RELEASE: HISTORICAL, RECORD-BREAKING WEEK FOR CHRISTIE’S SPRING POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART AUCTIONS IN NEW YORK TOTALED $638.6 MILLION

WITH THE 11TH HOUR AUCTION, EVENING SALE AND DAY SALES CHRISTIE’S LED THE ART MARKET WITH HIGHEST TOTAL EVER, IN ANY CATEGORY

New York

New York— 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” noted 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.

Note to the editors

*Clyfford Still’s PH-1 was sold immediately after the sale - this after-sale is not included in the total. ‪

ARTISTS’ WORLD AUCTION RECORDS (The 11th Hour Auction, Evening & Day Sales)

$58,363,750 - Jackson Pollock, Number 19, 1948                                

$56,123,750 - Roy Lichtenstein, Woman with Flowered Hat

$48,843,750 - Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dustheads                                            

$25,883,750 - Philip Guston, To Fellini                                               

$14,123,750 - Piero Manzoni, Achrome                                               

$6,510,000 - Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (Standard Lotus No. II, Bird of Paradise, Tiger Mouth Face 44.01)              

$4,827,750 - Joseph Cornell, Magic Soap Bubble Set                      

$4,827,750 - Hans Hofmann, Beatae Memoriae                

$4,603,750 - Julie Mehretu, Retopistics - A Renegade Excavation                               

$4,267,750 - Richard Serra, L.A. Cone                                              

$2,699,750 - Luc Tuymans, Rumour                                                 

$2,139,750 - Kenneth Noland, Circle                                                      

$1,785,000 - Bharti Kher, The Skin Speaks A Language Not Its Own                       

$1,785,000 - Sterling Ruby, SP231                                                                                    

$1,575,000 - Raymond Pettibon, No Title (The Lower Half...)                                 

$1,575,000 - Robert Longo, Untitled (Leo)                                       

$1,443,750 - Ruth Asawa, Untitled (S.108 Hanging, Six-Lobed, Multi-Layered Continuous Form…)

$1,179,750 - El Anatsui, Another Plot

$1,050,000 - Elizabeth Peyton, Leonardo, February 2013

$987,750 - Ellen Gallagher, DeLuxe

$714,000 - Dan Colen, To be titled

$714,000 - Mark Ryden, Queen Bee

$682,500 - Joe Bradley, Muggles

$603,750 - Michaël Borremans, Hornet  

$447,750 - Jaume Plensa, Alegria I

$315,000 - Carol Bove, Untitled 

$262,500 - Sergej Jensen, Untitled  

$327,750 - Bob Thompson, Cathedral

$315,000 - Adam McEwen,  Untitled

$315,000 - Rob Pruitt, 6:20pm, late Summer

$315,750 - Ken Price, Percival

$99,750 - Theaster Gates, Work Chair

NEW ARTISTS RECORD BY MEDIUM (The 11th Hour Auction, Evening & Day Sales)

$7,739,750 - Cy Twombly, Untitled (Rome) (sculpture)

$5,723,750 - Jean-Michel Basquiat, Furious Man (work on paper)

$1,443,750 - Bruce Nauman, Marching Figure (work on paper)

$1,203,750 - Urs Fischer, Pinky (painting)

$1,203,750 - Christopher Wool, Untitled (work on paper)

About Christie’s

Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. 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 clients and online sales are offered year-round across all categories. Christie’s global presence is spread across a network of international salerooms and 61 representatives and offices. Christies.com provides detailed articles and videos on the objects offered for sale alongside the latest advances in digital viewing tools to make Christie’s accessible to all.

*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.