Salman Toor Goes Stratospheric at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Auction
Prices for Hong Kong artist Matthew Wong also continued their ascent, exceeding the high estimate several times over.
Salman Toor, Three Boys (2017) (detail). Oil on panel. Courtesy the artist and Anat Ebgi.
Sotheby's Hong Kong realised US $122.5 million at its Contemporary Art Evening Sale yesterday, a record for the auction house in Asia.
Works by Clyfford Still, Gerhard Richter, and Roy Lichtenstein all went for over HK $100 million (US $12.9 million), with Richter's colourful abstract painting Schwefel (Sulphur) (1985) and Lichtenstein's downed dinosaur Reflections on Thud! (1990) both exceeding their high estimates.
Some of the most notable results in the 45-lot auction came at lower price points, however. Hong Kong artist Matthew Wong's The Beginning (2017) sold for HK $26,795,000 (US $3.5 million), more than four times the high estimate, while Pakistan-born artist Salman Toor's Three Boys (2019) sold for HK $5.62 million (US $720,000), more than seven times the high estimate.
Rival auction house Phillips yesterday announced the extension of their Gallery One programme—an online sale platform for one week 'drops' that take place in the months between major auctions—to Hong Kong. Featured artists include Javier Calleja, Takashi Murakami, Tomoo Gokita, Zeng Fanzhi, Ayako Rokkaku, and Yoshitomo Nara, who sold well at the Sotheby's Hong Kong auction following the reopening of his solo show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
Phillips' 20th century and contemporary art sales will take place in Hong Kong on 7–8 June 2021, while Christie's Hong Kong contemporary art auctions are scheduled for 24–25 May, immediately after Art Basel Hong Kong closes.
Sotheby's next major contemporary art auction takes place in New York. Their Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 12 May will feature Robert Colescott's 1975 painting, George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook, a reimagining of Emanuel Leutze's 1851 painting using racist tropes. Sotheby's expects the work to fetch US $9–12 million, ten times the artist's auction record of $912,500 set in November 2018.
The painting is on view in Hong Kong until April 21 and will be shown in Los Angeles for three days before arriving in New York in May. —[O]