• Press release
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  • London
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  • For immediate release
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  • 4 September 2017

PRESS RELEASE: Christie's Frieze Week 2017 - Innovative Line Up Of Curated, Cross-Category And Masterpiece Auctions In October

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Red Skull (1982), Acrylic, oilstick and paper collage on canvas, 60 × 60 in. (152.4 × 152.4 cm.), Estimate on request

London - This October during London’s Frieze Week, Christie’s will present a second major season of Post-War and Contemporary Art in 2017 at King Street, bringing together the very best in art and design across the 20th and 21st centuries.  Following the successful move of the London auctions in March this year, Christie’s sales this October demonstrate a diversity that reflects the breadth and depth of taste across the international collecting community. Christie’s innovative programme will bring together five auctions and one exhibition, which will showcase the highest quality in not only painting, drawing and sculpture but also design and photography.  On view at Christie’s King Street, London, from the 29 September; a selection of highlights will be on view in New York, Rockefeller Center from 8 to 12 September and Hong Kong from 18 to 21 September. 

Francis Outred, Chairman and Head of Post War and Contemporary Art, EMERI “In recent years we have seen the growing importance both curatorially and commercially of London’s Frieze week in October. The art fairs, museums, galleries and auction houses together attract a huge global audience. This year the exhibitions in London’s museums and galleries are of the highest calibre: Jasper Johns at the Royal Academy, Jean-Michel Basquiat at Barbican, Rachel Whiteread at Tate and Brice Marden at Gagosian Gallery all stand out as highlights. Christie’s presentation this year is unlike anything we have ever seen before in October.  When I began in this business, eighteen years ago, October was a mid-season auction with a value of around one million pounds and now we will have five auctions and one exhibition that cross all aspects of creative visual production in the 20th and 21st centuries. I am particularly excited by the ‘Masterpieces of Design and Photography’ auction since these two fields have huge potential and by creating this unique auction platform with price points at relatively accessible levels, we are looking to encourage both established and younger collectors to come together and experience the special excitement and drama of an Evening auction at Christie’s King street.”

Christie’s Frieze Week Calendar 2017 – On View from 29 September

Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction: 6 October

Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction is a highlight of the Frieze Week calendar. This season the auction is led by Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Red Skull (illustrated top), a powerful expression of his most important motif set ablaze in technicolour glory. The work is one of around five known major skull paintings executed during the pivotal year of 1982. The Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction will also see major masterpieces from across the 20th and 21st centuries, including works by Peter Doig, Jenny Saville, Georg Baselitz, and Albert Oehlen.

Thinking Italian: Evening Auction, 6 October

This year’s focus on 20th century Italian art will present a tightly curated selection of artists including Alberto Burri, Lucio Fontana, Marino Marini, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Salvatore Scarpitta. A highlight will be Lucio Fontana’s Concetto spaziale, In piazza San Marco di notte con Teresita (1961, estimate on request) from the much-celebrated cycle of paintings titled Venezie. An ever-changing animated play of light, space and colour, the work is a spatial concept of St Mark’s Square in Venice. Another leading work is Michelangelo Pistoletto’s early mirror painting Alighiero Boetti che guarda un negativo (1967, estimate: £2,500,000 – 3,500,000), which brings together two iconic figures of post-war Italian art.

Up Close: Curated Evening Auction: 3 October

Andy Warhol’s seminal Coke Bottle will lead ‘Up Close’, a specially curated evening auction that will take place 3 October 2017, during London’s Frieze week. The auction will bring together an exceptional group of works to shed light on how artists, including Twombly and Warhol, have turned to small-scale compositions to challenge themselves and unlock new modes of expression. These works can offer a zone of emotional intimacy, an exercise in delicate skill, or even a refreshing liberation from the supervening order of size.

Masterpieces of Design and Photography: Evening Auction 3 October

Masterpieces of Design and Photography is a curated auction that showcases great examples from these two complementary categories. Celebrating these art forms, the auction will bring new artistic dialogues to light, re-evaluating the masterpieces within the context of the 20th century. Art and design draw together aesthetics, technology, psychology and sociology, while both reflect and reinvent the world around us. Works by artists and designers including Julia Margaret Cameron, Helmut Newton and Thomas Demand, Gio Ponti, Finn Juhl and Gerrit Rietveld will be presented.

Post War and Contemporary Art Day Auction: 7 October

The Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Auction will showcase fresh talent alongside more established names from across the 20th and 21st Centuries.  Major highlights include Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (1986, estimate: £2,200,000-2,800,000) as well as works by David Hockney, Tom Wesselmann, Bridget Riley, Sigmar Polke and Asger Jorn.  There is also a strong line-up of Italian works in the section ‘Thinking Italian Part 2’, which is headlined by a large selection of works by Lucio Fontana, showing the incredible eclecticism of his practice, and also features Vincenzo Agnetti, Carol Rama, Piero Dorazio and Fausto Melotti. The contemporary field is led by artists including Ibrahim Mahama, Laura Owens, Katharina Grosse, Karin Kneffel and Henry Taylor. In addition, the Post War and Contemporary Art Day Auction will feature works for the benefit of the charity ‘Art for Tropical Forests’, which was founded by legendary art dealer Ernst Beyeler in 2001. 

About the Line: Exhibition 29 September – 24 November (103 New Bond Street)

From the rigidity of Piet Mondrian through to the Baroque of Cy Twombly, this exhibition looks at drawings, paintings and sculptures from 1900 to the present day, and will include works by Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Cy Twombly, Agnes Martin, Willem de Kooning, Bridget Riley, Ben Nicholson, Bob Law, Brice Marden, Christopher Wool, Maria Lassnig, Julie Mehretu, Gunther Uecker. From ancient carvings on bone and stone to the intricate sketches and working drawings of Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer, the use of line has pervaded art throughout the centuries and across many different cultures.

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.

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