Afinsa liquidates its art Collection to outstanding success
With almost all of the works sold, many surpassing their high estimates, the company has obtained the necessary cash flow to pay back creditors
It was a unique opportunity to get hold of first rate Modern and Contemporary international art Works at bargain prices and collectors responded in bands: with the bidding room packed, Ansorena sold 95 per cent of works, in some cases multiplying by 10 their starting price. Part of the offererings were made up of the Collection Siglo XXI, an ambitious selection of paintings and photographs by Spanish and International artists which Afinsa began to construct 20 years ago, until the Spanish Justice Department closed its doors for fraud in 2006. The Spanish auction house also included works from private collections in the sale.
The star lots of the sale in the Modern art category were a work by Alexander Rodtchenko (Untitled, 1917, ink and graphite on paper), which sold for its starting price in 150.000 euros and Georges Braque, whose oil Teapot and Limon was sold for its nitial starting price of 90.000 euros. As for the Contemporary art segment, highlights included the bid for Pergamon Museum 6 by Thomas Struth, which belongs to his emblematic series of photographs of Museum interiors. It jumped from a modest 70.000 euros to 120.000. Another creator at the height of his illustrious career, John Baldessari, almost doubled his starting price, from 48.000 euros to 90.000 euros.
Many collectors had their eye on the important array of photographs by the so called Dusseldorf school, highly prized around the World they rarely surface in the Spanish market. The Fathers of this current, the couple Bernd and Hilla Becher, were represented with Watertowers, a fragment of the now iconic water Deposits series which made them famous in the sixties. It fetched 46.000 euros (starting price: 32.000 euros) . Andreas Gursky, an adventaged disciple of the Becher couple and the most expensive photographer in the World since last year, aroused an avalanche of bids for La Defence Drehasbeiten, which went up from 10.000 to 40.000 euros. His other work in the sale, Dusseldorf Flughafen went from 50.000 euros to 60.000 euros. For his part, Thomas Ruff almost doubled his starting price for Star 08H 52M/45º, starting in 32.000 it sold for 60.000 euros. And outsid of Dusseldorf one must mention the sculpture Three Figures by Stephan Balkenhol for 64.000 euros (starting price: 45.000 euros). The greatest rise in the sale was obtained by Rodney Graham for Collected Works, which started in 4.000 euros and sold for 44.000 euros.
Perhaps the only shadow in the sale was in the selection of Russian Avant Guard, which although it nearly sold in its entirety it hardly covered the low estimates: a Composition Suprematista by Kasimir Malevich sold for its starting price of 62.000 euros, and Ivan Kliun went from 80.000 to 85.000 euros, a mixed technique on wood estimated in more than 100.0000 euros.
Among the works by Spanish artists to dazzle The reader by Manolo Valdés (from 75.000 to 95.000 euros), Cuenca by José Guerrero (80.000 euros, for its starting price). And Vegetable room XIII by Cristina Iglesias (from 26.000 to 65.000 euros). One of the few works to remain unsold was Self-portrait VI by Jaume Plensa (85.000 euros). According to Ansorena, in spite of the abundante of foreign collectors on the phone, a significant number of buyers in the sale were Spanish, which would point to a slight rise in our market. Pablo Ortiz de Zárate.