Thursday, April 28, 2005

Fantasy Auctions 2005

Carol Vogel notes in her NYTimes article on the upcoming NYC auctions that most iconic artworks in the "hot" periods are already in museums or private collections not about to let them go, and that the auction houses are having to be more agressive to get "stars" for their sales. After Pablo Picasso's "Boy With a Pipe (The Young Apprentice)," 1905, fetched a record-breaking $104.1 million last year, the search for Modern masterpieces was apparently vigorous:

The strength of the Sotheby's sale on May 3 also lies in modern works. "We were being more aggressive to get modern material because we knew that's what buyers want," said David Norman, co-chairman of Sotheby's Impressionist and modern art department worldwide.
Even still, given the dearth of homeless masterpieces by dead guys and the glut of multimillionaire hedge-fund managers with money burning holes through their pockets, the contemporary works up for grabs (think Marlene Dumas, Maurizio Cattelan, Elizabeth Peyton, Koons, and Hirst) are expected to do quite well. Now, not being a hedge-fund manager (or even knowing what a hedge-fund is really), I'm stuck playing Fantasy Auctions 2005---I find $3 million dollars under my mattress (why not?) and then do the homework to decide which of the works on the block I'll bid on. Here's my list (contemporaries [i.e., and here I mean living artists] to cut myself off somewhere)...feel free to share yours:

From Christie's Evening Session (11 May 2005, 7:00 pm)
  • Ed Ruscha's The Amazing Earth ---estimate 500,000 - 700,000 USD (I'll go as high as $550,'s not my favorite, but I would trade it up)

  • Yayoi Kusama's No. B, 3 ---estimate 250,000 - 350,000 USD (I'll go as high as 350,000...why not, I found the money under my mattress...and anything by Yayoi is priceless IMO)
From Christie's Morning Session (12 May 2005, approximately 10:45 am)

  • Cy Twombly's untitled drawing ---estimate 70,000 - 90,000 USD (I'll go up to $100,000 it's lovely...and I want it)

  • Ed Rucha's Nice Destiny ---estimate 60,000 - 80,000 USD (I'll go up to $85,000)

From Christie's Afternoon Session (12 May 2005, 2:00 pm) this is the fun one!
  • Raymond Pettibon's Untitled (Who Being Blind...) ---estimate 10,000 - 15,000 USD (I'll go up to $12,500)

  • Luc Tuymans's untitled ---estimate 200,000 - 300,000 USD (only if it goes at the lower end)

  • Hiroshi Sugimoto's Oscar Wilde ---estimate 50,000 - 70,000 USD (I'll go up to 75,000...again, I want it)

  • Wolfgang Tillman's Louisiana ---estimate 25,000 - 35,000 USD (I"ll go up to 25,000...not sure I can't find one I like better for less)

  • Donald Baechler's Self-Portrait ---estimate 40,000 - 60,000 USD (I'll go up to 50,000)

From Sotheby's Evening Session (10 May 05, 07:00 PM)

  • Cy Twombly's Study for the School of Athens (see image right)---estimate 600,000—800,000 USD (I'll go to up to $1million...don't stand between me and this one)

  • Kara Walker's The Battle Of Atlanta: Being The Narrative Of A Negress In The Flames Of Desire - A Reconstruction --- estimate 150,000—200,000 USD (I'll go up to 220,000)

btw, Sotheby's your online images suck. See Phillips for a good way to put the lots online.

From Phillips' Evening Session (12 May 2005, 7 PM)

  • Matthew Barney's Envelopa: Drawing Restraint 7 ---estimate 120,000-180,000 USD (I'll stay low...stop at $130,000)

  • Luc Tuyman's Fish ---estimate 500,000-700,000 USD (I"ll go up to 650,000)

Of course, I've probably already run out of money (but I'd not likely get everything), and often the excitement of seeing someone else bid will urge me to raise my padel (I used to do this for another gallery, who actually had some money), but overall I'd be happy to go home with these fine pieces. YMMV.

By the way, all choices are for my private collection, not for resale.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you like Twombly?

4/28/2005 07:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Jay C said...

And why not Twombley?
(hey, it's not like it's real money!

Anyway, Edward, the "fantasy auction" idea is great - even if a bit specialized. Are you planning to do this every season?

4/29/2005 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Are you planning to do this every season?

So long as I keep finding $3million under my mattress, sure...

even if a bit specialized.

It's what I know best. I'd be only guessing with other periods.

I totally get the dirty looks when I tell my partner that if we won the lottery I know where we could spend it all in one day (on art)...I suspect I'd be convinced to reconsider that plan.


4/30/2005 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Jackmormon said...

I'd certainly go low on Barney--not sure what kind of staying power his art will have. The Tuysman "Fish" is lovely. Kara Walker's art doesn't get to me; maybe I've seen it too many places in too many variations. Smart pick on the Oscar Wilde.

I'm too afraid to browse through the auction sites to offer my own picks--auction catalogues bring out the worst (procrastination, covetousness, ressentiment) in me.

5/01/2005 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

resentment, Jackmormon? As a collector or as an artist?

5/01/2005 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Jackmormon said...

Former significant other of an artist, wanna-be collector.

5/08/2005 01:27:00 PM  

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