Sotheby’s kicked off the summer contemporary art auction week with its evening sale last night (June 30th). Auctioneer Oliver Barker sold 86% of the lots for just over £93million, above the £89.7million estimate.
Francis Bacon: Three Studies for Portrait of George Dyer
The jewel in the crown was Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for Portrait of George Dyer, which sold for £26,682,500 (which includes the 12% buyer’s premium), exceeding its £20million estimate.
Peter Doig achieved a new record auction price of £7.5million for his Country-rock (wing mirror), although this was somewhat below the £9million estimate Sotheby’s had hoped for.
The big surprise of the evening, however, was from Adrian Ghenie. The Romanian artist, born in 1977, saw his oil painting, The Fake Rothko, sell for £1.2million, surpassing its conservative estimate of £250-300,000 and outstripping his previous auction record of £218,500.
Eight pieces didn’t sell, including works by Anish Kapoor, Anthony Caro, John Currin and Anselm Kiefer. However, the team at Sotheby’s remained upbeat about the sale, with Cheyenne Westphal, Co-Global Head of Contemporary Art commenting after the auction “I’m thrilled to have set a new world record for tonight” (in response to the Doig sale).