Outside, there was complimentary valet service. Whether arriving in a Rolls or a minivan, everyone was treated like royalty arriving for a state event. Just inside the door, three staff members greeted guests and directed them into the exhibition space, which was filled with the types of modern and contemporary art so popular with south Florida’s rich and famous. Everything looked sleek, chic and ready to be white-glove-transported to one of those fabulous abstract glass mansions that dot the islands and coastline of the Sunshine State.
Known for their gracious hospitality – in addition to their expertise in modern and contemporary art – PBMA co-owners Rico Baca and Wade Terwilliger outdid themselves with a complimentary catered, art-theme spread that included:
• Sun-dried tomato wraps with yellow curried chicken salad or grilled veggies, pesto and goat cheese for the vegetarians
• Yellow bell pepper wraps with roast beef, horseradish cream, spinach and arugula
• Green spinach wraps with oven-roasted turkey, spinach, roasted red bell peppers and bacon
• Individual crudités of colorful fresh veggies with Green Goddess dip
• Roasted orzo salad and multi-colored vegetable chips
• And for dessert – frosted butter cookies shaped like artists’ palettes, mini cupcakes, and dipped Rice Krispy treats shaped like paint brushes on stick
More than 100 registered bidders were in attendance for the 300-lot Art & Sculpture Auction, with another 442 bidders from 15 countries participating online through LiveAuctioneers. The phone lines buzzed with activity from bidders in Switzerland, Italy, France, Kuwait, Austria, Spain, Canada, Brazil, and of course, the USA. Records were set throughout the sale for works by individual artists. “There wasn’t a hint of weakness noticeable in any category, but sculptures put in an especially strong performance,” said Baca, who also presided as auctioneer. The auction total was $650,000 (all prices quoted include 20% buyer’s premium).
A few of the items believed to have set auction records included:
Lot 125 – Monumental Harry Bertoia sculpture, $48,800 ($40,000 hammer) (record for Bertoia sculpture using “spill cast” technique)
Lot 116 – Hisao Domoto painting, $43,200 ($36,000 hammer) (record for the artist)
Lot 132 – Jesus Rafael Soto wall sculpture, signed edition, $21,960 ($18,000 hammer) (record for a form from this edition)
Lot 119 – Henry Moretti original sculpture, $8,540 ($7,000 hammer) (record for the artist)
Lot 108 – Original Paul Jenkins artwork, $12,200 ($10,000 hammer) (record for a black and white ink-on-paper work by this artist)
Lot 117 – Renato Freitas original abstract painting, $13,420 ($11,000 hammer) (contemporary artist, first time at auction)
Lot 186 – Pair of Wilhelm Kage “Argenta” chargers, $4,270 ($3,500 hammer) (artist record for this particular form)
Although not a world auction record, the $25,620 ($21,000 hammer) price paid for Lot 256, an Angel Botello painting, was a head-turner.
You didn’t have to spend a fortune to acquire a quality modern or contemporary artwork, as there were some very nice editions available. Three signed “Structure” silkscreens by Larry Dinkin (first time at auction) went for $1,830 ($1,500 hammer) each. Another auction first-timer was Gavin Rain, whose signed and boxed lithograph – perhaps an homage to Marilyn Monroe – achieved $976 ($800 hammer). A large and super-cool abstract tapestry by Brazilian artist Genaro de Carvalho (1926-1971) went for $3,416 ($2,800 hammer).
“We were very pleased with the results of our first art-only auction,” Baca said. “Overall, there was incredible growth, including in the number of bidders and average price realized per lot. We attribute a lot of this success to the effort our team puts into every step of the auction process, from designing a beautiful catalog to creating a really nice atmosphere for those who attend our sales in person. And, of course, we work very hard to obtain consignments that are exactly what collectors are seeking in today’s marketplace.”
To contact Palm Beach Modern Auctions, call 561-586-5500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
View the fully illustrated catalog for Palm Beach Modern’s Nov. 1 auction, complete with prices realized, at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE