The First Open of Post War and Contemporary Art sale totaled $11,652,625 / £6,955,965 / €8,406,460.
The auction opened with 30 works generously offered by foremost artists and gallerists to support The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, which realized $662,125 (lots 1 – 30). Starting intensely, lot 1 by Mark Flood sold three times its pre-sale estimate at $75,000. The two major works by Jean-Michel Basquiat from the Collection of Alexis Adler, a glyph-like work on plaster that reads Olive Oyl (lot 44) sold for $569,000, and a door titled within as Famous Negro Athletes (lot 43) reached $773,000. The auction’s top lot was Wade Guyton’s Untitled (2005) – a striking and emblematic work by the New York based artist. Estimated $250,000-350,000, the piece drew an arresting competition among bidders in the room, on the phone and online, ultimately realizing $1,025,000. With 83% sold by value, we saw strong results for a range of works that was presented for the first time at auction. We ended the sale by setting a world auction record for a work by Nikolai Makarov (lot 344) — against an estimate of $7,000-9,000, the painting sold for $125,000.