London post-Brexit contemporary art auctions amass over £108 million in 48 hours

30 June 2016

Fears Brexit hysteria would negatively impact the art market have been quelled by bullish results at the first London auctions since the June 23 vote. Sotheby's and Christie's sales on 27 and 28 June amassed more than £108 million with both auction houses exceeding high-end estimates.

Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale in Mayfair on Tuesday 27 June soared to a £52.2 million finish, selling 89% by lot and 92% by value and comfortably exceeding high estimates £49.9 million. A day later, they achieved a further £16,623,250.

Solid telephone bidding from non-British collectors looking to benefit from the debilitated state of the pound contributed to the result. An auction highlight was a new auction record for Jenny Saville, whose work Shift (1996–97), smashed its high estimate of £2 million to sell for £6.8 million inc. buyer’s premium, shattering the previous record for the artist of $2.8 million. It was acquired by the Long Museum in Shanghai, China, founded by billionaire collector Liu Yiqian, who last year acquired Modigliani’s Nu couché and paid for the $170.4 million work with his American Express card. 

An auction record were set for Keith Haring  with The Last Rainforest (1989) which sold for £4.2 million ($5.5 million), well above the work’s high estimate of £3 million ($4 million).

Christie’s Postwar and Contemporary Art sale on June 29 continued Sothebys success raising  £39,566,000 million.  Highlights included two Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings—previously owned by actor Johnny Depp—which soared past their estimates. 

Multiple bidding on lots at both auction houses pushed prices beyond high end estimates with phones producing most of the action. American and Asian buyers took full advantage of the newly cut-rate prices created by the relative strength of their foreign currency.

With Christie Future-Past-Present Post-war and Contemporary Art sale still to come this week is looking bright for Britain – at least on the art scene. Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art Europe, conceded that the uncertainty of the EU referendum had made it harder to consign works, but the results show that the “passion for art collecting continues to over-ride broader concerns about the economy”. 

NH Event

We are moving to Chippendale

12 September 2017

Nanda\Hobbs is moving to a beautiful new gallery space in Chippendale in late October. Located at 12 - 14 Meagher Street, the building is a minute's stroll from White Rabbit Gallery and Central Park.

Read more
NH Event

Visit us at Sydney Contemporary - Stand G01, 7-10 September

9 August 2017

Nanda\Hobbs is excited to present five of our outstanding artists at the 2017 Sydney Contemporary for 7-10 September. Giles Alexander, Nicholas Blowers, James Drinkwater, Louis Pratt and Paul Ryan will be exhibiting their latest work at Stand G01. 

Read more
News

Congratulations to Manning Art Prize finalists - Laura Matthews, Gria Shead, Matthew Quick

31 July 2017

Congratulations to N\H artists...Laura Matthews, Gria Shead and Matthew Quick - selected as finalists in the 2017 Manning Art Prize at the Manning Regional Art Gallery. The theme is "Naked and Nude". 

Read more
Level 1 66 King Street Sydney, NSW 2000
Opening Hours
9am - 5pm Monday to Friday Or by appointment