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Stellar Results for Sotheby's First Contemporary Art Auction of 2019: Contemporary Curated Achieves $36.8 Million In New York - Highest-Ever Total for the Sotheby's Series

Auction Led By Kerry James Marshall's 2008 Painting 'Untitled (Painter)' - Sold for $7.3 Million, The Second-Highest Auction Price for the Artist

NEW YORK, March 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday in New York, Sotheby's first Contemporary Art auction of the spring season totaled an exceptional $36.8 million – well exceeding its $30.8 million high estimate and with a strong 83.4% of lots sold.  For the second season in row, Sotheby's Contemporary Curated auction established the highest-ever total for the series, with new auction records established for Jack Whitten and Loie Hollowell, among others, as well as exceptional prices for artists Kerry James Marshall and Alice Neel.

Sotheby’s first Contemporary Art sale of the spring 2019 season totaled an exceptional $36.8 million,exceeding its $30.8 million high estimate and with a strong sell-through rate of 83.4%. Among the top selling lots was Jack Whitten’s powerful 'Special Checking' from 1974 that sold for $2.7 million, a new world auction record for the artist.

The day's sales began with Part I of Sotheby's and Miss Porter's School's benefit auction, By Women, For Tomorrow's Women, which brought an impressive $3.9 million and achieved a new artist record for Carmen Herrera.  Sotheby's sales of behalf of Miss Porter's School are ongoing, with 17 works now open for bidding in our Contemporary Art Online sale through 7 March. The school will use their full proceeds from the sale to support financial aid for its students.

Charlotte Van Dercook, Head of Sotheby's Contemporary Curated auctions in New York, remarked: "We are overjoyed with the results of Friday's sale, which achieved our highest-ever total in the Curated auction series for second season in a row. Sotheby's had the privilege of again presenting a masterwork by Kerry James Marshall, whose Untitled (Painter) brought the second-highest price for the artist at auction. Following the morning's white-glove sale of works by women artists to benefit financial aid at Miss Porter's School, three of our top ten prices in today's Curated sale were achieved by Alice Neel, Louise Bourgeois and Yayoi Kusama."

Mike Goss, Sotheby's Chief Financial Officer commented, "As we look ahead to this week's important sales in London, and our auctions at the end of the month in Hong Kong, these results bode well for the health of the global Contemporary art market."

Friday's Contemporary Curated sale was led by Kerry James Marshall's Untitled (Painter), which brought the second-highest auction price for the artist when it sold for $7.3 million, soaring past its $2.5 million high estimate after a six-minute bidding battle between at least five collectors.

The finest painting by Jack Whitten ever to appear at auction, Special Checking from 1974 established a new auction record for the artist when it sold for an outstanding $2.7 million, shattering its $500,000 high estimate. A powerful example of Whitten's Slab paintings, the large-scale canvas was featured on the cover of the Whitney Museum of American Art's exhibition catalogue of works from this celebrated series.

Now Open for Bidding

Sotheby's auctions of Contemporary Art continue with Contemporary Art Online (22 February – 7 March) and a dedicated online-only sale, The Form of Ideas (22 February – 8 March).

About Sotheby's
Sotheby's has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby's became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby's presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris, and Sotheby's BidNow program allows visitors to view all auctions live online and place bids from anywhere in the world. Sotheby's offers collectors the resources of Sotheby's Financial Services, the world's only full-service art financing company, as well as the collection, artist, estate & foundation advisory services of its subsidiary, Art Agency, Partners. Sotheby's presents private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby's Global Fine Art Division, and three retail businesses: Sotheby's Wine, Sotheby's Diamonds, and Sotheby's Home, the online marketplace for interior design. Sotheby's has a global network of 80 offices in 40 countries and is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (BID).

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New York | +1 212 606 7176 | Darrell Rocha | Darrell.Rocha@Sothebys.com | Alexandra Fizer | Alexandra.Fizer@Sothebys.com


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