With seventeen works sold for over $10 million since June 1 at Sotheby’s, as per a report from the auction house, it is safe to say that the fine-art market is in rude health, despite the COVID-19 lockdown aftermath that crippled consumer spending, forcing businesses into closure and causing a crash within the luxury sector.
The most expensive works sold include a Joan Miró’s 1927 painting, Femme au chapeau rouge, which set the top price for any work sold at auction this season by the company, reaching a price of $28.7 million USD after eleven minutes of bidding.
Sotheby’s saw its success during the pandemic in moving their auctions online, a move rival house Christie’s followed, given the physical ones are impossible for much of 2020. The online sales saw art dealers spend over $300 million USD this year so far, and have been proven lucrative for the business: its recent auctions of 20th Century design, and a sale of work by the American artist George Condo, were record-breaking successes for the company.
“The market here in London and around the world has definitely not gone on holiday,” said Sotheby’s chairman Oliver Barker. “Unprecedented times are often a catalyst for change, demanding resilience, and reinvention.”