Calder Mobile Leads Bonhams Contemporary Art Auction In New York

Alexander Calder’s 1960 sculpture Maripose realized $1,805,000 in Bonhams November 12 Contemporary Art sale. Exemplifying the artist’s striking sense of balance and momentum, this stunning large scale mobile had been in private hands for nearly 40 years. Works by Calder performed well overall, with his untitled exuberant 1931 circus drawing soaring past its estimate to realize $106,250, and a bold, 1972 gouache composition from the artist fetching $87,500.

ALEXANDER CALDER (1898-1976) Maripose, 1960

ALEXANDER CALDER (1898-1976) Maripose, 1960

Bidders from more than two dozen countries participated in the auction, with Germany, France, the UK and the US especially well represented. The majority of the top lots sold to telephone bidders, although notable exceptions went to those in the room.

Additional highlights included a classic 1950’s Ruth Asawa crocheted sculpture, Untitled (S. 446 Hanging, Seven-Lobed Single-Layer Continuous Form) which surpassed its estimate to realize $389,000; Josef Albers’ 1963 painting, Study for Hommage to the Square “Fall Finale,” which fetched $233,000; Susan Rothenberg’s 1977 Untitled Drawing #45 from 1977, which reached $209,000; and a striking linear Keith Haring composition from 1988, Untitled #13, that more than tripled its estimate to achieve $131,000.

Young artists garnered significant recognition in the sale. Kai Althoff’s 2004 installation Immo nearly quadrupled its estimate to reach $118,750. A signature Kehinde Wiley composition brought $47,500, while Shepard Fairey’s Evolve Devolve stencil print realized $35,000.

“We are quite pleased with the results of the November 12 auction, which saw notable interest from both new and existing clients alike. Both private and trade clients vied for the most important works in the sale, clearly demonstrating the strength and depth of the market,” said Jeremy Goldsmith, Bonhams Director of Contemporary Art in New York.

Bonhams next Contemporary Art auction will take place in May 2014.

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