Christie’s Evening Sale of Post-War and Contemporary art achieved US$658,532,000 (£419,714,468 / €584,662,254) with sell-through rates of 88% by lot and 94% by value. Bidders from 40 different countries gathered for the sale to compete for top-quality works by the pioneering artists of the era, including Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Lucian Freud, Cy Twombly, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Franz Kline, and Robert Ryman. The top lot of the sale was Rothko’s No. 10, an ethereal masterpiece by the artist from 1958. It sold for $81,925,000 (£52,214,786/ €72,735,198), notching the second highest price for the artist at auction. The sale established eight new world auction records for a diverse range of artists, including Lucian Freud, Robert Rauschenberg, Hans Hoffman, Robert Ryman, Sturtevant, and Giovanni Anselmo, among others.
The first part of the Collection of Ileana Sonnabend and Nina Sundell 100% sold, realizing $60.1 million, doubling the pre-sale estimate. Three lots sold for over $50 million, eight works for over $20 million, thirteen for over $10 million and 63 for over $1 million. 27% of the works sold above their estimate, and 44% sold within estimate range.
Brett Gorvy, International Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, commented on the sale: “The response that we saw to the sale this evening proves the sophistication, knowledge and competitive urge of many of our top buyers. They were pursuing not just great works but also great collections tonight, and showed they were willing to stretch and stretch some more to have the best.”
With the sale of Rothko’s No. 10 midway through the sale, Christie’s running tally for this sale week crossed the US$1 billion threshold.
POST-SALE RELEASE | CHRISTIE’S POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART EVENING SALE ACHIEVES $658,532,000 (£419,714,468/ €584,662,254)