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Another art auction, yet another frenzied round of bidding

lfDue to the battle among avid art collectors for works by Yves Klein, Peter Doig, Willem de Kooning, Lucio Fontana, and Frank Auerbach, a London auction finished up with total sales of £54.1m

One of the paintings, a self-portrait by Lucian Freud, was the second highest priced painting sold at a Sotheby’s auction this month, selling for £2.8m.  There were 77 lots at the auction, out of which, all but three were sold.

Christophe Van de Weghe, a New York based dealer, stated that people are starting to gain confidence in purchasing art again, because with the erratic stock market, and a lack of bank interest, art is now a great investment opportunity.

Artwork investors have also been encouraged by the record price of £43.8m that the painting sold for at a New York Sotheby’s auction last November.

According to ArtTactic, the Confidence Indicator for both the European and US art markets has increased up to 58 from 28, which is the highest it has been since November of 2007.

The highest winning bid at last night’s auction was £4m offered by a telephone buyer for an abstract painting by Kooning titled ‘Untitled XIV.’

Also secured for a high price by a telephone buyer was ‘Saint Anton’ by Doig, which went for a bid of £2.8m.

The majority of the auction’s publicity came from the 1978 painting by Freud entitled “Self Portrait with a Black Eye” which sold for £2.8m to Elana Guena the former Sotheby’s Europe director.


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