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Sotheby's Achieves Record Year With Women The Unexpected Power Players - ArtLyst Article image

Sotheby's Achieves Record Year With Women The Unexpected Power Players

23-12-2014
 
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Sotheby's has seen a notably intensified focus on the emergence of female power players in the art market in 2014. There was a surge in appreciation for and reappraisal of works by female artists. Landmark prices were achieved for works by female masters through the ages: Establishing a record price for a female artist, Georgia O’Keeffe’s iconic flower painting Jimson Weed of 1932 more than tripled the previous world auction record for any female artist when it fetched $44.4m / £28.4m (est. $10 – 15m) in New York in November.

Causing a stir in the Impressionist & Modern Art field, the sale of American artist Kay Sage’s evocative painting Le Passage of 1956 marked an emergence from the shadow of her husband’s (Yves Tanguy) prominent reputation when the work surpassed all expectations when it sold for £4.3m / $7.1m (est. £70,000 – 90,000), establishing a new record for the artist in London’s February sales.

A notable female figure on the contemporary art scene in 2014 was Vija Celmins. The scarcity of her labour‐ intensive, painstakingly detailed works ensures furious competition among collectors each time a significant example appears at auction. New York’s Contemporary Curated sale in September was led by the most important group of her works ever offered auction, including the seminal painting Burning Plane from 1965 which doubled the high estimate of $1.2 million to sell for $3.4m / £2.1m.

Hidden from view for eight decades, a re‐discovered painting by the Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi, Mary Magdalene fetched the remarkable sum of $1.2m / £691,626 (est. €200,000 – 300,000) in Paris in June, a new record for the artist at auction.

A new record was set for the 19th‐century pioneering photographer Julia Margaret Cameron in New York when No. 5 of series of twelve lifesized heads (Kate Keown) sold for $461,000 / £293,462 (est. $250,000 – 350,000) in December, nearly doubling the previous record for the artist.

Having remained in the shadow of her more vaunted male contemporaries – artists such as Piero Manzoni, Lucio Fontana, Enrico Castellani – Dadamaino emerged triumphant in 2014 when a new benchmark was set for the artist when Volume by far exceeded pre‐sale expectations and sold for £122,500 / $196,453 during October’s Italian Sale, swiftly followed by the opening of a landmark survey of her work at London’s S|2 Gallery.


Top Ten Highest Prices at Sotheby’s Auctions in 2014

Alberto Giacometti, Chariot Sold for £63,130,745 / $100,965,000 Impressionist & Modern Art Evening sale, November, New York

Amedeo Modigliani, Tête Sold for £44,222,473 / $70,725,000 *RECORD FOR THE ARTIST AT AUCTION* Impressionist & Modern Art Evening sale, November, New York

Vincent Van Gogh, Still life, Vase with Daisies and Poppies Sold for £38,620,021 / $61,765,000 (est. $30— 50 million) Impressionist & Modern Art Evening sale, November, New York

Claude Monet, Nymphéas Sold for £31,722,500 / $54,071,001 (est. £20 – 30 million) Impressionist & Modern Art Evening sale, June, London

JWM Turner, Rome, From Mount Aventine Sold for £30,322,500 / $47,430,454 (est. £15 – 20 million) *RECORD FOR THE ARTIST AT AUCTION* Old Master & British Paintings Evening sale, December, London

Francis Bacon, Three Studies for Portrait of George Dyer Sold for £26,682,500 / $45,400,274 (est. £15 – 20 million) Contemporary Art Evening auction, June, London

Mark Rothko, No. 21 (Red, Brown, Black and Orange) Sold for £28,376,246 / $44,965,000 Contemporary Art Evening auction, November, New York

Georgia O'Keeffe, Jimson Weed Sold for £28,377,428 / $44,405,000 (est. $10 – 15 million) RECORD FOR THE ARTIST AT AUCTION* *RECORD FOR ANY FEMALE ARTIST AT AUCTION* American Art, November, New York

Mark Rothko, Untitled Sold for £25,100,591 / $39,925,000 (est. $15 – 20 million) Property from the Collection of Mrs Paul Mellon: Masterworks, November, New York

Mark Rothko, Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange) Sold for £22,988,180 / $36,565,000 (est. $20 – 30 million) Property from the Collection of Mrs Paul Mellon: Masterworks, November, New York

Top British Artists Prices of 2014

JWM Turner, Rome, From Mount Aventine Sold for £30,322,500 / $47,430,454 (est. £15 – 20) *RECORD FOR THE ARTIST AT AUCTION* Old Master & British Paintings Evening sale, December, London

Francis Bacon, Three Studies for Portrait of George Dyer Sold for £26,682,500 / $45,400,274 (est. £15 – 20 million) Contemporary Art Evening auction, June, London

Laurence Stephen Lowry, Piccadilly Circus, London Sold for £5,122,500 / $8,444,441 (est. £4 – 6 million) Lowry: The A.J. Thompson Collection, March, London

Lucian Freud, Head on a Green Sofa Sold for £2,994,500 / $2,994,500 (est. £2.5 – 3.5 million) Contemporary Art Evening Auction, February, London

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Venus Verticordia Sold for £2,882,500 / $4,522,931 (est. £1 – 1.5 million) British & Irish Art, December, London





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