"Business as usual" - that's how it seemed at first at the evening auctions with modern and contemporaries in London.
As the war in Ukraine intensified, hundreds of millions of pounds worth of art were sold in the auction rooms at Christie's and Sotheby's.
Bidders from Asia were particularly active and encouraged bidding wars for popular young painters.
A remarkable number of works of 19th and 20th century art secured by guarantees, however, went to the respective guarantor for only a single bid.
All eyes were on Phillips by the end of the week as it is owned by Russia's Mercury Group.
After the evening auction, Phillips announced that all commission money raised, totaling £5.8 million,
Phillips' 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale grossed £29.9m across 41 lots.
Bids were submitted from forty countries, and 95 percent of the lots were sold.
Six lots were withdrawn shortly before the auction, which normally only happens in consultation with the consignor if it becomes apparent that a work will probably not find a buyer.
However, given the situation in Ukraine, the question arises as to whether it could have been a political decision for some consignors – or the expected buyers.
However, the auction went very well: online bidders from Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Samoa and Florida competed for the first lot, the psychedelic giant screen “Airsickness” by Lauren Quin.
At a hammer price of £350,000 it was more than ten times its base estimate.
Phillips World Vice President Svetlana Marich bought three works for a telephone bidder: Issy Wood's 'Chalet' (estimate £100,000-150,000), leather gloves painted on velvet, for a record £350,000, Shara Hughes' 'Crooked' (180,000 / 250,000) for £500,000 and Cecily Brown's painting 'When Time Ran Out' (2/3 million) for 2.6 million.
David Hockney's great "Self-Portrait on the Terrace" (4/6 million) and Hurvin Anderson's "Untitled (Handsworth Park)" (1.2/1,
8) went to their guarantors for one bid at the lower estimate.
Gerhard Richter and Banksy remained unsold.
A total of £221.4 million had been sold at Sotheby's the night before with 65 lots in two evening auctions.
The sales rate was 88 per cent by lot, with five works selling for more than £10m.
Half of the bidders were active online.
The first part of the evening, the auction "The Now", was contested by up-and-coming artists.
Here, Asian collectors placed bids on half of the lots, and on around a third of the offers for modern and contemporaries.
Banksy bid the most expensive ticket: his military helicopters in "Vandalised Oil (Choppers)" (2.5/3.5 million) from the collection of British pop star Robbie Williams rose to 3.6 million.
British painter Flora Yukhnovich remains a crowd pleaser and is currently having a solo show at the Victoria Miro Gallery in London.
Her work "Warm, Wet 'N' Wild" (150,000/200,000),
inspired by French Rococo painting, rose to 2.2 million.
Shara Hughes' "Naked Lady" (220,000/280,000) reached 1.65 million.
Both are new records.
For Amoako Boafo's large self-portrait “As the Crow Flies”, however, the consignor had certainly hoped for more than the lower estimate of £280,000.Keywords: