Sotheby’s Historic Dutch Auction: Vera Molnár’s Generative NFT Artworks Fetch $1.2M in Ethereum


Sotheby’s Gen Art Program, featuring works by the 99-year-old pioneer artist Vera Molnár, made a sensational debut on Wednesday.

This event was a Dutch Auction, a first in Sotheby’s 300-year history, where the bidding process begins at a high price and is progressively reduced until a buyer emerges.

In this case, the auction opened with a ceiling price of 20 Ethereum (ETH), or roughly $37,000 at today’s prices.

Remarkably, all pieces sold within an hour of the auction’s opening, each fetching a price above the auction’s base of 1.5 ETH.

The sale culminated in a total of 631 ETH, or $1.2 million.

Vera Molnàr’s series, ‘Themes and Variations,’ showcases 500 generative artworks, created in collaboration with the artist Martin Grasser.

Following the sale, the secondary market trading volume surged to 457 ETH this Thursday morning, reflecting the high demand for Molnár’s work.

‘Themes and Variations’ is Molnár’s first on-chain generative art project, showcasing her innovative approach to art. The Art Blocks Engine powered the auction.

Those artworks present an exploration of intricate algorithmic transformations. Molnár converts hand-drawn variations of the letters N, F, and T into elegant black-and-white graphics and captivating color combinations.

This innovative series challenges the essence of letters, infusing them with fresh meaning through compelling interactions between humans and machines.

After the sale, collectors and art lovers expressed their enthusiasm on Twitter–or as its rebrand suggests, “X.”

Molnár’s collaboration with Sotheby’s and the Art Blocks Engine not only resulted in a successful auction but also highlighted the artist’s decades-long practice with the ‘Machine Imaginaire,’ as she started working with early computers in 1968.

Molnár’sinfluence among today’s digital artists is undeniable.

Since 2021, Sotheby’s has been a key player in the NFT space, too, positioning itself as the premier destination for selling and collecting top-tier digital artworks.

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