After setting an online auction record with its 20th Century Design sale earlier this month, Sotheby’s is once again seeing the success of its online auction programs. Yesterday, Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated sale in London brought in $6.4 million USD — the highest ever recorded total for an online sale. It was also the biggest London edition of the sale, live or online. This year’s Contemporary Curated was guest curated by Margherita Maccapani Missoni, who selected works by established names such as Damien Hirst and Yayoi Kusama, along with lesser-known ones, like Eddie Martinez Fahrelnissa Zeid.
Leading the results was George Condo’s 2005 painting Antipodal Reunion, which depicts three grotesque cartoon figures wearing striped shirts. After its initial estimate of $986,000 USD, the work sold for $1.3 million USD — the highest price ever achieved by a painting in an online sale at Sotheby’s. Other key pieces included in the sale was an intricately patterned work from 1993 by Yayoi Kusama that went for $293,000 USD and a mirrored glass painting by Monir Farmanfarmaian, which sold for $463,000 USD — a new record for the Iranian artist’s work.
With the art market on lockdown around the world, online auctions have become a viable way for auction houses to stay afloat. Sotheby’s has been one of the more successful in transitioning to online initiatives, bringing in $26 million USD across 14 digital sales in March. For its Contemporary Curated sale, 88 percent of the 105 lots sold — over half of which exceeded their estimates.
Elsewhere in the art world, museums are sharing the creepiest objects in their collections.