Price Check! Here’s What Sold—and for How Much—at TEFAF New York 2018

With multiple seven-figure-sales, the second edition of the New York Spring favored blue-chip heavy-hitters.

The entrance to the Park Avenue Armory, TEFAF Spring 2018. Photo: Kirsten Chilstrom.

Not long after the doors opened to VIPs last week, hefty sales reports began pouring in for the sophomore edition of TEFAF New York Spring, which emphasizes Modern and contemporary art. The fair, held at the Park Avenue Armory, lasts a lengthy seven days—ample time for well-heeled collectors to ponder purchases of blue-chip artworks, antiques, design objects, and other seriously expensive baubles.

The 90 exhibitors included 24 first-timers and international heavyweights like Gagosian, Hauser & Wirth, and Matthew Marks. The lineup’s decidedly American bent caused some consternation that the European Fine Art Fair was straying from its roots.

Nevertheless, galleries reported what seemed like positive results—although there is less transparency at this fair than others when it comes to nailing down prices, and we only rounded up works that came with a concrete figure, range, or asking price. (Other sales without prices attached included a Joan Mitchell painting from 1960 at Tina Kim GalleryJean Dubuffet‘s Le Geomancien (1952) at Acquavella Galleries, Inc., and Anselm Kiefer‘s Merkaba (2004) from Düsseldorf’s Galerie Beck & Eggeling for a seven-figure sum.)

Admittedly, sales reports are slippery: Some purchases may have been finalized long before the fair, while others might only be handshake deals, still waiting on paperwork and cash. But prices themselves are more reliably telling. They provide a snapshot of where individual artists stand in the matrix of the art market today (even if some dealers occasionally offer inflated figures).

Here is a (partial) roundup of notable sales at the fair reported to artnet News and included in other published reports—take it with a pinch of salt—sorted by medium and price. Any prices reported in GBP or Euros were converted to USD for consistency and ease of reading.

Philip Guston’s Forms on Rock Ledge (1979). ©The Estate of Philip Guston. Courtesy the Estate and Hauser & Wirth, photo: Genevieve Hanson .

PAINTINGS & WORKS ON PAPER

Above $20 million: A major painting by Sam Francis at Richard Gray Gallery

$6.5 million: Roy Lichtenstein‘s Things on the Wall (1973), the largest of the artist’s “Trompe l’Oeil Series” at Peter Freeman, Inc.

$5.5 million: Philip Guston‘s Forms on Rock Ledge (1979) at Hauser & Wirth

Under $5 million: Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s Extra Cigarette (1982) at Lévy Gorvy

$3.5 million: A new portrait of artist Rachel Feinstein by John Currin at Gagosian Gallery

$2.5 million: Ellsworth Kelly‘s White Yellow (1957–58), publicly available for the first time in 60 years, at Matthew Marks Gallery

$1.75 million: A Josef Albers painting at David Zwirner

$1.5–2.5 million: Another Ellsworth Kelly painting at Matthew Marks

$1.5 million: Charles Burchfield’s Winter Diamonds (1950–60) sold within hours of the opening at Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts

$1.3 million: Günther Uecker‘s nail protruding canvas Diagonale/Vertikale Struktur (Diagonal/Vertical Structure) (1965) at Lévy Gorvy

In excess of $1 million: Anselm Kiefer’s Merkaba (2004) at Beck & Eggeling

$1 million: Andy Warhol‘s Brillo Soap Pads Box (1956/69) at Lévy Gorvy

$950,000: A 1953 gouache and watercolor by Yayoi Kusama at Lévy Gorvy

$750,000: Another work by Josef Albers at David Zwirner

$550,000: Enrico Castellani’s Superficie blu no. 30 (1965) at Lévy Gorvy

$500,000: Peter Doig‘s oil on paper Rosedale (1991) at Lévy Gorvy

$450,000: Mary Corse‘s Untitled (Black Ceramic) from 1983 at Lisson Gallery

$450,000: Carmen Herrera’s acrylic and aluminum Untitled Estructura (Red) (1966/2015) at Lisson Gallery

$200,000: Leon Polk Smith’s painting Architectural Rhythm (1970) at Lisson Gallery

$140,000: Sol LeWitt‘s work on paper Horizontal Lines (2005) at Lisson Gallery

ANTIQUITIES 

$230,000: A Hellenistic head of a man in marble (ca. 2nd–1st century BC) at Charles Ede, UK

$120,000: A Greek female figure in marble (ca. 2700–2600 BC) at Charles Ede, UK


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