In 2022, the top auction houses put major resources into diversifying their evening sales, all the while offering the heralded estates of top collectors that brought the industry to record annual sums this month. Drawing collectors across the globe to their marquee sales, the houses continuously broke records for canonical and emerging artists between the fall and spring seasons.
This May, a $200 million painting from the collection of Swiss mega-dealers Thomas and Doris Amman made headlines as one of the most expensive works by an artist active in the last century to come to public auction when it sold at Christie’s. Meanwhile, the collection of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen notched new milestone prices in the hundreds of millions for blue-chip male artists like Paul Cezanne, George Seurat and Vincent van Gogh. While those sums occupied much of the auction circuit’s spotlight this year, activity at smaller outfits like Phillips saw new highs for emerging artists with rising primary markets.