Sotheby's Contemporary Sale Soars to $80 Million in London, Driven by Gerhard Richter Fever

LONDON — Stoked by a half-dozen Gerhard Richter paintings chased by an international cast of hungry bidders, the contemporary art market maintained its surging pace at Sotheby’s tonight, realizing £50,688,450 ($79,672,106). 

The tally clipped pre-sale expectations of £34.5-48 million ($54.2-75.5 million), and improved on last February’s £44.3-48 million ($71 million). Only six of the 63 lots offered failed to find buyers for a slim buy-in rate by lot of 9.5 percent and five percent by value. Nine lots sold for over a million pounds and 21 over one million dollars. Two artist records were set, both by German artists, Albert Oehlen and A.R. Penck.

The quick tempo sale, navigated by auctioneer Tobias Meyer, motored along at autobahn speeds as Andreas Gursky’s “James Bond Island I” (2007), from an edition of five, sold toBona Montagu of London’s Simon Dickinson Gallery for £713,250 ($1.1 million) (est. £300-400,000). “My clients are delighted,” said Bona, who beat out five other bidders. “It’s quite an iconic piece.”

For the complete article by Judd Tully go to Art Info