Paris- Christie’s second edition of 20th Century sales week, held during FIAC, was a celebration of Modern, Post-War and Contemporary art and demonstrated a strong position in Paris, realising a combined total of €88,5M/£79,7M/$104,5M. The week started on a high point with the sale of Grande Femme II by Alberto Giacometti which sold for an impressive €25M/£22M/$29,3M in the curated Paris Avant-Garde sale which realised a total of €38,669,750/£34,408,290/$45,630,305. The Modern art auction followed the next day with 73 lots sold for a strong €10,3M/£9,3M/$12,2M. The exceptional Prat collection closed this flagship week of sales with the remarkable Jean-Michel Basquiat’s painting which sold for €15M/£13,5M/$17,7M bringing the grand total for this collection to €39,554,613/£35,599,152/$46,674,443 selling 91,5% by lot and 98% by value.
Edouard Boccon-Gibod, Managing Director: “We are thrilled the sales have totalled more than 88 million euros, validating the strategy to offer a group of strong and iconic Modern and Contemporary works of art during FIAC when international collectors are in Paris. These incredible results confirm our understanding of the market and demonstrate that our strategy has been rewarded.”
PARIS AVANT-GARDE – Thursday 19 October
Christie’s France’s President, François de Ricqlès, held the hammer in a packed room selling 27 lots to international buyers from 12 countries. The highly expected Grande Femme II by Alberto Giacometti became the most expensive work of art sold in France in 2017 achieving an impressive €24,907,500/£22,167,675/$29,390,850.
Pierre Martin-Vivier, Director, Chairman’s Office: “We are thrilled with the very good results achieved tonight and especially for the new high for any work of art sold in France in 2017 with Grande Femme II and it was a great honor to be entrusted with the sale of this prestigious work of art”.
The first edition of Facile by Paul Eluard and Man Ray was sold for €823,500 to Jean-Baptiste de Proyart bidding in the room on behalf of a private client, establishing a new auction record for any 20th century French editioned book. A world auction record was achieved for Claude Cahun’s photograph that sold for €223,500 against a pre-sale estimate of €100,000-150,000.
Jean Dubuffet was well represented in the sale with two drawings and an exceptional painting from the Hourloupe series, realised in 1964, which was acquired by international collector Mr. Samir Traboulsi for €1,927,500.
A strong result was also realised for Through the Dusk (Homage to the square) by Josef Albers which sold for €631,500, three times its presale estimate, and the mobile sculpture by Alexander Calder from the personal collection of Tal Coat was sold for €1,327,500.
Tudor Davies, Co-Head of Sale: “The second edition of our Paris Avant-Garde sale was a real success and we are pleased to have seen so much interest from international collectors present in Paris for FIAC. In addition to the great result achieved by the Giacometti’s sculpture, many more artworks realised strong results such as Sonia Delaunay’s oil on canvas created in 1913 and originally from the Bing gallery which was sold for €1,567,500”.
ART MODERNE – Friday 20 October
20th Century at Christie’s Paris continued on Friday afternoon with the Modern Art sale which realised a total of €10,365,250/£9,328,725/$12,230,995. This strong result demonstrated a continued global interest for modern artists, in particular Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger and James Ensor, whose Nature morte au Magot-Chinoiseries, étoffes sold for €2,167,500 against a presale estimate of €700,000-1,000,000. The sale registered buyers from 22 countries across four continents.
Thibault Stockmann, Head of Sale: “The very strong sale selling 95% by value with a large interest from French and international buyers illustrates a deep demand for modern art. We are particularly pleased with the impressive price paid for the James Ensor’s work of art from a Belgian private collection which tripled its presale estimate with a result of more than two million euros; and with Moise Kisling’s Self-portrait executed in 1912 and which was sold five times its presale estimate at €487,500”.
REGARDS CROISÉS, COLLECTION JEAN-FRANCOIS & MARIE-ALINE PRAT – Friday 20 and Saturday 21 October
Christie’s exceptional week of sales ended with the superb collection of Jean-François and Marie-Aline Prat which totalled 39,554,613/£35,599,152/$46,674,443 for 172 lots sold in two days.
Paul Nyzam, Head of Sale: “It has been a real honor to work with Marie-Aline Prat for the past year organising this exceptional sale. The evening auction marked a new turning point for Christie’s France Post-War & Contemporary art department. Collections of such a high quality can be counted of the fingers of one hand, and the exceptional results illustrate how important this family has been to the French artistic scene”.
The evening sale offered 35 lots including the stunning Jean-Basquiat’s Jim Crow painting which achieved €15M. Christie’s Global President Jussi Pylkkänen, who came to Paris to be the auctioneer for this sale, sold the painting to a successful telephone bidder after a 10-minute bidding battle between two telephone bidders and another in the room. With this monumental painting, Christie’s established a new French auction record for a work of art by the American artist.
In addition to the success of the Basquiat painting, French auction records were also established during the evening sale for three further artists including Jean Dubuffet with Les Versatiles which sold for an impressive €5,557,500/£5,001,750/$6,557,850, against a presale estimate of €3,500,000-4,500,000, Lucio Fontana with Concetto spatiale, Attese selling for €4,207,500/£3,786,750/$4,964,850 after a long bidding battle and Sigmar Polke with his highly anticipated Was machen die Russen in Mexiko which realised €3,532,500/£3,179,250/$4,168,350.
The whole collection, across both evening and day sales, saw strong bidding in the room, on the telephones and online with Simon Hantaï’s oil on canvas selling to a Christie’s Live bidder for €247,500 (lot 2).
The day sale which took place on Saturday 21 October totalled €3,068,613/£2,761,752/$3,620,093 and saw strong interest for French contemporary artists such as Bertrand Lavier, Robert Combas, Claude Viallat, François Morellet and Bernar Venet whose 2 Arcs de 235,5° realised €68,750 against a presale estimate of €25,000-35,000.
The Centre Pompidou preempted four lots during the evening sale including a painting by Martin Barré which sold for €162,500, Tony Cragg’s Autoportrait which realised €50,000, Gary Hume’s The Moon which sold for €62,500 and Haim Steinbach’s sculpture which was preempted for €81,250.
Four other lots were preempted during the day sale including Peter Halley’s Sixth Sense at €118,750 and Bertrand Lavier’s Melker II at €35,000.