• Press release
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  • Paris
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  • For immediate release
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  • 22 October 2016

PRESS RELEASE: Christie's FIAC week auctions total €42m / £37.5m / $46m, 84% by lot and 91% by value, 10 lots sold above €1m

Paris Avant-Garde curated sale leads the week selling €20.5m/£18.4m/$22.6m with 85% by lot and 92% by value

94% by lot and 99% by value for the Bjäringer collection

€8.3M/£7.4M/$9M for the Claude Berri Collection

Six artist records were set during the week including French artist Daniel Buren

Paris – Christie’s new series of 20th Century auctions, held during FIAC week, celebrated Modern, Post-War and Contemporary art and displayed a strong position in Paris with a combined total of €42M/£37.5M/$46M. The week started on a high point with Christie’s first curated sale in Paris: Paris Avant-Garde which realised €20,562,500/£18,442,506/$22,610,525; followed by the remarkable Bjäringer Collection which sold 94% by lot and 99% by value. Friday afternoon, the Modern Art sale realised €5,812,375/£5,203,819/$6,379,663 and the week ended with the superb collection of Claude Berri which sold for €8,320,125/£7,422,384/$9,084,744. One of the highlights of the sale was the Monogold (MG 44) by Yves Klein, formely owned by Pierre Restani which achieved €1,202,500/£1,072,750/$1,313,010.  20th Century at Christie’s Paris follows the strong results for Christie’s London during Frieze Week and confirms the energy of the art market across the autumn season. 

Laetitia Bauduin and Tudor Davies, Heads of Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art departments: “Christie’s results for this FIAC week have proved that the market remains very strong in France, with 94% sold lots for the Property from the Bjäringer collection and 92% sold by value in the Paris Avant-Garde auction. Having established the Art Moderne auction in FIAC week in 2014, this year we saw that momentum fully realised with a whole week of successful sales at Christie’s Paris. The exceptional prices achieved and the crowds that we saw in the galleries and auction rooms throughout the week demonstrated the sustained demand for high quality pieces that have never been seen before at auction. The work by František Kupka, Formes allongées (1912-14) is one example that met an energetic reception, with collectors vying to acquire the work and driving it to realise €1,562,500/£1,401,406/$1,718,125. The record set in the Claude Berri sale for contemporary artist Daniel Buren proved once again Christie’s ability to read the market as well as the ever-growing interest in modern and contemporary art“.


The first curated sale at Christie’s Paris achieved a strong total of €20,562,500 /£18,442,506/$22,610,525, with 85% sold by lot and 92% sold by value, confirming Christie’s ability to innovate and meet the needs of the art market of today.  The evening began at an electric pace with the first lot of the night Joan Miro’s Untitled soaring to a figure of €2,034,500 /£1,824,743 /$2,237,136,   more than six times its presale estimate. This starting point set the tone for the evening with the first nine lots achieving figures above their high estimates (49% of the sale was sold above their high estimate). The number of bidders present in the room, on the phone and on the Internet showed real interest for exceptional modern, post-war and contemporary art works fresh on the market and from prestigious provenance. The mobile by Alexander Calder given by the artist to film director Agnès Varda realised €2,370,500/£2,126,101/$2,606,602, while the previously unseen on the market Tête by Le Corbusier and Joseph Savina sold for €422,500/£378,940/$464,581. The group of three Moutons de laine executed by François-Xavier Lalanne in 1969 from the former Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé collection sold for €602,500/£540,382/$662,509.  The evening also saw energetic bidding online, with Max Ernst’s Bosse de nage selling to a Christie’s LIVE bidder for €362,500/£325,126/$398,605. The Bernard Monnier collection which included works by Joan Miró, Alberto Giacometti, Joseph Cornell, Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst realised 100%, achieving €3,981,500/£3,571,007/$4,378,057.


