Art Market

Sotheby’s auction of Keith Haring’s collection achieved $4.6 million, with every lot sold.

Justin Kamp
Oct 2, 2020 9:38PM, via Sotheby’s

Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Juan Dubose, 1983. Sold for $504,000. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s online auction of works from the collection of Keith Haring, “Dear Keith,” closed on Thursday, achieving $4.6 million with a 100 percent sell-through rate by lot, a so-called “white-glove” sale. Of the lots on offer, 94 percent exceeded their high estimates, which helped push the auction’s total take to more than three times its initial estimate of $1.4 million. The sale drew nearly 450 bidders, more than half of whom were new to Sotheby’s, and the sale averaged 33 bids per lot.

“Dear Keith,” which was presented in partnership with the Keith Haring Foundation, gathered more than 140 works from the late artist’s collection, including pieces by contemporaries such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Kenny Scharf. All proceeds from the sale will go to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of New York, a queer community organization that Haring painted a mural for in 1989.

Fab Five Freddy, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Futura, Rammellzee, Haze, Zephyr, Sniper, Chi-193, and Chino, Untitled, 1981. Sold for $504,000. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

Among the top lots were Warhol’s 1983 silkscreen portrait of Haring and his lover, the musician Juan Dubose, which more than doubled its high estimate of $250,000 to sell for $504,000. A 1981 untitled 19-part collaborative work by Fab Five Freddy, Haring, Basquiat, Futura, Rammellzee, Haze, Zephyr, Sniper, Chi-193, and Chino also achieved $504,000, more than quadrupling its high estimate of $120,000. Scharf’s spray enamel work Untitled (ca. 1985) shattered its high estimate of $35,000 to sell for $226,800.

Harrison Tenzer, head of Sotheby's contemporary art online sales in New York, said in a statement:

This has truly been a labor of love for Sotheby’s, The Foundation, the Center, and all of the artists and artist foundations who shared a wealth of information with us, which allowed us to contextualize each artwork in the sale and highlight Haring’s legacy and the work of his closest friends and collaborators. The incredible result—a white glove sale that set 29 artist records and soared beyond expectations—is a testament to the incredible legacy of Keith Haring. Keith touched the lives of so many people with his generosity, and with this gift to the Center, his largess continues.

Rammellzee, Death Note: Intrude the Prelude - Paint a Time That Clocks Out, 1988. Sold for $212,400. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

Justin Kamp
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