Tuesday’s sale at Sotheby’s was short on record-breaking action, but ’s Welt des Adlers I (World of the Eagle I)
(1981) sold for a hammer price of £430,000 ($555,000), or £531,000 ($685,000) with fees, setting a new record for the German
The most protracted bidding wars in the swift sale were for works by younger living artists. The opening lot, ’s Witch
(2017), drew interest from eight bidders, with the painting eventually selling for a hammer price of £130,000 ($167,000), or £162,500 ($209,000) with fees. Curtiss’s work first appeared at auction in May of last year, and her current auction record of $423,000 was set at Christie’s last November; Curtiss just joined the roster of mega-gallery White Cube
. The sale’s third-to-last lot, ’s Empirical Mind State
(2009), soared past its £150,000 ($193,000) high estimate to sell for a hammer price of £500,000 ($645,000) to a phone bidder on the line with Yuki Terase, the auction house’s head of contemporary art, Asia. With fees, the price came to £615,000 ($793,000).
The saga of ’s duct-taped banana
at Art Basel in Miami Beach last December seemed to have whet collectors’ appetites for his work in the Sotheby’s sale: an untitled, hyperrealist sculpture of a seemingly crucified figure from 2007 with a high estimate of £800,000 ($1 million). His December stunt proved fruitful: The work at Sotheby’s set off a long bidding war between two phone bidders on the line with Terase and Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, with the work eventually hammering down at £1.2 million ($1.5 million). After fees, the price came to £1.5 million ($1.9 million).