POST-SALE: CHRISTIE’S WEEK OF IMPRESSIONIST, MODERN, POST-WAR & CONTEMPORARY ART SALES IN NEW YORK TOTALS US$1.726 BILLION

THE HIGHEST SINGLE WEEK TOTAL IN AUCTION HISTORY

New York

CHRISTIE’S WEEK OF IMPRESSIONIST, MODERN,

POST-WAR & CONTEMPORARY ART SALES IN NEW YORK TOTALS

US$1.726 BILLION

THE HIGHEST SINGLE WEEK TOTAL IN AUCTION HISTORY

 

NEW BENCHMARKS SET THROUGHOUT THE WEEK:

New World Auction Record Any Work of Art

 New World Auction Record for Any Sculpture

 

NEW ARTIST RECORDS INCLUDE:

New World Auction Record for Pablo Picasso

New World Auction Record for Alberto Giacometti

New World Auction record for Lucian Freud

New World Auction for Piet Mondrian

 

POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART SOLD: $984,480,750

IMPRESSIONIST AND MODERN ART SOLD: $741,538,625*

*Christie’s online only sale of Picasso Ceramics continues to May 19 

147 Lots sold for over $1 Million

31 Lots sold for $10 Million

18 Lots sold for $20 Million

7 Lots sold for $50 Million

2 Lots sold for $100 Million 

NEW YORK – Christie’s reached a new and unprecedented benchmark in auction history this week, generating a grand total of US$1,726,019,375 in a single week of fine art sales in New York. This marked the first time Christie’s New York had combined its traditionally separated categories of Impressionist & Modern and Post-War & Contemporary art into a single sale week of auctions and online-only sales. The week was led by Looking Forward to the Past, a curated sale that presented top-quality works from both categories in a new context. The stellar results demonstrate that accelerated demand for great art from collectors around the world continues to drive strong prices at all levels.

“This has been an extraordinary week for the art market and for Christie’s. Our much heralded total of $1.726 billion is only a part of the story. It was striking that there were 40 bids above $100 million for the Picasso on Monday night and over 45 bids for the Rothko which made $82 million on Wednesday. This is a rich, deep market in which masterpieces elicit the greatest competition and which now attracts high level buyers from all over the world,” said Jussi Pylkkanen, Christie’s Global President.

“By creating a single focused sale week led by an exciting cross-category approach, we encouraged both new collectors and established buyers to look at our offerings in a new context. This strategy paid huge dividends and gives confidence to owners of major works to consign them with Christie’s. We would like to thank all the great collectors who were inspired by our innovative approach to this single New York sale week and particularly to the owners of both the Picasso and the Giacometti masterpieces that have made this spring auction season so particularly memorable.”

Global Activity

Bidders from 48 different countries registered to participate in Christie’s New York sale week, creating an electric atmosphere of competition that grew and gained momentum over the course of the sale week. The week’s third Evening Sale, devoted to  Impressionist and Modern Art, experienced one of the strongest sell-through rates of the week, with 93% sold by lot and 99% sold by value. The sales were a truly global event, with clients from the Americas, EMERI, and Asia regions all participating across the Evening and Day sales. 

Cross-over Buying and Great Collections

Throughout the sale week, Christie’s witnessed strong performance across both categories, underpinned by buyers looking to expand their collecting areas. By week’s end, Christie’s has sold over $984.5 million of Post-War and Contemporary Art through a combination of auction and online-only sales. A total of $741.5 million of Impressionist and Modern Art was sold at auction, with a dedicated online-only sale of Picasso Ceramics continuing through May 19. For both categories, the totals mark the highest total ever achieved in a single week of sales. Both categories were buoyed by the success of important private collections: the collection of Ileana Sonnabend and her daughter Nina Sundell fetched a total of $81,957,500, and property from the Estate of late Goldman Sachs chairman John C. Whitehead realized a total of $72,587,250, both far exceeding their high estimates.

New Auction Records Achieved

$179,365,000       Pablo Picasso, Les femmes d'Alger (Version 'O')  │ RECORD FOR ANY WORK OF ART SOLD AT AUCTION

$141,285,000       Alberto Giacometti, L'homme au doigt│ RECORD FOR ANY SCULPTURE SOLD AT AUCTION     

$56,165,000         Lucian Freud, Benefits Supervisor Resting 

$28,165,000   Chaim Soutine, Le Boeuf            

$50,565,000   Piet Mondrian, Composition No. III, with Red, Blue, Yellow, and Black

$25,925,000   Peter Doig, Swamped                        

$24,805,000   Jean Dubuffet, Paris Polka             

$20,605,000   Robert Ryman, Bridge         

$18,645,000   Robert Rauschenberg, Johanson's Painting

$9,797,000     Cady Noland, Bluewald                   

$6,437,000     Giovanni Anselmo, Torsione

$6,325,000     Hans Hofmann, Auxerre                

$5,093,000     Sturtevant, Warhol Diptych 

$4,757,000     Rudolf Stingel, Untitled                 

$785,000        Diane Arbus, Child With A Toy Hand Grenade In Central Park, N.Y.C., 1962                  

$509,000        Carroll Dunham, Fourth Birch

$317,000        Cheyney Thompson, Chronochrome II

$185,000        Carolee Schneemann, Eye Body: 36 Transformative Actions

Records for the Medium by the Artist                                        

$13,605,000  Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled │ record for a work on paper by the artist at auction

$7,500,000    Jeff Koons, Triple Elvis │ record for a painting by the artist at auction

$5,429,000    Rene Magritte, L’empire Des Lumières │ record for a work on paper by the artist at auction

$4,421,000    Roy Lichtenstein, Collage for Interior: Perfect Pitcher  │ record for a work on paper by the artist at auction

$5,317,000    Andy Warhol, Dollar Bill   │ record for a work on paper by the artist at auction

$3,525,000    Jackson Pollock, Untitled │ record for a work on paper by the artist at auction

$2,405,000    Robert Delaunay, La Tour simultanée   │ record for a work on paper by the artist at auction         

$2,405,000    Christopher Wool, Untitled  │ record for a work on paper by the artist at auction

$1,205,000    Jean Dubuffet, Pleurnichon  │ record for a sculpture by the artist at auction

Looking Forward

Christie’s New York spring fine art sales continue this month with Russian Works of Art and Silver, American Paintings and Latin American Art.  See http://www.christies.com/calendar for further details.

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. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), 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 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 through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.