The jury is still out on whether the now-defunct Knoedler Gallery is guilty of selling fakes, but collectors may have already made up their minds. Doyle New York consigned 34 works from Knoedler’s inventory for its modern and contemporary art auction yesterday and sold just nine — taking in nowhere near the $1.3 million to $2 million presale estimate (despite assurances from the house that the collection is in no way linked to the FBI’s forgery investigation).
The works that did sell were typically lower priced: a small Nancy Graves cast iron and bronze sculpture for $6,250, a Hans Hofmann drawing for $3,750, and several Jules Olitiski paintings in the $3,000 to $12,000 range. Doyle had some success with a Lee Bontecou copper bird that went for $74,500, just shy of its low estimate.
But its pricier trophies by Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, and Milton Avery (pictured) failed to find buyers altogether, as did the day’s top lot, a Conrad Marca-Relli diptych estimated at $150,000-$250,000.
— Rachel Corbett
This post also appears on Market Watch, ARTINFO’s market news blog.
(Image: Milton Avery, “Lone Flower,” 1963; via Doyle New York.)