Giovanna Bertazzoni, Vice Chairman, 20th / 21st Century Art Department, Christie’s: “Our 20th / 21st Century Art evening sales offered strategically estimated works across diverse price points, and our clients responded, with more than 50% of our lots in the 20th / 21st Century Evening Sale selling above the high estimate. London’s position as a powerful art hub drew international bidders from 37 countries – a strong response to a season that featured many works at auction for the first time. Christie’s continues to drive the market for private collections worldwide, and this season we presented the exceptional Memory of A Surreal Journey: Property from an Important San Francisco Bay Area Collection. The pioneering Surrealist women artists reflect a zeitgeist witnessed across the art world in public programming and in the market. Surrealism itself continues to be the cradle between conceptual and contemporary art and this legacy is in turn evident in the female painters that opened our sales with a series of records. We look forward to our Day and Online Sales which continue across the week here in London.”
For further commentary on the sale, please view Keith Gill, Head of Impressionist and Modern Art, London, Tessa Lord, Acting Head of Department, Post-War and Contemporary Art, London and Olivier Camu, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, discussing the highlights in the post-sale press conference
- Pablo Picasso’s Femme dans un rocking-chair (Jacqueline) (1956) led the sale, realising £16,892,000. Christie’s, as the leading auction house for works by Picasso, joins the art world this year in a global commemoration of the artist and his legacy, on the 50th anniversary of his death
- Spirited Bidding for Contemporary Artists (with first three lots setting new auction records)
- Presented by Christie’s for the first time, a record for Michaela Yearwood Dan’s Love me nots sold for £730,800 (estimate: £40,000-60,000)
- Record for Cristina Banban’s La Fatiga Que Me das (You Exhaust me), which sold for £163,800 against an estimate of £50,000-70,000
- Record for Caroline Walker’s The Puppeteer which sold for £693,000 (estimate: £150,000-200,000)
- 66% of the 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale was offered at auction for the first time. Our clients responded to artworks that have rarely been seen publicly;
- Paul Cezanne’s L’Aqueduc du canal de Verdon au nord d’Aix (£7,159,500)
- Van Gogh’s portrait Kop van een vrouw (Gordina de Groot), one of the sitters for his Potato Eaters now in the Van Gogh Museum, sold to a bidder in the room for £4,842,000
- Alexander Calder’s The Ghost (£1,122,000)
- Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Jeune fille endormie (La dormeuse) (£4,962,000)
- David Hockney’s Chair with a Horse Drawn by Picasso (£4,362,000)
- Artists that defined the 20th century, shaping the artistic legacy of the 21st century drew deep competition:
- Lucian Freud – Scillonian Beachscape and Garden from the Window, each sold for £4,602,000
- Alberto Giacometti – Chandelier for Peter Watson sold for £2,922,000 and Femme debout sold for £2,562,000
- Gerhard Richter – Abstraktes Bild (704-2), sold for £3,762,000
- In the artist’s 85th year, Georg Baselitz’s Frau Paganismus realised £4,602,000, while Elke I achieved £3,042,000. Both artworks were offered from The Hess Art Collection
- Christie’s continues to drive the market for private collections worldwide, and this season we were proud to present the exceptional Memory of a Surreal Journey: Property from an Important San Francisco Bay Area, a collection that has realised a total to date of £20,239,700. Defined by pioneering female artists, highlights included:
- Leonora Carrington’s Quería ser pájaro (£882,000)
- Remedios Varo’s Retrato del Doctor Ignacio Chávez (£3,882,000)
- Dorothea Tanning’s Visite jaune (Visite éclair) (£352,800)
- Further lots from the collection will be offered in the Impressionist and Modern Art Day and Works on Paper Sale on 3 March
- René Magritte’s lyrical gouache Le retour, last sold in The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale by Christie’s in 2004, sold for £6,129,000, a record for a gouache by the artist
- Following the record set at Christie’s in October 2022 for a painting by Tracey Emin, the artist’s I told you don’t try to find me, included in her Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Exhibition (2008-2009), realised £1,362,000 against an estimate of £500,000-700,000. This is the second highest price for a painting by the artist.
- Liu Ye’s The Goddess drew deep competition to eventually sell for £3,102,000 (estimate: £800,000-1,200,000)
Additional Artist Records Set:
- Óscar Domínguez’s Machine à coudre électro-sexuelle, sold for £4,602,000
- Wolfgang Paalen, Taches solaires, sold for £756,000
- Tyler Hobbs, Fidenza #724, sold for £365,400
- Gordon Onslow Ford, Cycloptomania, sold for £163,800
RECAPPING THE STATS
Christie’s 20/21 Evening Sales on 28 February realised a total of £167,814,400 / $202,216,352 / €190,301,530
89% by lot and 91% by value
The 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale
Total Realised £128,952,500 / $155,387,763 / €146,232,135
- Lots offered: 74
- Lots sold: 64
- Sell through rates of: 87% by lot / 91% by value
- Top ten
The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale
- Total Realised £38,861,900 / $46,828,590 / €44,069,395
- Lots offered: 32
- Lots sold: 30
- Sell through rates of: 94% by lot / 93% by value
- Top ten
Sales continue with the Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on 1 March, the Impressionist and Modern Art Day and Works on Paper Sale on Friday 3 March, and First Open: Post-War and Contemporary Art Online, which remains open for bidding until 9 March
Further images are available via dropbox
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