Spring New York Auctions Tally Monster $2.2B in Art Sales


New York’s three main art auction houses—Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips—this month sold a staggering $2.2 billion in art, from Impressionist to contemporary, over 11 day and evening sales.

Topping the list was Christie’s, where five sales totaled $1.3 billion, with 691 lots sold. The house’s May 13 contemporary art sale totaled nearly $745 million, the highest auction total yet again. (The house’s last three contemporary art sales have set successive records for highest auction total ever.) Its highest-selling work was an $84.2-million Barnett Newman.

Sotheby’s sold $747 million, with 745 lots over four sales. The house’s biggest sale was its evening contemporary art auction, which racked up $364 million, led by a $30-million Warhol.

Phillips totaled $146 million at its day and evening contemporary art sales, its top-selling item among the 193 objects sold a $56 million Rothko.

The next round of big-money New York auctions is in November.