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Art resurfaces in New York: record sales, more diversity and packed fairs

New York, May 26 (EFE). The art market has made a strong comeback this month in New York, where auction houses have raked in $2.8 billion; collectors have opted for diversity, rewarding women and African-Americans with a shower of records, and the fairs have filled up after the pandemic break. The flow of money that has moved through the city in May leaves dizzying figures such as that of the portrait of Marilyn Monroe -“Shot Sage Blue Marilyn”- by the king of “pop art”, Andy Warhol, which was sold on May 9 in Christie’s for $195.04 million, becoming the most sought-after painting of the 20th century at a public sale. Christie’s has led the collection in the spring auction season just ended, with almost 1,444 million dollars to which a string of historic sales have contributed, including the most expensive photograph in the world, “Le Violon d’Ingres”, by Man Ray (12.4 million). The rival house, Sotheby’s, has added 1,089 million dollars, largely thanks to a series of works by infallible painters such as Picasso (“Femme nue couchée”, 67.5 million), Monet (“Le Grand Canal et Santa Maria della Salute”, 56.6 million) or Rothko (“Untitled”, in brown on blue, 48 million). Phillips, the third auction company in New York and with much smaller volume, highlighted that its sale of contemporary art was the best to date, with 226 million raised, and in particular an untitled Basquiat from 1982 shone, with a skull on colored strokes, which was bought for 85 million. MORE DIVERSE ARTISTS Meanwhile, and despite low numbers compared to those of these icons, a new breed of artists is rising in popularity, in many cases belonging to the post-2000s era, with the common denominator of presenting a greater diversity against the traditional hegemony of male and white artists. At Sotheby’s, the head of the “now” art auction, Lucius Elliot, noted that there is a lot of “young talent” and “hunger for their work”, although the head of the sale of contemporary art, Charlotte Van Dercook, said that 20th century figures continue to “set the bar” in a market that is “stronger than ever.” Among the hottest new names is Ernie Barnes, an African-American former soccer player and painter whose work “The Sugar Shack” was the subject of a heated auction at Christie’s that multiplied its highest estimate of $200,000 by 76 to $15.3 million. . And he wasn’t the only artist who far exceeded expectations. Also Simone Leigh, winner of a Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, whose sculpture “Birmingham” sold at Sotheby’s for 2.17 million; Anna Weyant (“Falling Woman,” 1.62 million); Christina Quarles (“Night Fell Upon Us Up On Us”, 4.5 million), or Avery Singer (“Happening”, 5.25 million), all women. THE FAIRS ARE BACK Apart from the auctions, a group of museums has teamed up with several fairs and galleries to promote an “art week” in the Big Apple and “highlight the unprecedented offer of events and exhibitions in the global art market” that arrived in the city once the restrictions on tourism in the US were lifted. The TEFAF fair, the most exclusive in the market, held its first face-to-face edition after two years in New York instead of its usual location in Maastricht (The Netherlands) , with almost a hundred galleries from around the world that gave an account of the desire to meet again and spend in the art market. “Institutional interest and strong buying prevailed throughout, with some of the world’s most eminent museums represented on the first two days,” the fair said in a statement, describing the situation as “buoyant.” Only a few of its sales were publicly disclosed, and the highest was for South Korean Park Seo-Bo’s “Ecriture No. 51-79” (1979), which generated $1.3 million, followed by the cartoon “Gladings (Love’s Infinite Causes)” by Cy Twombly, for $500,000. Another international fair that landed in the city was Frieze, with a reduced-size edition that filled The Shed cultural center with contemporary and up-to-date art, and on its first day the galleries present already registered “quick sales and important awards”, with many “visits and interest”, according to a note. Among its highlights was the painting “Do Not Disturb” by Georg Baselitz, which was sold for 1.2 million euros, or two paintings by Alex Katz for 700,000 each, explained the direction of this event. (c) EFE Agency

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