Magritte showstopper makes £52mn in half-billion auction haul

by AryanArtnews
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Last week’s London auction series focused on the ongoing relentless invasion of Russia into Ukraine, which did not seem to hinder people’s spending. According to ArtTactic, three nights of sales of the most popular art and one Christie’s auction via Shanghai will bring £ 500m (including fees), the highest this season since 2018. Exceeded. However, it was not an easy task because the shipper wanted safety. According to ArtTactic’s analysis, pre-sale guarantees make up 64% of the total for the season (based on the price of the hammer).

The highest price paid was £ 51.5m (£ 59.4m including fees, estimated at £ 45m) for René Magritte’s surrealist shortper “L’empire des lumières” (1961) held in Sotheby’s on March 2. It was pounds, guaranteed). It was purchased by phone via Sotheby’s Asia Chair.

Impressionist art, a favorite of Russian buyers, suffered a bit. A group of five works by Claude Monet, provided by Sotheby’s by an American seller, painted a mixed painting. The most expensive piece of the gentle Giverny grain pile from 1894 (estimated £ 15-20 million, guaranteed) was withdrawn and brought to the Sotheby’s auction in May. The painting of the river in the winter of 1893, purchased for £ 1.1 million in 2006, did not sell this time and was estimated at £ 5 to £ 7 million.

Prior to the auction on the evening of March 3, Russia-owned Phillips Auction House announced that it would donate buyers’insurance premiums and sellers’ fees (a total of £ 5.8 million) to the Ukrainian Red Cross. Six of the 47 lots were withdrawn prior to sale, a relatively high percentage, but overall there was considerable demand as popular artists proved themselves throughout the week. Phillips beat a total of £ 24.3m (estimated £ 24.5m-35.4m) prior to the donation.

Two young women hold each other in a grass field

‘Polina and Anya’ (2016) by Daria Svertivola

The world of art is fast To help those who have suffered since the invasion of Ukraine. Pace Gallery and its artist Lucas Samaras donated all of last week’s Art Geneve Fair revenue ($ 70,000 so far) to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Also last week, a non-fungible token of the Ukrainian flag created by a group including Russian activist Pussy Riot Nadia Trokonnikova was sold to a pool of donors for $ 6.7 million. All funds will go to Comeback Alive, an initiative to support the Ukrainian army in medical and food supplies.

Photographs by approximately 40 artists, offered through the Pictures for Purpose platform, will continue to be sold. From March 10th to 24th, unlimited photos are offered for € 125 per photo to raise funds for the charity World Central Kitchen, which serves meals at Polish border crossings and restaurants in Ukrainian cities. Will be done. Ukrainian artists who donated to the project receive 25% of their sales and include Daria Svertilova, Julie Poly (real name Yulia Polyashchenko) and artist duo Synchrodogs.

Screen-printed paintings of Botticelli's Venus, Mona Lisa's head, etc.

“Reception Room 1 (Japanese Recreational Clay Work)” (1982) Robert Rauschenberg © The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / ARS

Three major galleries are working together For a transatlantic show of lesser-known late works by American heavyweight Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008). Thaddaeus Ropac, a longtime gallery partner of the Artist Foundation, will hold a show in Salzburg (April 8th to July 9th), followed by New York’s Gladstone Gallery and Mnuchin Gallery at the beginning of May.

Each show was a different series of works from the Foundation, all with limited exposure. Ropac has two related series Clay Works, Made of ceramic in the 1980s. Rauschenberg created these in Japan and first visited them on a tour of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in 1964. There are two sculptures in the Gladstone Gallery — Venetian (1972-73) and Early Egyptians (1973-74) — Mnuchin will showcase 14 major works of the Rauschenberg series, made between 1971 and 1999.

Most of the work is for sale, and Foundation adviser Alan Schwartzman said Rauschenberg. combine His best known silk screen painting. “He was very original throughout his life and was not tied to any style, medium, image or surface treatment,” Schwartzman says. He believes Rauschenberg is “the most underrated artist after the war.”

Last year’s McDonald’s auction is important. Rauschenberg’s “Crocus” silkscreen (1962) may have sold over an estimated $ 11 million, well below the prices of artists such as Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, and Marcrosco. I did.

Two tall rough multicolor vases

Convelio, a digitally savvy art shipping company, Raised $ 35 million in Series B funding. The latest round, which Converio says is the largest investment ever in the art logistics business, is led by two technology-focused venture capital firms, Switzerland-based Forestay and Mundi Ventures, headquartered in Spain. it was done.

Convelio was founded in Paris in 2017 by an e-commerce specialist with the mission of disrupting slow artshipping businesses. Its selling point is an automated algorithm-based system that can be estimated in seconds instead of the usual 1-5 days, providing streamlined processes such as insurance and customs services once an order is placed. increase. Co-founder Edouard Gouin states that such efficiencies tend to reduce costs and the art market is responsive. In 2021, Convelio shipped $ 265 million in art to more than 80 countries, the company said.

While most of Convelio’s business deals with the United States, Gouin admits that the industry as a whole faces a geopolitical background. “Fares were already rising because of the pandemic, but now fuel costs are really rising,” he says. He states that trade routes to Asia must also be changed to avoid Russia. “The longer the route, the more fuel we will use.”

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