Deal of the Art: Why Auction Houses Are Giving Away Millions

Bloomberg | Katya Kazakina:

The bids spiraled higher and higher until — bang! — the hammer fell: sold, for $62.75 million. A sense of relief rippled through Sotheby’s elegant Manhattan headquarters as “Untitled (New York City),” a celebrated painting by Cy Twombly, ultimately set an auction record for the artist. For behind the heady gavel price was a hard business reality: even as the crowd sipped champagne that evening, Sotheby’s was still frantically wooing a buyer. In the end, the grand old auction house had to pay for the privilege of selling the masterpiece… Read more

Image:  Cy Twombly’s “Untitled” (detail), 1968. Source: Sotheby’s