Published: June 19, 2012
Keno Auctions’ American and European paintings sale on June 12, the first auction conducted at the company’s headquarters, achieved a total of $1,512,000, exceeding the presale high estimate of $1,265,000 by $300,000. The auction was 73 percent sold by lot, with 47 buyers; 11 of whom were successful through the Internet.
“The Otter Cliffs, Mount Desert Island, Maine,” 1866, by William Trost Richards, which was purchased more than 60 years ago as a sleeper at a Vermont country auction by the consignor, was the sale’s highest selling lot, achieving $235,600 after several minutes of fierce bidding in the room and telephone.
Jean-Paul Riopelle, a member of the Canadian artists group Les Automatistes, created the dynamic painting “Folâtre” in 1957; the oil on canvas shows the master at the peak of his creative genius. The picture was eagerly sought by a multitude of bidders, 14 clients on the telephone and several others bidding through the Internet and in the room, before selling to an international collector for $173,600 on site.
The auction offered a number of fresh-to-the-market Twentieth Century pictures from an Arizona collector, with an important contemporary work, “Topologie de Illusion,” 1990, which fetched $99,200. The artwork, a large-scale, vivid, abstract painting by renowned Latin American artist Roberto Matta, attracted an international audience with electric bidding in the room, on the telephone and online. The painting sold to a Florida-based dealer/collector on the floor.
Leigh Keno, president of Keno Auctions, commented, “We are very pleased with these results, especially for the prices achieved by visually exciting works such as David Johnson’s ‘Sunset on the Unadilla River, New York,’ 1856, which hammered at $167,400 that a dealer bought for more than the high estimate. ‘Morning Fishing Boats at Anchor,’ a masterpiece by a leader of the Hague School, Hendrik Willem Mesdag, sold for a strong $198,400 and is a work we thought had remarkable potential and inspired competition between collectors worldwide.”
“We are delighted to see the caliber of new and established clients in the sale who bid decisively on the best examples of artworks,” he continued. “We had a large number of contemporary works in this auction and we are looking forward to offering more of this type of artwork in the future.”
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
Keno Auctions’ next sale is scheduled for October 2 and includes a collection of European and American paintings, furniture and decorative arts.
For additional information, www.kenoauctions.com or 212-734-2381.
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