A Night of Fevered Bidding on Arte Povera at Christie’s London

London—The market for the relatively esoteric Italian art movement of the mid-1960s known as Arte Povera (Poor Art) took a giant leap forward at Christie’s on Tuesday evening with a single-owner sale that earned £38,427,400 ($63,020,930). The figure compared well to pre-sale expectations of £25.7-36.5 ($42.1-59.9 million).

Of the very large number of offerings in the auction—109 lots—just 23 failed to sell, for a buy-in rate by lot of 21 percent and 14 percent by value. Fourteen lots sold for over a million pounds and twenty-two hurdled the one million dollar mark. Remarkably, thirteen artist records were set, leaving the strong impression that Arte Povera has moved several notches higher in the Blue Chip food chain.


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