Multiple auction houses are reporting new world records for European artists. One artwork realized more than $20 million, smashing its estimate by nearly $8 million. The latest art market news is just a click away.
Last week’s “Featured Lot” in Fine Art Today — Auguste Rodin’s “L’Éternel Printemps” — fetched a whopping $20.41 million during Sotheby’s New York “Impressionist & Modern Art” evening sale on May 9. The gorgeous sculpture, one of the artist’s most iconic, displays the intimate and powerful embrace of two lovers. The prior record for the master’s sculpture came in May 2008, when his “Eve, grand modele-version sans rocher” — arguably his best version of the subject — realized $18.97 million. Auction estimates projected “L’Éternel Printemps” would command around $12 million, but the house was overjoyed when the hammer dropped and their predictions were $8 million shy.
Wojciech Fangor, “M-62,” 1966, oil on canvas, 66 x 66 in. (c) Freeman’s 2016
The new auction record signaled a spirited evening for Sotheby’s, with several other artists commanding significant prices. Maurice de Vlaminck’s “Sous-bois,” circa 1905, fetched $16.38 million while Pal Signac’s “Maisons du Port, Saint-Tropez” brought $10.66 million.
Sotheby’s wasn’t the only auctioneer to report healthy sales of European art. Freeman’s May 1 “Modern & Contemporary Art” sale also witnessed a new world record via Wojciech Fangor’s “M-62.” One of the artist’s signature painted circles with saturated colors brought $310,000 — nearly $90,000 more than the previous record set by Christie’s in 2015. Also noteworthy was Lucio Fontana’s “Concetto Spaziale,” which fetched $106,250. Freeman’s head of Modern & Contemporary Art, Tim Malyk, concluded, “The robust prices realized for both of these pieces are on trend from contemporary works by European artists. The top five prices ever realized for Fangor have been achieved within the last year, including the world record set at Freeman’s. Likewise, five of Fontana’s top 10 prices were achieved in 2015, along with the auction record for the artist.”
To learn more, visit Sotheby’s or Freeman’s.
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