ARTnews Market Brief: New Records Set for Lee Bontecou and Barbara Kruger, Van Goghs Bring $161 M., and More

Auction Records Set for Barbara Kruger, Lee Bontecou
This week, Christie’s began the fall marquee auction weeks setting records for several artists. Coming from a trove of Pictures Generation works sold by New Jersey–based neurosurgeon Abe Steinberger, Barbara’s Kruger’sUntitled (Your Manias Become Science), 1981, set a new record for the artist at $1.2 million. Later in the week, an Lee Bontecou‘s untitled abstract work made of welded steel, velvet, and wire on canvas sold for more than four times its low estimate of $2 million, going for a new record of $9.2 million.

Four van Gogh paintings from Cox Collection Bring in $161 M.
A group of four paintings by Vincent van Gogh from the collection Texas industrialist Edwin Cox brought in $161 million on Thursday evening in New York. The works had been in the Cox collection for nearly five decades. One bidder in the room, identified by Artnet News as Hugo Nathan of the London advisory firm Beaumont Nathan, purchased two of them: Wooden Huts Among Olive Trees and Cypress Trees), 1889, and Meules de blé (1888). The two cost him $106 million.

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Superblue Expands Senior Team with Five New Appointees
Superblue, an organization focused producing immersive art exhibitions, has expanded its senior leadership team. Max Fishko has been appointed senior director of exhibitions and sales, Eric Van Speights will serve as head of brand and experience, and Alex Magnuson and Subhas Kim Kandasamy are joining directors of sales and artist management teams in Los Angeles and New York, respectively.

Harvard Professor to Part with Barkley Hendrick Painting After 50 Years
Harvard professor and doctor Gordon Moore is selling a 1968 painting by Barkley Hendricks titled FTA after owning it for 52 years at Phillips. The artist made the painting, which depicts a young Vietnam War–era private, while he was enlisted with the National Guard. Moore is selling the work, which is expected to fetch $4 million, to raise funds for an anti-racism initiative.


Christie’s specialists telephone bidding on November 11, 2021.

Publishing Magnate Peter Brant Sells Warhol, Basquiat for $60 M. 
This week, New York publisher and mega-collector Peter Brant sold Andy Warhol’s portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat from 1982, for $40 million, and another by Basquiat titled Flash in Naples for $19.8 million. Both of the works sold during Christie’s evening sales in New York.

Controversial Sale of Taíno Objects in Paris Brings in $3.5 M.
Despite a petition by protesters to halt the sale, an auction of pre-Columbian Taíno artifacts went ahead as planned at Christie’s in Paris. Activists had deemed the items sacred cultural objects, and representatives from countries in Central America condemned the sale in a joint statement. The auction continued as scheduled, though, totaling $3.5 million, with just a third of the 137 lots left unsold.

Sotheby’s Will Accept Ether Bids on Banksy Works 
Sotheby’s will accept bids from the New York salesroom in Ether cryptocurrency for Banksy’s Trolley Hunters and Love Is In The Air (2006), when the works make their auction debuts in the house’s newly launched “The Now Evening Auction” on November 18.

Princeton Professor to Sell Amy Sherald Painting
Imani Perry, a professor of African American studies at Princeton University in New Jersey, is selling Amy Sherald‘s Welfare Queen (2012) at auction next week. The painting, which depicts a Black woman as a beauty pageant winner, is expected to fetch a price of $1.2 million, and will hit the block at Phillips in New York on November 17.


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