CONTEMPORARIES “GOING STRONG”: The November auction week in review

Contemporary art stole the spotlight thanks to its historic sell-through rate, but modern art and jewellery also performed well, leading to extremely positive overall auction results.

An astonishingly high percentage of the artworks offered in the “Contemporary Art” evening auction sold – the majority for far above the expected price. 1960s-era Italian and German art ranked amongst the highest selling.

Works by Agostino Bonalumi (€442,200), Enrico Castellani (€417,800), and Gino De Dominicis (€ 222.600) were snatched up by bidders at substantially higher than estimated prices. Paolo Scheggi‘s “Intersuperficie curva rossa” went for an outstanding €393,400. Ceramic works by Lucio Fontana were well received – in particular, a golden “Concetto Spaziale,” which an Italian bidder bought for €283,600. A wire sculpture by Fausto Melotti found a new home with a U.S. bidder for €271,400 – a vastly higher sum than was expected.

Pieces by Gerhard Richter met with great success, amongst them his paintings “Abstraktes Bild” (€491,000) and “Grün-Blau-Rot” (€369,000) as well as “Ifrit” (€143,300), his 2010 small-format optical disc. A German collector paid €295,800 for a relief with tinted plexiglas by Heinz Mack.
An untitled work of cast iron with trumpets attached left the auction block at thrice the estimated value for €186,000.

Austrian art also earned top prices. Bidders acquired “Selbstporträt als Auto” and “Zwei Figuren” by Maria Lassnig, whose oil painting sold for a world-record-breaking €491,000 at Dorotheum in 2014, for €344,600 and €341,202, respectively.

The week got off to an excellent start with the Modern Art Auction, at which the Futurist Gino Severini emerged the top seller (€369,000). Frantisek Kupka’s painting “Badender” (€295,800).


There was also the matter of the ring with an untreated Burma sapphire that sold for a breathtaking €222,600. Second place in the Jewellery Auction went to a Belperron diamond brooch. The brooch sold for € 100,000 – significantly higher than estimated.

Read about upcoming auctions in our online catalogue!

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