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The Art Market Exhales As Record Sales Salvage Semiannual Auctions

Nov.19 -- Total sales at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips during semiannual auctions in New York surpassed $1.4 billion. The top lot was Ed Ruscha’s sky-blue canvas spelling “RADIO", which fetched $52.5 million at Christie’s. Dozens of lots sold to single bidders after the houses either lowered the reserves or pre-sold the works through irrevocable bids. Even with some successes, sales were down 30% from a year earlier, due largely to a lack of blockbuster works. Bloomberg's Katya Kazakina and Lisa Abramowicz discuss the auctions.