As the economy seems to be getting back on it’s feet from (modern day depression) recession, art enthusiasts everywhere wait to see whether Wednesday nights exceeded expectations at Sotheby’s New York is a trend, or a bump on the canvas. Could this be the end of the “year of abstinence” as Sotheby’s New York auctioneer, Tobias Meyer, has dubbed the past year?
Bringing in almost $20 million more than expected, Sotheby’s Impressionist sale sold all but ten of its sixty-six lots, including work by Picasso, Renoir, Giacommetti, and setting a new record for artist Kees Van Dongen, with Jeune Arab (1877) selling for $13.8 million – bringing the total sales at $181.8 million. It was an evening of lively bidding and smashing high-bid records left and right. The excitement started out with Salvador Dali’s Girafe En Feu painting, the first lot of the evening, selling for $1.8 million, nearly ten times the original estimation ($200,000). Along with Dali, Marino Marini shook the gavel when his Grande Teatro sold for $1,482,500, compared to his previous record of $733,965 in 2000. Not only did this auction break new grounds in terms of artists personal records, Sotheby’s surpassed Christie’s Auction from Tuesday, November 3, 2009, by nearly triple. There is skepticism as to whether such a large difference in sales between Sotheby’s and Christie’s marks a revival or merely a remarkable night.