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Sotheby's NY Contemporary Art Sales Attract Asian Museums and Collectors with Major Acquisitions

OGP | Collectors' Recommendations

May 21, 2023

This is the latest transaction record from Sotheby's titled 'Museums and Collectors in Asia Make Major Acquisitions at The New York Sales.' This series of auctions has attracted significant participation from Asian museums and collectors. It sends a strong signal, highlighting the importance and influence of the Asian market in the realm of contemporary art. Asian collectors have been presented with a rare opportunity to compete for rare artworks in the New York market. Their active participation and substantial investments have further fueled the prosperity and development of the global art market, while providing valuable collecting directions and reference data for other collectors.

Sotheby's had a highly successful week in New York, selling over $799 million worth of fine art across seven auctions. The top 10 lots from The New York Sales each exceeded $20 million. Notable highlights included Gustav Klimt's Insel im Attersee ($53.2 million), René Magritte's L'Empire des lumières ($42.3 million), and Codex Sassoon ($38.1 million). Including concurrent sales at Luxury Week in Geneva, Sotheby's total for the week reached $911.1 million.

The first two auctions on Tuesday achieved a combined total of $427 million, the third-highest single-evening total in Sotheby's history. A significant portion of the value came from 15 lots sold from The Mo Ostin Collection, curated by the renowned music producer. Throughout the week, numerous records were set, including Louise Bourgeois' Spider ($32.8 million), becoming her most valuable work at auction and one of the most valuable works by a female artist ever sold. The contributions of women artists and artists of color were instrumental in the week's success, setting new auction records and accounting for a significant portion of the overall sale value.

The presence of distinguished collections, such as The Fisch Davidson Collection, The Collection of Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem, and The Frances Wells Magee Collection, further bolstered the sales as eager buyers emerged for these significant works.

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