Recent Articles
Jim Hodges describes his new Artspace edition
Meet the Artist
Jim Hodges describes his new Phaidon/ Artspace edition and the processes by which his work unfolds
Helen Thompson – The Art For Home Interview
Living With Art
Helen Thompson – The Art For Home Interview
Serge Hamad on his photography
Meet the Artist
Serge Hamad - 'I always felt that I could speak out in a deeper sense when using photography'
What's in Kimberley's Cart?
Expert Eye
"What I'd Buy This September '21": Artspace's Kimberly Reinagel Shares the Artworks in Her Cart
James Crump – The Art for Home Interview
On the Wall
James Crump – The Art for Home Interview
John Folchi talks about his art
Meet the Artist
John Folchi – 'Among my earliest childhood memories is one of an aesthetic response to the beauty of clouds’
Sandra Platas Hernández on life and art
Meet the Artist
Sandra Platas Hernández - 'I find the beauty in every little thing that surrounds me'
Putnam & Putnam Unveil Limited Edition Floral Prints
On the Wall
Putnam & Putnam Unveil Limited Edition Floral Prints
S.K.Sahni on his art
Meet the Artist
S.K.Sahni – 'An artist creates work first for himself but sharing it with others to awaken their inner self is equally important'
Drew Doggett on his art and photography
Meet the Artist
Drew Doggett – 'I select subjects that are extraordinary to share the world’s beauty'
Orit Fuchs on her art
Meet the Artist
Orit Fuchs – ‘I come to the studio six days a week - and start dreaming!'
Alberto González Vivo talks about his art
Meet the Artist
Alberto González Vivo – 'I think if the work has the desired effect on me, it will have that effect on others'
5 things to look out for in the Celeste Dupuy-Spencer edition
Close Look
5 things to look out for in the Celeste Dupuy-Spencer edition
Lindsay August-Salazar on her inspirations, influences and ideals
Meet the Artist
Lindsay August-Salazar – “Art has the capacity to expand my deeper drive and interest in human expression'
Colleen Blackard - 'I want to build worlds to share'
Artist to Watch
Colleen Blackard - 'From an early age I found it easier to communicate with gestures and pictures than with words'

Art Market

The Fall Auction Season Blazes to Life With Records For Bradford and DeFeo


The Fall Auction Season Blazes to Life With Records For Bradford and DeFeo
Detail of Mark Bradford's "Curtis," 2007, sold at Sotheby's for $2.3 million

The so-called “midseason” auctions of contemporary art are often overlooked in comparison to their marquee counterparts in November and May. But, with the art market continuing to race ahead at a heady clip, this week the events at Sotheby’s and Christie’s turned heads with a few surprise records.

On Wednesday, Sotheby’s “Contemporary Curated” sale brought in $13.8 million—its highest-ever total for a midseason contemporary auction—and set a new record for Los Angeles artist Mark Bradford. Five bidders battled it out for the painter’s massive collage of twisting, dendrite-like channels that ultimately went to pharmaceuticals billionaire Stewart “The King of All Fun” Rahr for $2.3 million—double Bradford’s previous auction record and the top lot of the day.

Bradford shared the spotlight with fellow rising star Oscar Murillo, the London-based painter who stunned observers with a new $400,000 record at Phillips last week that overshot its estimate by tenfold. Murillo once again defied expectations on Wednesday with the sale of one of his signature stack paintings for almost $200,000, against an estimate of around $70,000. (The next day, at Christie's, Murillo sold a color-block painting dirtied with studio detritus for $197,000, also well above its high estimate.) 

But there was some welcome attention paid to earlier (and undervalued) female artists as well. Fresh off her survey at the Whitney Museum, San Francisco Beat generation icon Jay DeFeo also set a record with Sotheby’s sale of a late, shadowy abstract painting for $233,000—rocketing past its estimate of just $30,000-$40,000. And a radiant portrait of a young judge by painter Alice Neel nearly quadrupled its estimate to fetch $437,000. 

Christie’s did only slightly less impressively at its “First Open” sale yesterday, which totaled $13.2 million, the highest-ever tally for the auction. The top lot went to recurring salesroom star Andreas Gursky, whose photograph of a tensely choreographed parade of thousands in North Korea—a locale that turns out to be perfect fodder for the order-obsessed artist—sold for just shy of $1 million. 

Among the surprises was an Alexander Calder starfish sculpture that garnered $460,000—four times its estimate—and the $270,000 sale of a silver-wire necklace by the artist, which was previously purchased at a Brooklyn flea market for $15. And a lesser-known midcentury artist, Alfred Jensen, sold a geometric painting of symbols for $478,000, far over its $125,000 estimate.

The week capped off a series of contemporary sales in New York, but art-market observers might also want to look elsewhere on the globe—especially at Shanghai, where Christie's just staged the first-ever sale in mainland China by a Western auction house with a staggering success that brought in $25 million and boasted a 98-percent sale-through rate, with one of the lots being the first Picasso to be auctioned in the region. The parade of contemporary art will return to the city in November, when all three auction houses' hold their main-stage events.

Art Market: Phillips' "Under the Influence" Sale Breaks 4 Artist Records


a treasure trove of fine art from the world's most renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. We offer exclusive works you can't find anywhere else.


through exclusive content featuring art news, collecting guides, and interviews with artists, dealers, collectors, curators and influencers.


authentic artworks from across the globe. Collecting with us means you're helping to sustain creative culture and supporting organizations that are making the world a better place.


with our art advisors for buying advice or to help you find the art that's perfect for you. We have the resources to find works that suit your needs.


Artspace offers you authentic, exclusive works from world-renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. Collecting with us helps support creative culture while bringing you art news, interviews and access to global art resources.