art market

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Art World About to Be Swimming in Warhols

Warhol foundation to auction off 20K works

(Newser) - We've got bad news for art collectors who've invested heavily in screen prints of soup cans: Their value might be about to plummet, because Andy Warhol's estate is selling out. The Andy Warhol Foundation is dumping its entire collection—more than 20,000 works—in a move... More »

Warhol Elvis May Fetch $50M

Cowboy painting coming up for auction

(Newser) - Andy Warhol's 1963 "Double Elvis" painting is poised to fetch a whopping $25 million per Elvis at auction this spring. Sotheby's has set an estimate of up to $50 million for the work, which shows Elvis dressed as a cowboy and shooting from the hip, AP reports.... More »

Rebounding Art World Expects Huge Spring Prices

A dozen works are priced near $20 million each at auctions

(Newser) - The art market has bounced back amazingly well from the downturn, and auction houses are aiming to sell $1 billion in Impressionist and modern works at two major sales next week. A dozen works are expected to fetch close to $20 million apiece, a price the auction houses couldn't... More »

Picasso Sells for Record $106.5M

Highest auction price ever paid for art

(Newser) - A Pablo Picasso portrait of his mistress sold for a record-breaking $106.5 million at a Christie's auction in New York yesterday. The winning bid, placed by an anonymous telephone bidder, is the highest price ever paid for a work of art at auction, beating the $104.5 million forked... More »

Painting by Hitler May Have Hung in Freud's Office

Future fuhrer peddled watercolors in Vienna

(Newser) - Back in 1910, when Sigmund Freud was decorating the walls of his Vienna offices, he may have bought a painting from a struggling young artist who was then peddling his work in Vienna: Adolf Hitler. The discovery of a tiny Hitler watercolor marked on the back with the name of... More »

'Unseen' Picasso Fetches $13M

Tete de Femme (Jacqueline sells for double pre-sale estimates

(Newser) - A Picasso painting not seen in public for over 40 years went under the hammer at Christie's of London yesterday, fetching a cool $13 million. The painting, Tete de Femme (Jacqueline) was painted in 1963 and depicts the artist's second wife. The painting brought double its expected pre-sale value, Reuters... More »

Etching Found in U Bathroom a Rembrandt

Catholic University exhibits its mystery picture

(Newser) - When the president of Catholic University saw the signature "Rembrandt" on a tiny framed portrait he had found tucked into his bathroom cabinet, he showed it off to visitors, but it didn't seem plausible enough to consult an appraiser. Years later, the university finally had the picture appraised, and... More »

Rare Raphael Drawing Goes for $48M

New record for work on paper suggests recovering art market

(Newser) - The art market is back: A rare Raphael chalk drawing went for $48 million at a Christie's auction in London yesterday—the highest price any art at auction has fetched all year, and a record for a work on paper. Christie's also sold a Rembrandt portrait for $33.2 million,... More »

Color Christie's Blue Over Weak Modern Sale

Picasso, Mondrian flop at sparsely attended auction

(Newser) - A New York art dealer at the Christie's auction last night decreed "the recession is ending," but apparently not soon enough to move 13 of 41 modern and impressionist art works on offer, leaving the auction house millions of dollars short of pre-sale estimates. Major works by Picasso... More »

Madoff's Money Man Sells Rothkos for $310M

Merkin unloads art, but buyer's identity a mystery

(Newser) - Ezra Merkin, the financier who pumped billions of his clients' money into Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, is selling more than 10 paintings by Mark Rothko and two sculptures by Alberto Giacometti for $310 million, reports the Wall Street Journal. Some of the proceeds may go to his defrauded investors, who... More »

Modest Success at Christie's Cheers Art World

Hockney breaks record as auction house sells $93.7M

(Newser) - Christie's contemporary auction in New York last night went better than expected, selling $93.7 million worth of postwar art—double the result of its rival Sotheby's the night before. The top lot was a 12-foot panorama by British painter David Hockney, which sold for $7.9 million, a record... More »

Buyers Return for Healthy Christie's Sale

Auction house pulls in $103M, besting rival Sotheby's

(Newser) - The art market performed better last night at Christie's New York sale of Impressionist and modern art, pulling in $103 million after a lackluster showing by its rival Sotheby's on Tuesday. The top lot was a 1968 portrait by Picasso, which sold for $14.6 million. As the Wall Street ... More »

Sotheby's Sale Busts, Picasso Goes Unsold

$61.3M result fails to reach low estimate

(Newser) - The art market failed to recover from its recent slump last night, as Sotheby's held a disappointing New York sale that saw works by Picasso and Giacometti go unsold. The small auction of 36 lots brought in just $61.3 million—well below the low estimate of $81.5 million.... More »

Strapped Art Market Preps for Auctions

Expectations low as auction houses try variety of tactics

(Newser) - After a 7-year boom, art auction houses are struggling as collectors hit hard by the recession close their wallets. Sotheby’s predicts it will pull in $179 million to $256 million at spring sales, compared to $742 million a year ago. As the spring events approach, auctioneers are employing an... More »

Art Prices Tumble 35%

(Newser) - Art prices went into freefall in the first quarter, as cash-strapped collectors unloaded their masterpieces, the Financial Times reports. Prices dropped 35%, after falling just 4.8% for all of 2008. Postwar and contemporary artists, favorites of the Wall Street elite, have been hit especially hard, with even the best... More »

Auction Winner Won't Pay for Chinese Relics

Collector says he bid $36 million on antiquities as protest

(Newser) - Among the most closely watched lots at last week's Paris auction of Yves Saint Laurent's art collection were two imperial Chinese bronzes that each sold for $18 million. Beijing spent months insisting that the sculptures were looted in the 19th century and should be returned to China, but failed to... More »

Cash-Poor Collectors Turn to Haute Pawnshops

'Private art banks' exchange paintings for cash

(Newser) - With loans hard to come by, some rich Americans are turning to their art collections for quick cash. Rather than sell in a depressed market, collectors turn to a lightly regulated corner of the marketplace that provides capital in exchange for temporary ownership of artwork. While they may look like... More »

Christie's Cuts Jobs as Art Sales Slump

250-year-old auction house downsizes to stay afloat

(Newser) - Following months of bad results in America and Europe, Christie's is reorganizing to cut costs, including "significant staff reductions," the auction house said yesterday. While at the start of 2008 the art world seemed immune to the economic downturn, the decade-long boom in art prices busted this fall.... More »

Hirst Is Art World's Lehman

September mega-sale coincided with investment bank's collapse

(Newser) - With the collapse of Lehman Brothers having opened an “anxious new era” in financial circles and among consumers at large, the auction that brought artist Damien Hirst $166 million on Sept. 15—the very day Lehman went bust—clearly marks the division, Martin Gayford writes for Bloomberg. By year’... More »

Economy Shadows Miami Art Fair

Collectors descend on Art Basel, but sales are slow

(Newser) - The art world descends on Miami this week for Art Basel Miami Beach, America's biggest art fair. But last night's VIP opening had none of the crazed buying of recent years, when collectors ran through the aisles in the first minutes like frenzied Wal-Mart shoppers. "It's obvious the economy... More »

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