On May 16, Sotheby’s wowed the crowd with a record-breaking $254,874,000 in total sales. One of the sale’s many star lots, Rothko’s White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) – a work that David Rockefeller had bought for $10,000 in 1961 – sold for $72,800,000, a record for any contemporary work of art at auction.
The following day, Christie’s topped what Sotheby’s with an historic $384,654,400, with about 95% of the lots being sold under the hammer. New records were also set: Warhol’s Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I), estimated to sell at between $25,000,000 – 35,000,000, sold for a whopping $71,720,000.
The astronomical numbers have stirred concerns for the overvaluing and undervaluing of contemporary art, foreboding a market crash that everyone in the industry is bracing themselves for. Let’s see what the London Contemporary art sales, taking place later this month, will have in store for us.