On November 12th Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art evening sale achieved $691,583,000 (£435,697,000 / €511,771,420), the highest total for an auction sale in art market history, with a strong sell-through rate of 98% by value and 91% by lot. Bidders from 42 countries competed for an unprecedented offering of masterworks from all the major art movements of the last six decades. Bidders vied for works by some of the century’s most inspiring and influential artists: Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd, Lucio Fontana, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Jeff Koons, Christopher Wool, Roy Lichtenstein and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Top quality and important provenance were highly prized by collectors including works from the collections of Peter Brant, Senator Frank Lautenberg, Robert A.M. Stern, Eric Clapton and the Daimler Art Collection in Berlin. The sale established 10 new world auction records, selling 11 lots for over $20 million, 3 works for over $50 million, 16 for over $10 million and 56 for over $1 million.
“We are thrilled to announce an historic total of $691.6 million for this evening’s sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art. It is the second time this year that Christie’s has broken the highest total in auction history,” said Brett Gorvy, Chairman and International Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art. “Collectors from 42 countries registered tonight with strong bidding from American, European and Asian collectors but also from institutions. The sale was heavily focused on icons and masterworks, achieving an astonishing 10 record prices and breaking the record for any work of art ever sold at auction. Beyond the records, 10,000 art lovers flocked to Christie’s galleries in the last week to engage with and enjoy the remarkable selection of artworks on display.”