This past week brought mixed news concerning the state of the art auction market when it was reported that Christie’s met expectations at its auction of post-war and contemporary art.    

For those who missed it, here is a quick look at some of the press coverage:

According to Reuters, "the sale, at which 85 percent of the 46 lots found buyers, saw briskly competitive bidding in a packed salesroom, taking in $74,151,500 including commission, right in the middle of the auction house’s pre-sale estimate."  However, "both of the most expensive lots — Jean-Michel Basquiat’s "Brother Sausage," estimated at $9 million to $12 million, and Andy Warhol’s "Tunafish Disaster," estimated at $6 million to $8 million — failed to sell."

The Reuters article can be found here: www.reuters.com/article/artsNews/idUSTRE5A30M220091111

Although noting that the mood at the sale was "chipper," the Wall Street Journal sourly reported that the "result still paled to Christie’s $113.6 million sale of contemporary art last November and its $325 million total in 2008."

The Wall Street Journal article can be found here:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704402404574528531658351184.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

The New York Times was perhaps the most optimistic of the three news sources, cheerily noting that the "event drew crowds" and it was a sale with "high-profile sellers" and dealers who "looked pleased."

The New York Times article can be found here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/12/arts/12auct.html