Eye on Lehman Art

The Sotheby’s sale of the Lehman Brothers-Neuberger Berman contemporary art collection on Saturday, Sept. 25, will be keenly watched. As the first major contemporary art sale of the season, and one where works by some big names are priced competitively, it is a likely bellwether of the art market. We asked Sergey Skaterschikov, head of Skate’s Art Market Research, what’s he’s watching most closely:



Damien Hirst, We’ve got Style (the Vessel Collection blue/green)

“This will be a major fiasco if it’s unsold. We predict that the lot will get sold and closer to the higher end of the range (above $1 million)–otherwise Hirst market liquidity will dry up completely.”


Julie Mehretu, Untitled, 2001

“Ms. Mehretu is among the youngest artists represented in the sale and yet [her work] is priced almost as richly as the Hirst, at $600,000 to $800,000. Should it sell within this range, this will be an enormous success story for an artwork created only in 2001 and immediately sold into the corporate collection. It will also probably make Mehretu the most interesting living artist to watch in terms of monetary value going forward.”


Sotheby’s is expecting to raise as much as $10 million from the sale of 147 artworks. “The sale’s a litmus test for corporate collecting. If most of the art sells, this would signify the return liquidity to the contemporary art market and the viability of institutional art collecting of works by emerging artists. –Alexandra Peers

Eye on Lehman Art