The collection, which offered a panorama of the Parisian Avant-Garde achieved stand out results  of €7,188,600 /£6,447,455 /US$7,904,585 selling 94%  by lot and 99% by value. French abstract paintings were led by Paysage au nuage by Nicolas de Staël which was sold for €1,382,500/£1,239,964/$1,520,197. The high number of registered bidders demonstrated the demand in the international art market for works of high quality. This single-owner auction follows the successes of the Runnqvist and the Peppler Swedish collections, both sold 100% at Christie’s in Paris in 2013 and 2014.


20th Century at Christie’s Paris continued on Friday with Art Moderne, which realised a total of €5,812,375/£5,203,819/$6,379,663. These results demonstrated the continued global interest for art stars of the twentieth century such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Salvador DalÍ whose work on paper La soie est une femme sold for €290,500/£260,085/$318,853 against a presale estimate of €180,000-250,000. The sale saw registered buyers from 18 countries across four continents.

Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita’s La belle espagnole doubled its high estimate selling for €410,500/£367,521/$450,565.

The highest price was paid for Pablo Picasso whose painting Buste d’homme sold for €1,922,500/£1,721,214/$2,110,136.

The saleroom saw important prices realised for French artists such as Fernand Léger whose group of ceramics that came to auction directly from the ceramist Roland Brice’s family, totaled €223,750/£200,323/$245,588.


Christie’s FIAC week ended with the much anticipated collection of famous Oscar-winning film director and producer Claude Berri, whose son Thomas Langmann entrusted Christie’s with his father’s collection. On Saturday, the 77 lots were offered to international collectors who were present to pay their last tributes to the much loved and respected Claude Berri.

The sale totaled €8,320,125/£7,422,384/$9,084,744 with 86% of lots sold and 96% by value.

The top lot of the sale was the very large work by Jannis Kounellis which sold for €1,562,500/£1,393,906/$1,706,094. This monumental canvas was executed during the early years of the artist’s career in Rome, when he was only 24 years old. The very rare Monogold (MG 64) by Yves Klein seduced several collectors and sparked an auction battle to acquire this piece, finally selling for €1,202,500/£1,072,750/$1,313,010. An auction record price was realised for Daniel Buren whose Peintures aux formes variables achieved an above estimate figure of €986,500/£880,057/$1,077,159.

Contemporary artists such as John Baldessari, Paul McCarthy, Wim Delvoye and Berlinde de Bruyckere were also well represented in the sale and saw strong prices achieved for their artworks. The hyper realistic sculpture by de Bruyckere, Pietà, was sold €290,500/£259,155/$317,197 to a buyer on the phone. Paul McCarthy’s work on paper Cooking show was sold €110,500/£98,577/$120,655, setting a new world record for the medium.

The Modern art works on paper section of the sale was led by a very rare watercolor by Francis Picabia executed in 1913, Mechanical expression achieved €326,500/£291,271/$356,505. An important work on paper executed by Roberto Matta in 1937 and which was first exhibited in 1938 at the Galerie des Beaux-Arts of Paris was sold for €176,500/£157,456/$192,720.

The auction of the Claude Berri collection continues online on Christies.com until the October 27th and a dedicated auction for Claude Berri’s photographs will be organised on November 12th during the Paris Photo fair.


Lot 21B Daniel Buren – Peintures aux formes variables - €986,500/£880,057/$1,077,159 WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR ANY WORK OF ART

Lot 62B Paul McCarthy – Cooking Show - €110,500/£98,577/£120,655 WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR A WORK ON PAPER

Lot 61B Silvia Bächli – Sans titre - €17,500/£15,612/$19,108 WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR ANY WORK OF ART

Lot 67B Thierry de Cordier – Ice Mad - €74,500/£66,461/$81,346 WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR A WORK ON PAPER

Lot 76B Edgar Arceneaux – The Art of Creation III - €2,000/£1,784/$2,184 WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR ANY WORK OF ART

Lot 73B Charley Case – Ana se baigne dans la mer morte €4,000/£3,568/$4,368 WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR ANY WORK OF ART

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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 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 is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.

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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 the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

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