The spring Contemporary and Impressionist auctions at Christie’s and Sotheby’s just wrapped up and now that they’re over, none of these pieces will ever be seen in public again. In many cases, that’s okay. I saw someone describe this season’s offerings at a solid B+ and I’d have to agree. Aside from a Rothko, nothing really blew my sox off. I’ll keep my pithy remarks to a minimum. As always, feel free to heartily disagree.
Away from the Flock
Glass, painted steel, silicone, acrylic, plastic, lamb and formaldehyde
Est: $4,000,000 – 6,000,000
Sold for: $4,412,500
It’s a lamb. Floating in a tank of formaldehyde.
He’s pulled this sort of thing before. He did it with a great white shark and even a cow cut in half. Art as a spectacle. $4.4M. Hirst is currently at his estate laughing his ass off.
Flesh and Spirit
Oil stick, gesso, acrylic and paper on canvas
Estimate Upon Request
Sold for: $30,711,000
A huge piece. I am slowly coming around to Basquiat. I still hold him in contempt for throwing it all away on an O.D. but am beginning to see some value in his work. It’s the same urban Lower East Side environ I spent so many years in.
Wood mask and cotton nightgown
Est: $1,400,000 – 1,800,000
Sold for: $975,000
A nighty tacked to the wall. You can’t see it in the pic but there’s a chunk of painted wood underneath. What does it mean? Can anyone tell me? $975K would put both my daughters through school with enough left over to buy myself a snow cone machine.
Piscine de Medianoche (Paper Pool 30)
Est: $5,000,000 – 7,000,000
Sold for: $11,743,800
A vivid, beautiful piece. Interesting for its construction. Made from colored and pressed paper pulp. Much more tactile in person. I liked the deckle edges of each section.
Grande Poubelle (Large Rubbish Bin)
Plexiglas box, painted wood, accumulated studio refuse
Est: $60,000 – 80,000
Did not sell
It’s garbage from the artist’s studio. I think I took about $2,000 worth of art to the curb last night. Didn’t sell, which fills me with hope for the human race.
Est: $30,000,000 – 40,000,000
Sold for: $34,098,000
Magnificent (to me). Nice and bright. Pollock’s color displacement is better in some works than in others and this is one of the best I’ve seen.
Estimate on Request
Sold for: $22,812,500
It’s an aluminum mountain of Play-Doh. My sweet Lord. Where would you put something like this? Playful, yet, dumb.
Bronze, wood, brick, beeswax, human hair, recycling pump, water, latex paint
Est: $6,000,000 – 8,000,000
Sold for: $7,287,500
Gober is my bête noire. A fake. A charlatan. What’s with all the drains in his work? This includes a pump that circulates running water. He is also currently at home laughing his ass off.
Oil on paper mounted on canvas
Est: $7,000,000 – 10,000,000
Sold for: $18,856,500
I like Rothko and my fondness for his work has grown over the years. This was beautifully lit. It glowed. I could live with this. Forever. A shame about the $18M+.
Sacred / Universal No. 7/3 Times (Cardboard)
Cardboard and tape on plywood
Est: $250,000 – 350,000
Sold for $225,000
Cardboard boxes affixed to the wall. What’s the appeal? Perhaps it’s the way they’re arranged?
Vincent Van Gogh
Vue de l’asile et de la Chapelle Saint-Paul de Mausole (Saint-Rémy)
Est: $35,000,000 – 55,000,000
Sold for: $39,687,500
Thick and juicy. Mainstream popularity be damned; I’m still enamored with his work. That poor bastard died broke. He’s not at home laughing.
Balloon Rabbit (Red), Balloon Monkey (Blue), Balloon Swan (Yellow) [Three Works]
Est: $20,000 – $30,000
Sold for: $81,250
Adorable. Easier to display than his monstrous balloon dog. More affordable, too (relatively speaking).