Is Andy Warhol’s pop art loosing its demand? – Sotheby’s auction report May 10th 2011

May 17, 2011 on 5:59 pm | In Andy Warhol, Art Auctions, Famous Artists, Pop Art | No Comments

Andy Warhol’s Sixteen Jackies was expected to sell for a whopping $30 million at the ‘Contemporary Art Evening Sale’ held at Sotheby’s Art Auction House in New York on May 10th. However the usual big-money art collectors were a little reluctant to part with such big bucks on the night.


Andy Warhol, Sixteen Jackies. 1964. Sold for $20.2 million at Sotheby’s auction to an unidentified telephone bidder.

Despite being the top seller at the auction, Warhol’s 16 piece silk screened canvas only managed to draw in two bidders, and eventually sold at its low estimate of $18 million; excluding Sotheby’s fees that in total brought the sale up to $20.2 million. A total of 58 artworks were up for auction, of which 9 failed to sell. The night definitely wasn’t an out and out success, however Sotheby’s still managed to rake in a total of $128.1 million and surpass their low total estimate of £120 million. But was it enough?


Andy Warhol, Shadow-Red. 1978. Topped its estimate of $700,000-$900,000 by selling for £4.8 million on the night.

Before the auction began on Tuesday, collectors and dealers complained that Sotheby’s were auctioning too many Warhol pieces, as a total of seven were up for sale that night. Attending the auction was Californian billionaire and financier Mr. Eli Broad who commented: “It’s all in the material, and to me there was nothing really outstanding.” The auction proved that if the estimate was low enough, the dealers and collectors would bid (as was the case with Warhol’s Shadow-Red); however if the price wasn’t right, they just weren’t that interested. This lack of shopping and too much watching raises the question; is the art world tiring of Warhol’s pop art, or were Sotheby’s estimates just too high for the current economic climate?

Thank you

Jessica

Useful Links:

www.sothebys.com
www.warhol.org
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts



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