Big Results for Dutch ZERO Movement at Christie’s Amsterdam

The market is far more stable than expected.

Jan Schoonhoven R69-32 (1969) Photo: Christie's Amsterdam
The sale was driven by strong results from ZERO group artists. Photo: Yahoo News

The sale was driven by strong results from ZERO group artists.
Photo: Yahoo News

Christie’s Amsterdam reported positive results at the auction house’s postwar and contemporary sales in the Dutch capital on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The two-day sale netted a total €9.55 million ($10.36 million), easily surpassing the pre-sale high estimate of €7.5 million ($8.1 million), selling 87 percent of lots.

The auction was driven by high-selling works from ZERO group artists, with works by members of the 1960s European avant-garde movement leading the sales.

Jan Schoonhoven R69-32 (1969) Photo: Christie's Amsterdam

Jan Schoonhoven R69-32 (1969)
Photo: Christie’s Amsterdam

Works from German ZERO group founders Otto Piene, Heinz Mack, and Günther Uecker performed well, as expected, but it was Jan Schoonhoven the Dutch leader of Nul—Holland’s answer to the Zero group—that posted the top selling lot.

Schoonhoven’s all-white relief R69-32 (1969) changed hands for €473,775 ($514,268) including premium. The New York Times reported that a fierce bidding war between four buyers in the room and on the phones drove the hammer price to €380,000 ($412,478), well above the pre-sale estimate of €200,000-€300,000 ($217,000-$326,000).

Mack’s Dynamische Form, Schwarz (1959) sold for €350,000 ($379,914) almost double its pre-sale estimate of €120,000-€180,000 ($130,000-195,000), followed by Uecker’s Gegenläufige Struktur (1965) which sold for €312,315 ($340,000).

Heinz MackDynamische Form, Schwarz (1959) Photo: Christie's Amsterdam

Heinz MackDynamische Form, Schwarz (1959)
Photo: Christie’s Amsterdam

“We fetched robust results for ZERO artists, such as Mack, Schoonhoven, Uecker, Piene and Leblanc,” Peter van der Graaf, head of post-war and contemporary art at Christie’s Amsterdam told artnet News in an email.

He added that they recorded “further international success for works by other German artists such as Günther Förg and Gerhard Richter, American artists such as Sol LeWitt and John Baldessari, and Dutch and Belgian artists, as demonstrated by a world auction record for Daan van Golden (€210,300 or $228,274) and for the Palate Électrique by Thierry de Cordier (€85,500 or $92,264).

“I wouldn’t have been surprised if the prices would have calmed down a little bit because of lots of uncertainties in the political situation in the world and the financial markets right now,” Paul van Rosmalen, director of Borzo Modern and Contemporary in Amsterdam told the New York Times. “But they didn’t.”

Günther Uecker Gegenläufige Struktur (1965) Photo: Christie's Amsterdam

Günther Uecker Gegenläufige Struktur (1965)
Photo: Christie’s Amsterdam

Van der Graaf agreed “There’s more interest from farther than just Germany, Belgium and Holland,” he said. “We had a lot of interest from Italy this season, and also active bidding from American institutions and private buyers in the US That proves that this is still growing. It feels like a healthy and very stable market.”

The strong results indicate that plenty of records could fall at the upcoming blockbuster sales in London and New York.


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