Another “test” of the art market took place last night. I say “test” because I do not believe that these specific sales can really give you a complete understanding of the art market’s health. All they tell you is … were the works being offered of interest to one individual or a broader market.
The sale started off with a bit of a downer when it was announced that their start lot was withdrawn right before the sale: Danaë – Egon Schiele’s first oil painting of a nude woman (est. $30-$40M). Rumor are that since there was no pre-sale interest the owner decided not to let it BI (buy in). So, it was left to a tiny work by Kazirmir Malevich, Suprematist Composition with Plane in Projection, to take the top spot … and it did at $21.2M (est. $12-18M).
In the end, of the 50 works offered, 37 sold (74%) and the total take was $173.8M (est. $147-210.4M). News reports state the sale fell comfortably within its estimate range; however, it is important to remember that the estimate range does not include the buyer’s premium, while the sale’s total does.
We will give you a more complete review of the sales in our upcoming Comments on the Art Market.