In addition to the record price of the Magritte, new marks were achieved for
, whose Apocalyptic Landscape
(1912) went to a representative from Lévy Gorvy
bidding in the room. The hammer price was $12.2 million, or $14 million with fees.
“That was a work that my colleagues, particularly Helena Newman, have been pursuing for literally decades,” Julian Dawes, a senior vice president in the department, said of the Meidner.
also saw a new record achieved. From his seat in the salesroom, Gagosian
director Andrew Fabricant fended off a fellow in-room bidder, Nicholas Maclean of London- and New York–based gallery Eykyn Maclean
. Fabricant took Maclean past the portrait of Joseph De Montesquiou-Fezensac’s low estimate of $15 million and brought bidding up to $17.8 million, capturing the work for $20.4 million with fees—a whopping five times the artist’s previous record. Before that, three Kandinsky works from the estate of a European collection that Sotheby’s dubbed “The Triumph of Color” sold for a combined $67.8 million with fees; all the nine other works from the collection also found buyers.
Even though the top lot of the Sotheby’s auction failed to sell, the night’s total was 17% up from a year ago, and Sotheby’s representatives said the house is confident it will find a buyer for the bought-in Hartley privately (Sotheby’s had guaranteed the work and therefore owns it until a buyer can be found).
“We believe in the painting,” Uribe said after the sale. “We’re confident that we’re going to come out all right. We have no apologies.”
One more reason for optimism: The total trounced the equivalent sale at rival Christie’s by nearly $20 million.