Yesterday at Christie’s First Open sale, which is usually for lower-end works by big-name artists and aimed at drawing in new collectors, an untitled work by Wade Guyton from 2005 sold for $1,025,000, well over its high estimate of $350,000 and yet another symptom of an apparently exceedingly hot market.
This is still under half of Mr. Guyton’s current record of $2.41 million, set at Christie’s contemporary evening sale this fall, but notable for the size of the painting sold Thursday. While the November record breaker, an extremely similar untitled work from the same year clocked in at 56 1/8 x 35 7/8 in. (or 2,013.48 square inches), the one that sold yesterday was just 26 x 17 in. (442 square inches), and originally sold at what the catalogue calls the “Artwalk Benefit Auction,” most likely the Coalition for the Homeless fundraiser that goes by a variation of that name.
This meant that yesterday’s buyer paid $2,319.00 for each square inch of Guyton. November’s purchase now seems like a relative steal at just $1,194.45 per square inch.
(Not that this is by any means a new standard. A very different style Guyton went for just $185,000 at Phillips last night. At 29 x 18 in., that sale represented more modest rate of $354.41 per square Guyton inch.)