Painting Sold at Sothebys Sets Record for Israeli Work

Published: December 22nd 2010
in Culture » Art

Growth by Yaacov Agam

Sotheby's Art Auction House held an auction this week in New York of Israeli and international artists' work, and "Growth" by Israel's Yaacov Agam sold for 179 per cent higher than the famous international company had estimated it would go for.


The artistic work is an oil painting on wood panels in twelve parts, supported by a metal trust, and it sold to a European private investor for $698,000 including commission. The sale sets a new record for any past or present Israeli artists.


The entire auction brought in $3.45 million in sales and included work by well-known Israeli artists such as Michal Rovner, Reuven Rubin and Yosl Bergner.


The sale of "Growth" breaks Agam's own record for work sold by a living Israeli artist, which he previously set at another Sotheby's New York auction in November 2009, with his work "4 Themes Contrepoint" which sold for $326,500. Mordecai Ardon's "Timepecker", painted in 1963 and sold after the famous Israeli painter's death in 1992, had held the price record for the work of any Israeli artist, sold at auction by Christie's in Tel Aviv for $643,200. 


Jennifer Roth, senior vice president and head of Sotheby’s Fine Arts department in New York, told the Jerusalem Post their estimate for "Growth" had been orthodox.


"We were being conservative, but for a work of that size, I think it was not an unusual price," said Roth. "One’s always surprised when something goes that much over, but I would say that we were pleased and we were aware in the days leading up to the sale that there was a lot of interest. You can say we were surprised, but we obviously recognized the importance of the work.”


Agam was present in the room during the auction of his piece and enthusiastically applauded by the attendees and bidders after the sale.

Related articles: (Yaacov Agam, Sothebys, auction, painting)
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