As Stocks Fall, Art Surges at a $315.8 Million Sale

Tobias Meyer, Sotheby’s principal auctioneer, took bids for Clyfford Still’s “1949-A-No..1.” It sold for $61.7 million. Photo: Kirsten Luce for The New York Times

“Despite (or perhaps because of) the stock market’s nearly 400-point plunge, on Wednesday night collectors raced to put their available cash — and lots of it — into art.

Sotheby’s evening sale, the last of the week’s three big-money evening auctions, achieved the company’s third-highest total for a contemporary art sale ever (the highest was in May 2008). It brought record prices for Abstract canvases by Clyfford Still and Gerhard Richter.

“There is a flight out of cash into what is called art,” Richard Feigen, a Manhattan dealer, said after the sale.

The sale totaled $315.8 million, well above its high $270 million estimate. The evening eclipsed Christie’s auction on Tuesday night, where $247.6 million was spent and where Pop Art — works by Lichtenstein and Warhol — reigned. Of the 73 lots for sale at Sotheby’s, 11 went unsold.”

You can read the full article via NY Times here.

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