6 million), Philip Guston’s Ominous Land ($9.5 million), and an untitled work by Christopher Wool ($13.2 million).