Sotheby’s failed to sell a third of the lots at its Impressionist and modern art auction last night in New York, the latest sign that worldwide financial distress is undermining demand for trophy paintings and sculpture.
Just 64 per cent of the 70 lots found buyers, the lowest rate for an Impressionist evening sale at Sotheby’s since May 2001. The $223.8 million tally was a third below the $338 million low estimate. Christie’s International holds its Impressionist and modern art sales tomorrow and Thursday nights.
“The market just corrected,” said John Good, a director at Gagosian Gallery, as he and about 800 others departed Sotheby’s cavernous white-walled salesroom.
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