ART AUCTIONS CHINA
This weekend marked the end of the auction season on the Chinese mainland and, while spectacular success was had in antiques and antiquity sale categories, contemporary Chinese art shared little of the success…save for Poly Auctions, says Katie Grube in Redbox Review.
In November and December sales
- Only fifty-four percent of the works offered in Guardian’s “Chinese Oil Painting and Sculpture II” found buyers.
- Council’s contemporary sales similarly sold only 57%.
Poly provided the only bright spot in the contemporary art category by focussing on emerging artists and slashing estimates at the last minute.
Poly opened their four days of auctions with an emerging artist sale, oddly translated as “New and Vigorous Artists,” and would go on to sell over RMB 134 million during the course of their December 5th contemporary sales. The contemporary evening saw the dramatic pre-sale reduction of 14 lots’ estimates, or nearly 1/4 of the sale. Some estimates were reduced by as much as one-third; Wang Guangyi’s “Great Criticism – Motorola” (lot 588) carried a pre-sale estimate of RMB 1,200,000 – 1,800,000, but saleroom notice pointed to a reduction to RMB 800,000 – 1,200,o00. The work earned a hammer price of RMB 800,000. Lowered estimates seemed to encourage buyers and most works sold at or just above the low estimate with 83% of works sold by lot.