tag archives: sotheby’s

inspired by david hockney:  a bigger exhibition?

then, maybe you’re interested in acquiring a study for a closer grand canyon…

david hockney | a closer grand canyon | pastel on paper | signed with the artist’s initials | dated 98

sotheby’s new york | contemporary art day auction | 14 november 2013 | lot 214 | estimate US$ 400,000-600,000

click here to read more about a closer grand canyon.

click here to read more about david hockney:  a bigger exhibition, showing at the de young museum in san francisco CA from 26 october 2013-20 january 2014.

the controversy is over.

two of the twelve bronze zodiac animal sculptures that once surrounded the fountain in the gardens of the old summer palace (yuanmingyuan), a qing dynasty (1644-1911) imperial retreat near beijing, have been returned to china by french billionaire francois-henri pinault.

the zodiac sculptures were not only the subject of circle of animals/zodiac heads, a public outdoor sculpture exhibition by chinese artist/activist, ai weiwei, but also, the subject of chinese zodiac, a jackie chan action movie.

ai weiwei | circle of animals/zodiac heads

exhibited 2 may-15 july 2011 | pulitzer fountain | new york, NY

photo credit arrested motion

christie’s sold the the two sculptures for 31.4 million euros (US$40 million) during the february 2009 auction of the collection yves saint laurent et pierre berge.  but, the buyer, a chinese national, withheld payment in protest.  so, the two sculptures remained in the collection of pierre berge until they were acquired by the pinault family.

bronze rabbit and rat zodiac animal sculptures | from the fountain at the yuanmingyuan | qianlong period (r. 1736-1795)

collection yves saint laurent et pierre berge | christie’s paris | 23-25 february 2009 | sale 1209 | lots 678 and 677

photo credits les cahiers d’alain truong
the pinault family controls kering, the french luxury brand group formerly known as ppr, which also owns christie’s.

coincidently, christie’s was recently granted a license to become the first independently operated international auction house in china. (the chinese operations of christie’s compititor, sotheby’s, are a joint venture with state-owned beijing gehua cultural development group.)

could this be a convenient coincidence?

click here to read related previous posts, new york times, wall street journal, and financial times articles.

is chinese porcelain as valuable as impressionist art?

sold for US$21.6 million, the world record auction price for ming dynasty porcelain.

a blue and white meiping vase with fruit sprays | yongle period | ming dynasty

the meiyintang collection, part II | lot 11 | sotheby’s hong kong | 5 october 2011

photo credit sotheby’s
sold for US$69.5 million, the highest price paid for any chinese work of art at auction.

the bainbridge vase

a yang cai reticulated double walled vase sith six-character mark in underglaze blue of qianlong and of the period

lot 800 | bainbriges, west ruslip, middlesex, united kingdom | 11 november 2010

photo credit bainbridges

but, rumor has it that:

the bainbridge vase hasn’t been paid for.

the bainbridge vase isn’t genuine.

the provenance of the bainbridge vase isn’t real.

click here to read more about the bainbridge vase.

which could become more valuable?

a picasso painting, sold for US$106.5 million, the world record price for a work of art sold at auction.

pablo picasso | nude, green leaves and bust | oil on canvas | 1932

property from the collection of mrs. sidney f. brody | lot 6 | christie’s new york | 4 may 2010

photo credit christie’s

or, a painting by chinese contemporary artist zhang xiaogang, sold for US$10.2 million, the world record auction price for a chinese contemporary painting.

zhang xiaobong | forever naked love | triptych | oil on canvas | 1988

the ullens collection-the nascence of avant garde china | lot 808 | sotheby’s hong kong | 3 april 2011

photo credit artnet

henry howard-sneyd, vice chairman of asian art at sotheby’s, votes for zhang xiaogang.

his 27 october 2011 lecture at the san francisco fall antiques show about collecting opportunities: the rise of the asian art markets could be considered controversial.

howard-sneyd believes that the bubble could eventually burst.  but, he also thinks that this is one of the great periods of artistic endeavor in china, so a correction in pricing probably wouldn’t destroy the market for contemporary or traditional chinese works of art.

even though the demographics of the market are currently dominated by chinese dealers and collectors, in the long term, he thinks that western dealers and collectors are also very important.

but, howard-sneyd questions whether or not the phenomenal growth of the leading chinese auction houses, such as poly, china guardian, beijing hanhai, or council, can be believed.  according to published figures, the turnover in asian art at these four auction houses now dwarfs the turnover in asian art at sotheby’s, christie’s, and bonham’s.  but, howard-sneyd also noted that, using data from xinhua, a chinese government news agency, a chinese newspaper journalist implied that the actual volume of these four auction houses could be closer to 25% of the published figures, based on the amount of sales tax that they paid.

all of the rumors seem quite controversial, don’t you think?

‘rumor has it’ | adele | 21