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The Art World’s Richter Scale Registers at Sotheby’s London Evening Sale

February 15, 2012

LOT 14 - GERHARD RICHTER B.1932 KIND (CHILD) signed, dated 1989, and numbered 687-3 on the reverse oil on canvas 97 by 92cm. 38 1/4 by 34 1/4 in. Estimate: £2-3 million. Hammer price: £2.7 million, Final price including buyer's premium: £3,065,250.

Sotheby’s London evening sale of post-War and contemporary art (previewed here) didn’t see any boffo eight digit prices for any works offered, but there was a steady rumble of Richters.  The octogenarian artist saw several of his Abstraktes Bilder and a gauzy realist seascape pull some decent numbers at a solid sale that had three of lots withdrawn and five buy-ins. The sale totaled £50,688,450 (final prices inclusive of buyer’s premiums) — complete results here (Sotheby’s has also posted this post sale video complete with driving music; the video for the Impressionist and Modern London sale has a score straight out of Downton Abbey).

About the bidder for lot 14 (above), the Wall Street Journal’s Kelly Crow tweeted: Guy in a black leather bomber jacket with a fashionable scruff pays 2.7m pounds for Richter’s “Kind (Child)”.

One bidder picked up two Richters, lots 8 & 13 — visually a sort of fire and ice combo/contrast — the former for a hammer price of £3.6 million and the latter £3.8 million.  Bidding was particularly keen on Lot 13 when it crossed the £3 million mark, with four new bidders entering consecutively at the £3.1, £3.2, £3.3 and £3.4 million levels before the hammer came down. Total price this bidder paid for these two lots: £8,370,500.

LOT 8 - GERHARD RICHTER B.1932 ABSTRAKTES BILD (ROT) signed, dated 1991 and numbered 743-1 on the reverse oil on canvas 200 by 140cm. (78 3/4 by 55 1/8 in.) Estimate £2.5-3.5 million. Hammer price: £3.6 million, Final price including buyer's premium: £4,073,250

LOT 13 - GERHARD RICHTER B.1932 EIS (ICE) signed, dated 1981 and numbered 476-1 on the reverse; titled on the stretcher oil on canvas 70 by 100cm. 27 1/2 by 39 3/8 in. Estimate: £2-3 million. Hammer price: £3.8 million, Final price including buyer's premium £4,297,250.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another bidder snapped up lots 9 & 23, a 1960 Yves Klein and the top estimated lot, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 Orange Sports Figure, spending £5,010,500 for the two works.

LOT 9 - YVES KLEIN (1928 -1962) ANT 59 inscribed Monique pigment in synthetic resin on paper laid down on canvas 76 by 40.3cm.(29 7/8 by 15 7/8 in.) Executed in 1960, this work has been authenticated by Rotraut Klein on the reverse. Estimate: £450,000-650,000. Hammer price: £800,000, Final price including buyer's premium: £937,250.

LOT 23 - JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT (1960 - 1988) ORANGE SPORTS FIGURE acrylic, oil stick and spray paint on canvas 152.4 by 121.9cm. (60 by 48in.) Executed in 1982. Estimate: £3-4 million. Hammer price: £3.6 million, Final price including buyer's premium: £4,073,250.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet another bidder dropped a total of £5,615,300 for lots 7 & 52, an Anish Kapoor mirror sculpture and the evening’s most expensive work, Gerhard Richter’s 1992 Abstraktes Bild.

LOT 7 - ANISH KAPOOR B.1954 UNTITLED signed and dated 2010 and inscribed with the signature and dated 2010 on the reverse stainless steel 159 by 159 by 20cm. (62 1/2 by 62 1/2 by 7 7/8 in.) Estimate: £500,700. Hammer price: £640,000, Final price including buyer's premium £758,050.

LOT 52 - GERHARD RICHTER B.1932 ABSTRAKTES BILD signed, dated 1992 and numbered 768-4 on the reverse oil on canvas 200 by 160cm. (78 3/4 by 63in.) Estimate: £3-4 million. Hammer price: £4.3 million, Final price including buyer's premium £4,857,250.

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