Christie’s concluded its marquee week of New York auctions devoted to Impressionist, Modern, and Post-War and Contemporary Art on Friday with $1.1 billion in total sales, and overall sell-through rates of 80 per cent by lot and 87 per cent by value. A companion online-only sale of Picasso Ceramics continues until Tuesday 17 November.
The November sales series brought over 15,000 visitors to Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries, where more than 1,000 works of art were presented for sale.
AUCTION RESULTSThe Artist’s Muse View results
The Artist’s Muse, a special curated exhibition and sale of master works, anchored the week and attracted visitors and bidders from 40 different countries around the world. Buying activity was geographically diverse, with strong participation from the Americas, underpinned by Asia and Europe.
‘This has been a strong week of sales at Christie’s with robust sell-through rates of 80 per cent by lot across all price levels of the Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art markets,’ commented Jussi Pylkkänen, Global President of Christie’s International. ‘As in May, our specially curated Artist’s Muse auction was the most successful New York evening sale of the season, totalling $491 million.’
In this sale records were broken for several artists including Modigliani’s outstanding Nu couché, which fetched $100 million more than has ever been paid for the artist before. ‘Twelve artist’s records were broken in our sales this week, including for works by Bourgeois, Courbet, Fontana, Gauguin and Lichtenstein,’ added Pylkkänen.
AUCTION RESULTSPost-war and Contemporary Art Evening SaleView results
In the masterpiece market, new artist records were set for established artists, including Balthus, Bourgeois, Courbet, Fontana, Gauguin, Gonzalez-Torres, Hélion, Kirchner, Lichtenstein, Modigliani and Oldenburg. New auction records were also set for contemporary artists Bradley, Kelley and Nara. Twenty-two lots sold for above $10 million, 10 lots sold for above $20 million and two lots sold for above $50 million, including Modigliani’s Nu Couché which realised $170.4 million, the second highest price for any work ever sold at auction. Cumulatively, Post-war and Contemporary Art sold for $551.1 million, while Impressionist and Modern Art sold for $540.4 million.
‘Our day sales saw the strongest sale percentages, which is an indicator of the breadth and depth of the middle market’
There were strong results for important private collections, too. Works from the Arthur and Anita Kahn Collection totalled $65.7 million against a high estimate of $33.6 million; works from The Collection of Ilean Sonnabend and The Estate of Nina Castelli Sundell realised $17.4 million, against a low estimate of $10.9 million; while European Sculpture from the Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson Collection brought a total of $4.6 million, more than doubling the high estimate.
AUCTION RESULTSImpressionist and Modern Art Evening SaleView results
‘Our day sales saw the strongest sale percentages, which is a satisfying indicator of the breadth and depth of the middle market, which continues to grow and prosper as more international clients seek to collect fresh, well priced material across the 20th Century art fields at Christie’s,’ Pylkkänen added. The combined total for Post-war and Contemporary Art Morning and Afternoon sessions was $88,837,375 (79 per cent sold by lot and 84 per cent by value); the combined total for the Impressionist and Modern Art Day and Works on Paper sales was $55,516,500 (81 per cent sold by lot and 87 per cent sold by value).
‘Our week closed with a particularly strong result for our Impressionist Works on Paper team,’ continued the Global President of Christie’s International, ‘which posted sold percentages of 86 per cent by lot and 91 per cent by value in this specialised middle-market collecting field.’ The top lot for the Impressionist Works on Paper sale was Marc Chagall’s, Les amoureaux au Cap-Ferrat, which realised $941,000.
‘This has been a very measured week of sales in New York,’ noted Mr. Pylkkänen. ‘Both our consignors and buyers continue to give us very positive feedback about our curated 20th Century sale week and we have been delighted with the increasing engagement with our clients and the strong attendance at our sales in Rockefeller Center.’
For more features, interviews and videos, visit Christie’s Daily