ART MARKET ANALYSIS 2019
Sotheby’s Evening sale experimented with a new distribution of lots, placing female artists first. Almost 20% of the 66 lots offered were by women, its highest ever proportion of female artists. As a result, there were hits and misses. Expectations were high for Jenny Saville’s nine-foot fleshy canvas of a woman’s back, Juncture (1994); but it elicited just one bid, selling over the phone to its guarantor for £4.8m against a brave estimate of £5m-£7m.
The Brexit drama has already taken its first victims down the February Impressionist & Modern sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s, which totaled £167,180,000 across the three evening sales, representing a decrease in the hammer total of 16.5% from February 2018. The combined sales total ended up well below the pre-sale estimate of £199,420,000 – £266,830,000.