Earlier tonight, Sotheby’s New York saleroom, redesigned for the occasion by David Korins, creative director and set designer for the Broadway smash Hamilton, welcomed a limited number of clients for a series of gala-style sales that brought together in-person and digital auction experiences as never before, with results to match. The sales marked the return of in-person bidding in Sotheby’s New York saleroom for the first time since March 2020.
Together, the three sales of Contemporary, Impressionist, and Modern Art realized a total of $597 million, bringing overall total auction sales at Sotheby’s worldwide this week to $673 million, with additional sales taking place in Geneva, London and Paris.
Highlights from the sales included:
- Claude Monet's Le Bassin aux nymphéas, one of the finest, large-scale ‘Water Lilies’ paintings from the artist’s beloved series to appear at auction, sold for $70.4 after being pursued by 5 bidders;
- Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 Versus Medici, an early masterpiece by the artist that is one of his earliest and most direct visual challenges to the Western art establishment, sold for $50.8 million;
- Banksy’s iconic protest image Love Is In The Air sold for $13 million after a 14-minute bidding battle between bidders in Hong Kong and New York;
- Robert Colescott’s bold confrontation with American history, George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware, was acquired by the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art for record-smashing $15.3 million;
- A record-breaking sale for Richard Diebenkorn: Ocean Park #40 sold for at $27.3 million, from the collection of Mrs. John L. Marion, a visionary philanthropist, renowned art collector, and legendary Texan.