Sun, Nov 09, 2014 - Page 12 News List

Shopping spree of the 1 percent

Sotheby’s sold a record US$422 million of Impressionist and modern art at its auction last week, suggesting that collectors have regained confidence in the art market

By James Tarmy  /  Bloomberg, New York

“It’s the highest total for any auction ever held at Sotheby’s,” Simon Shaw, co-head of Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern art department worldwide, said after the sale.

The 15 works by Picasso spanning more than six decades of his career had mixed results. Femme Allongee, an abstract of a reclining woman, estimated at US$2 million to US$3 million, sold for US$6 million. His Bouffon et Jeune Acrobate, an early work from 1905 of a boy sitting on a clown’s lap, estimated at US$2.5 million to US$3.5 million, also sold for US$6 million.

Picasso’s almost monochromatic oil painting of a woman in religious contemplation, La Communiante Avec Missel, valued at US$1.2 million to US$1.8 million, failed to find a buyer. Comme Assis, a 4.25-foot tall work from 1969 that sold for US$11.4 million, was painted at the end of Picasso’s career. An abstract portrait of a musketeer, the canvas is bright red, green and yellow set against a beige background. The work was valued at US$8 million to US$12 million.

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