• Press release
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  • London
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  • For immediate release
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  • 28 February 2023

£167,814,400 / $202,216,352 / €190,301,530


59% EMEA / 28% AMERICAS / 13% ASIA




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 FreudScillonian Beachscape and Garden from the Window, each sold for £4,602,000

- Alberto GiacomettiChandelier for Peter Watson sold for £2,922,000 and Femme debout sold for £2,562,000

- Gerhard RichterAbstraktes 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



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

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s has sold 8 of the 10 most important single-owner collections in history, including the Paul G. Allen Collection—the most valuable collection ever offered at auction (November 2022). In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). 

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability by reducing our carbon emissions by 50% and pledging to be net zero by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

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