$85.4M Warhol Leads $315M Contemporary Sales at Sotheby's

Wednesday, November 16, 2022
$85.4M Warhol Leads $315M Contemporary Sales at Sotheby's

Andy Warhol’s altar-like White Disaster (White Car Crash 19 Times) sold for $85.4 million, driving an evening of Contemporary sales at Sotheby’s to $315 million.

Andy Warhol’s altar-like White Disaster (White Car Crash 19 Times) sold for $85.4 million, driving an evening of Contemporary sales at Sotheby’s to $315 million. It led an evening of sales which also saw heated competition for women artists, and strong prices for works from celebrated collections, including from the de Kooning Family Collection, The Collection of Geraldine and Harold Alden, The Mallin Collection, and The Collection of William S. Paley. 

Facts & Figures from the Auctions:

  • This evening’s auctions together totaled $314.9 million (estimate $268.6 - 343.7m).
    • The Now sale totaled $45.8 million - the third consecutive white-glove sale for the series in New York (est. $29.4 - 42.2m). Almost 70% of the works sold for prices in excess of their high estimates
    • The Contemporary Evening Auction totaled $269.1 million - comfortably within its pre-sale estimate ($239.2-301.6m) 
  • 97% of all lots found buyers across the two sales 
  • With tonight’s totals, year-to-date sales for Contemporary Art hit $1.77 billion – second highest after last November 
  • 8 new artist records:
  • Works emerging from prominent collections command committed bidding
    • The de Kooning Family Collection: three works emerging at auction for the first time from this collection were led by Untitled circa 1979, which achieved $34.8 million - the second highest price for a work by the artist. The paintings represent the first paintings from the de Kooning family collection ever to come to auction
    • The Collection of Geraldine and Harold Alden: Six works from this collection realized $20 million, led by Roy Lichtenstein’s Modern Painting with Small Bolt, which sold for $6.9 million
    • The William S. Paley Collection: three works achieved a combined above-estimate of $9.6 million (est. $5.4-7.7m), bringing the overall total for works from the collection sold this week to $56.6 million. 
    • The Mallin Collection: four works from this remarkable collection made $11 million this evening

  • This week's Evening Sales garnered 7.25 million combined views – the highest ever for any sale week for Sotheby’s

Top Five Prices Across the Evening 

  • Andy Warhol’s monumental masterpiece White Disaster (White Car Crash 19 Times), 1963 sold for $85.4 million - among the highest prices ever achieved for a work by the artist at auction
  • A trio of works by Willem de Kooning emerging from the de Kooning Family Collection was led by the artist’s Untitled (c. 1979) which achieved $34.8 million - the third highest price for the artist at auction 
  • Francis Bacon’s portrait of Lucian Freud realized $30 million, selling to a UK buyer. The work is the first of only five triptychs the artist created of Freud 
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Saxaphone from 1986 sold for $14.2 million 
  • A further de Kooning from the family collection (Montauk II) sold for $12.7 million 
  • Yoshitomo Nara’s Light Haze Days/Study sold to a collector in Asia for $11.9 million 

Women Artists Take Center Stage

  • Overall, women artists represented more than one-third of all lots offered tonight [25% in CTP, more than 50% in The Now]
  • For the second season in a row, women artists outnumbered their male counterparts in a Sotheby’s Evening Sale, making up over 50% of the works in The Now and accounting for nearly 45% of the total value 
  • Total of 5 new auction records for women artists: Barbara KrugerBetye SaarElizabeth PeytonCarol Bove and Jacqueline Humphries
  • Online participants acquired works by Avery Singer (sold for $2.1m) & Toyin Ohih Odutola (sold for $945,000)
  • Across both sales, women artists exceeded their combined high estimate to achieve $35.9 million


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Image of the Day

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.


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