New York — The market for blue-chip works and premiere private collections proved strong at Christie’s New York Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art. The highly anticipated 84-lot sale, dense with works by the great masters of the Impressionist and Modern periods, included top selling works by Henri Matisse, Juan Gris, Joan Miró and Fernand Léger, among others. The sale realized $231,439,500 (£143,492,490/€164,322,045) and was 80% sold by lot and 88% sold by value.
Marc Porter, Chairman of Christie’s Americas, commented: “This was a very strong sale,with deep bidding from a diverse group of collectors representing North and South America, Europe and Asia. The runaway success of Back IV, a monumental bronze from Matisse’s most celebrated series, proved yet again that there is tremendous appetite among collectors for rare and important works from private collections. We are pleased with the results achieved for the three private collections offered in tonight’s sale, including the world record-setting Gris, a triumvirate of Légers, and a fantastic group of Seurat drawings.”
Henri Matisse’s monumental sculpture Nu de dos, 4 état (Back IV) was the night’s top lot, setting a record for the artist at $48,802,500 (£30,257,550/€34,649,775) — surpassing its top estimate of $35 million. The occasion marked the first time in history that a work from the artist’s celebrated Back series has ever come to auction. Other leading lots included Alberto Giacometti’s Femme de Venise V, conceived in 1956 and cast in 1958, which achieved $10,274,500 (£6,370,190/€7,294,895), three works by Fernand Léger from Property from the Collection of Max Palevsky, including La Tasse de Thé, 1921, which realized $8,146,500 (£5,050,830/€5,784,015), and Egon Schiele’s Mann und Frau (Umarmung), 1917, which sold for $7,362,500 (£4,564,750/€5,227,375).
This season, Christie’s remained the auction house of choice for major private collections, all of which drew strong interest from bidders on auction night. Property from a Distinguished Private Collection: Four Modern Masterpieces achieved a total of $50.1 million, led by Violon et guitare, a 1913 Cubist masterpiece by Juan Gris. This stellar work achieved a world record price from the master painter, realizing $28,642,500 (£17,758,350/€20,336,175). Other highlights from that collection included Joan Miró’s Surrealist landscape, L'Air, 1938, which brought in $10,330,500 (£6,404,910/€7,334,655) and Pablo Picasso’s, Tête d'homme, 1921, which achieved $6,130,500 (€3,800,910/£4,352,655) and Paul Klee's Pflanze undFenster Stilleben from 1927, achieved the second highest price on record for the artist at $5,010,500 (£3,106,510/€3,557,455).
From the Walter and Phyllis Shorenstein Collection, the 1882 Gustave Caillebotte Impressionist masterpiece, Seine á Argentueil realize $5,122,500 (£3,175,950/€3,636,975). The high-keyed color palette and dynamic compositional structure of the superb yachting scene, captures the essence of Impressionist technique and ranks among the finest of Caillebotte’s works. Christie’s leads the market for exceptional works by the artist, having set all of the top 16 prices for the artist’s work at auction.
A group five works by Georges Seurat from a Distinguished French Collection included four drawings and the painting Paysage homme assis (étude pour Un Dimanche d’été a l’lle de La GrandeJatte), 1884-1885 which realized $2,098,500 (£1,301,070/€1,489,935). Seurat’s drawing, La Promenade of 1882 from the same collection realized $3,330,500 (£2,069,910/€2,364,655) soaring above its pre-sale estimate of $1,500,000-2,000,000).
Christie’s New York Works on Paper and Day Sale Including Property from the Collection of MaxPalevsky continues November 4, 2010 beginning at 10 am EST.
Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in 2018 that totalled £5.3 billion / $7 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.
Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.