It was another slow night at Sotheby’s on Tuesday. One painting that did do well was a 1999 Renaissance inspired painting of two nude women, which sold for a record price of $5.4 million. We’re not exactly sure what record this was (most paid for a contemporary painting of naked women?), but it’s nice to know that sex still sells, even during a recession.
NY Times: In a salesroom overflowing with collectors like the actor Steve Martin, the financier Eli Broad and the fashion designer Valentino, Sotheby’s barely managed to sell $125.1 million worth of contemporary art on Tuesday night, well below the low estimate of $202.4 million.
“It was a half-price sale,” said Mr. Broad, who went on his first shopping spree in several years. In less than 90 minutes, he dropped more than $8 million (including Sotheby’s fees) on works by Ed Ruscha, Jeff Koons, Robert Rauschenberg and Donald Judd…
“At the right level, the market exists,” said Tobias Meyer, the head of Sotheby’s contemporary art department worldwide and the evening’s auctioneer. “But the audience is smart and seasoned.” He said prices had rolled back to 2006 levels.
But when Mr. Meyer and Sotheby’s experts were putting together Tuesday night’s sale, it was summer and the world was a far richer place. So was Sotheby’s, which agreed to financial deals that might have seemed sensible months ago but made for what must have been an expensive evening for the house.
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