The First Open sale achieved a record-high total of $ 12,352,500 / £8,275,344 / €9,509,240 and was 87% sold by lot.
The auction opened with BKLYN works donated by 23 artists to benefit the artistic activities of the Brooklyn Museum, which reaized $506,250 (lots 1 – 23). One of the contributors Dustin Yellin made his debut at auction with I see the Boys of Summer (lot 19)—a work that exemplifies the Brooklyn Museums dedication to young, emerging artists, was sold for $30,000, six times its pre-sale estimate. The 21 works (lots 162 – 182) offered by artists to support the Artists Space program fund, totaled $830,625. After, a work on paper by Richard Serra estimated 70,000-80,000 was sold for $218,500.
The selection of intimately-sized Abstract Expressionist works (lots 113 - 149) from the Property of a Private Collection, included ones by Adolph Gottlieb, Richard Pousette-Dart, Mark Tobey and Helen Frankenthaler that sold for a total of $1 million. The extremely competitive bidding underscored the ongoing enthusiasm for exceptional examples from one of the most important schools of the 20th century. These works capture the zeitgeist of American Modernism, when artists united to change the course of American art history, and sold with great success. World auction records were fetched by works created by Dorothy Dehner (lot 131) at $ 47,500 and Melville Price (lot 124) at $4,000.
The highlights of the sale were two major works on paper by Gerhard Richter (lot 77) and Peter Doig (lot 65), both of which were held in private collections and unseen for 20 years. While both exceeded their pre-sale estimates. Doig’s Cobourg + 1 achieved a new world record for a works on paper by the artist, selling for $626,500. Gerhard Richter’s Ohne Titel (9.4.86), 1986—among the most ambitious works on paper in Richter’s oeuvre in terms of both scale and execution, was sold for $782,500.
We are pleased with the successful prices achieved by artists presented for the first time at auction: Keltie Ferris (lot 76) $68,500, Angel Otero (lot 8) $ 52,500, Aleksandar Duravcevic (lot 15) $8,750, Dustin Yellin (lot 19) $30,000. Significant auction records were set with the sale of works by Mel Bochner (lot 57) and Alfredo Jaar (lot 173), which sold for $74,500 and $62,500, respectively.