The winter contemporary auctions at Sothebys and Christies have wrapped up in London and prices remained strong as I predicted here. I still believe that the unprecedented access to art market information has attracted more buyers which in turn increases demand and prices.
You can read all about the million dollar paintings that sold in next month's Art in America, so I thought I'd summarize how the photographers did this time around (you can get the details on Artnet here):
Gursky: COOL Of the five Gursky's up for sale, 2 were bought in and the remaining 3 sold for within their estimate. Granted, none were Gursky's best work indicating that the middle Gursky market is not attractive to buyers.
Struth: WARM 4 Struths were up for sale...2 were passed on including a "Museum" piece. The Struths were not the best either. However, a piece from his "Paradise" series sold nearly 50% over its high estimate.
Hofer HOT 2 pieces sold at well over their high estimate. She's no longer a bargain.
Esser RED HOT One piece sold for $93K, nearly triple its high estimate.
Ruff HOT & COLD of the 5 up for sale, 3 sold for near over over the high estimate and the other 2 were passed on. This is not unusual for Ruff becasue of the broad specturm of his work.
Bechers HOT & COLD One sold for 32% over the high estimate whilte the other didn't sell at all.
Sugimoto HOT Sugimoto is the safest bet in photography. Of the 6 for sale, one was bought in, but the other 5 sold for near or over their high estimates.
Serrano HOT Even though one didn't sell, 2 other more difficult images sold. A "Morgue" image sold for $11K, 80% over its high estimate.
Dicorcia COOL A "Heads" piece, usually very reliable work, sold for $14K, just under its low estimate. And then someone paid $20K for an Adi Nes. I don' t get it. Or should I say they don't get it.
Goldin HOT Two early gelatin silver prints both sold for well over their high estimates.
Muniz HOT & COLD 2 passes and one sale..from "Aftermath" for $40K, 20% over the high estimate.
Neshat RED HOT All three sold, with one selling for nearly triple its estimate at $58K.
Goldsworthy VERY WARM 2 middlin' sales and one at 50% over the high estimate.
Other strong sellers: Frank Thiel, Adi Ness, Vanessa Beecroft, Rodney Graham, Massimo Vitali
Photographers who were, lets say, not so strong: Wolfgang Tillmans, Sam Taylor-Wood (with good work too), Sarah Lucas, Cindy Sherman (but there was only one up for sale and it wasn't a gem).