Following the general recovery of 18% in the first half of 2018, art collectors around the world continued their quest for sought-after artworks. The prestigious global October and November auction calendars yielded mixed results for auction houses. Contemporary art sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s in mid-November brought in totals of $357m and $362m, respectively. These handsome turnovers were generated from only 93 lots sold. Christie’s highlight was a painting by David Hockney, entitled Portrait of an Artist — Pool with Two Figures, which sold for $90.3m, making Hockney the most expensive living artist to date. Sotheby’s achieved three new records for African-American art when Jacob Lawrence’s The Businessmen sold for $6.2m, Jack Whitten’s Ancient Mentor I for $2.2m and Henry Taylor’s I’ll Put a Spell on You, for just under $1m. In addition, six works by Basquiat generated a total of $50.2m. Christie’s Impressionist and modern art sale generated $279m, somewhat lower than Sotheb...

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