Published: January 29, 2020
FALLS CHURCH, VA. — A textured monochromatic mixed-media painting by South Korean artist Chang-Sup Chung (1927-2011), titled “85988,” 64 by 40 inches, artist-signed and dated 1984, sold for $114,300 (inclusive of the buyer’s premium) against an estimate of $6/9,000, on January 25 at Quinn’s Auction Galleries.
Executive vice president Matthew Quinn said, “There are a few reasons why the painting attracted a six-figure price. First of all, Chang-Sup Chung is a major Korean artist. His sales have not been as strong, historically, in the United States as abroad, so with the consignor’s approval, we put a low estimate on it. We looked at previous estimates for his work at other American auction houses as a guideline. It didn’t surprise me when it rose to $20,000 and $30,000, but when it cruised to $90,000 on the hammer, that did surprise me. There were three bidders still actively taking part at the $60,000 mark. I think some of that is attributable to the fact that we have had strong Asian sales for many years, so we have a following for Asian art, including Korean. We’re near Washington, DC, which is very international, so that also may have had something to do with it.
“As for the simplicity of the painting itself, you have to see it up close to appreciate it fully. A topographical view looks much different than just an image of it in print. The artist had a technique that included raised fiber elements to create shadows and a dimensional effect. It’s much more attractive displayed on a wall than as it appears in pictures.” A full review of the auction will be in a future edition.
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