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This week, Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art department set a new benchmark for the art market, raising a staggering total of $638,615,900 (£420,248,526/ €497,974,951) and setting 37 new records during its victorious sale week.
“We are thrilled to announce an unprecedented overall total of $638.6 million for this week’s Post-War and Contemporary Art sale series. The remarkable bidding and record prices throughout the four sales reflect a new era in the art market, wherein seasoned collectors and new bidders compete at the highest level within a global market,” commented Brett Gorvy, Chairman and International Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art.
Beginning the week was The 11th Hour Auction on May 13th, which proved to be the biggest wildlife charity auction ever staged as it raised $38,827,000 (£25,237,550 / €30,285,060) and set several new auction records. The triumphant Evening sale on May 15th raised an unmatched $495,021,500 (£326,714,190/ €386,116,770)—the highest total in auction history, setting an astonishing 16 new auction records for the foremost artists of the last six decades, with 3 works sold above $40 million, 9 above $10 million and 23 above $5 million.
The Day Sales on May 16th demonstrated notable successors, setting new records for established and emerging artists alike as bidders competed for an incredible array—from the New York School to cutting-edge contemporary—selected from important private collections. In fact, the role of provenance remained as important as ever throughout the Evening and Day sales, as property from the Estate of Andy Williams and the Collection of Celeste and Armand Bartos drew $53,114,750 and $33,761,125 respectively.