Sotheby's and the other auction houses are the hidden gems of the art world in New York. There are always several days of exhibition prior to each auction. The exhibitions are free to the public and allow close viewing in an intimate setting of amazing pieces of art, many of which will be held in private collections and never publicly seen again. A contemporary art auction was held earlier in November which led to the highest grosses (319 million)for a single contemporary art auction in Sotheby's history. There were so many incredible artworks by some of my favorite artists, a few of which are pictured below (along with final sale price).
Jeff Koons - Hanging Heart: while not at all my style nor my favorite, this artwork is worth mentioning for two reasons. First, it is 9 feet tall, weighs 3500 pounds, and is painted with layers and layers of pink paint to create a mirror-like surface. Second, it sold for $23,561,000 (yes, 23+ million) making it the most expensive artwork by a living artist ever sold at auction!
Jean-Michel Basquiat - Electric Chair: sold for $11,801,000
Jean-Michel Basquiat - Elaine: sold for $2,393,000
Jean-Michel Basquiat - Elaine: detail
(can you tell that I love this artist?)
Robert Motherwell - Mexican Night: sold for $1,026,600
Andy Warhol - Hector and Andromache: sold for $690,000 (a bargain compared to the others!)
Mark Rothko - untitled: sold for $7,881,000
Robert Rauschenberg - Primo Calle/Roci Venezuela: sold for $2,617,000
Cy Twombly - untitled: $5,081,000