Last week’s auctions of Post-War and Contemporary Art brought 20th Century at Christie’s to a close with a final total of £72,442,450 driven by bidders from around the world vying for works by some of the leading names from this explosive period of art history.
Over two weeks the sales showcased important movements from the last 100 years at a range of prices, from elegant ceramics by Picasso at South Kensington to cutting-edge contemporaries at King Street.
The Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction on Thursday achieved £58,099,000, selling 89 per cent by lot. The top price of the night was for Peter Doig’s The Architect’s Home in the Ravine at £11,282,500 followed by works by Hockney, Bacon and Freud highlighting ‘a particularly energetic response to British painting’ according to specialist Edmond Francey.
Bidders from over 40 countries participated in the sale and contributed toward artist records for Robert Mangold and Joseph Beuys. Francey also noted that ‘Collections were highly prized, demonstrating how good provenance, taste and connoisseurship continue to be a major draw.’
The British theme continued with a selection of works sold to benefit the South London Gallery by contemporary British artists Tracey Emin and Antony Gormley, both of which soared above their estimates. Contemporary art was also showcased in the Day Auction with works by Yayoi Kusama, Thomas Schütte and Michael Borremans exceeding expectations to drive the sale total to £14,343,450.
The Art of the Surreal was led by Max Ernst’s museum-quality work The Stolen Mirror, which sold for £7,642,500
The Post-War and Contemporary Art auctions followed a week of sales of Impressionist & Modern Art, including The Art of the Surreal, which totalled £117,788,500. Jay Vincze, International Director and Head of the Impressionist & Modern Art department, noted that there was ‘strong interest across price levels and periods, from Paul Cezanne’s 1882 work Ferme en Normandie, été (Hattenville), through to Joan Miró’s 1968 Femme et oiseaux dans la nuit.’
These results demonstrate Christie’s continued strength on the international art market in our 250th anniversary year, and we are now looking ahead to our spring seasons in Hong Kong and New York.