Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ October 2 Post War and Contemporary Art auction featured Untitled (Pastel), 1991, by Joan Mitchell, the largest and only double sheet drawing from her last important body of work. Selling for $1,212,500, the drawing set a global record for the artist, being the highest price realized for a work on paper by Joan Mitchell ever sold at auction.
Untitled (Pastel), 1991, has been in possession of a single owner since 1995, when it was purchased from Robert Miller Gallery in New York. Bidding on the work took place in Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ Chicago saleroom, online and over the phone. With over ten phone bidders competing for the drawing, it eventually sold to New York art dealer and consultant Anthony Grant. Strong phone bidding caused the Mitchell to surpass presale expectations, selling for over double its presale estimate of $400,000 – $600,000.
“Beyond its aesthetic merits, Mitchell is having something of a market moment,” said Zack Wirsum, Senior Specialist Post War and Contemporary Art at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. “It’s incredible that she was able to achieve the same aggressive energy as she did in her paintings with a delicate media like pastel.”
Also setting an auction record, Otley by Larry Zox realized $45,000, making it the most expensive piece sold at auction by the artist. It highly exceeded expectations, selling for three times the high estimate of $15,000. Brazilian Light by Kenneth Noland was another highlight of the Post War and Contemporary Art auction. The painting carried a presale estimate of $80,000 – $120,000 and sold for $187,500. Additional examples that surpassed high estimates include 2 Slaves #2 and White Dog 2 by Jonas Wood, which sold for $131,250 (estimated at $50,000 – $70,000) and Black Jack by Gene Davis, which sold for $68,000 against a presale estimate of $30,000 – $50,000.
The Post War and Contemporary Art auction was followed by a Fine Prints afternoon sale. Auction highlights from the prints auction included several works by Andy Warhol. The artist’s Superman realized $200,000 and was the top selling lot of the sale. Now holding an auction record, Mick Jagger (F. & S. II.144) sold for $62,500 against a presale estimate of $25,000 – $35,000. Another Warhol Mick Jagger (F. &S. II.139) realized $52,500 (estimated at $20,000 $40,000).
Additional results can be found online at lesliehindman.com. The Fine Art department is now accepting consignments for December Post War and Contemporary Art and Fine Print auctions.