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Moments of Defiance

Unforeseen events and surprising new stars

By Elaine W. Ng

MUBIN ORHON, Untitled, 1961, oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cm. 

Courtesy Sotheby’s London.

The 733-lot auction of the estate of the late French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent defied economic indicators that the art market would collapse in the current global financial meldown. On February 23, 24 and 25, Christie’s Paris held what spin masters dubbed “the sale of the [21st] century.” Assembled over three decades by YSL and his partner Pierre Bergé, their superb collection of mostly…

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