The New Is Now Lower

At Phillips $8.3m New Now sale prices are down but market darlings are still in demand

The art market has been waiting for auctions to recalibrate the market. No part of the market is more vulnerable in a re-pricing than emerging artists. Phillips specializes in that market. Though the pops weren’t as high or numerous as they were in the same sale six months ago, there were still plenty of works that surprised to the upside. There was also bidding from Asia which is a strong side considering the strength of the dollar. 

The Stats

The LiveArt app recorded $8,372,096 in premium sales. The pre-sale aggregate low estimate was $5.2m. The hammer total was $6.6m. That’s a 1.27 hammer ratio which still reflects a strong market. 

258 lots were offered; 222 sold; that’s an 86% sell-through rate which is also a relatively strong indicator given the nature of these sales as the leading edge of the market. 

Of the sold lots, 31% made prices above the estimate range; 27% sold for expected prices; and 24% had to be sacrificed below the low estimate. 

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The Top Lots

The most expensive lot was a George Condo painting from 1989. It was also among the most dynamic lots. Among the top lots, Yayoi Kusama’s Hat had a high value but sold pretty much at the low estimate. 

The rest of the names among the top lots are some of the familiar in-demand darlings like Louis Fratino, Shara Hughes, Ayako Rokkaku and Danielle Orchard. More of Orchard’s work will be sold this week, so this sale was a good early indicator. 

Other interesting surprises were strong prices for Ugo Rondinone, Roberto Fabela and Wes Lang

Lots to Watch

As a market indicator, the sale didn’t disappoint. Records were set for Angeles Agrela, Hugh Steers, Ana Benaroya, Wes Lang, Alan Shields and Amanda Baldwin.

Strong first prices were paid for Pat Phillips, Laurens Legiers and Emly Ludwig Shaffer.

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