Exceptional results for works in the category across the Rockefeller and 20th Century auctions confirms the strength of the market
In two weeks in May Christie’s sales of Impressionist & Modern works, offered across The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller and a series of dedicated Impressionist & Modern Art sales, totalled an extraordinary $1.1 billion. Eight artist records were achieved in auctions in which 90 per cent of lots were sold to bidders from more than 35 countries.
Impressionist and Modern works were among the top prices of The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller. Picasso’s Fillette à la corbeille fleurie, which led the category, realised $115,000,000; Monet’s Nymphéas en fleur sold for a record $84,687,500; and Matisse’s Odalisque couchée aux magnolias was bought for $80,750,000, setting an artist auction record.
On 15 May, the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale achieved $415,852,500 / £307,355,876, with 99 per cent sold by value and 89 per cent sold by lot. The auction proved hugely attractive to Asian buyers, who bought or bid on 57 per cent of lots offered.
Leading the sale was Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist Composition, which realised $85,812,500/ £63,423,873, a world record for the artist. A world record was also achieved with Constantin Brancusi’s La jeune fille sophistiquée (Portrait de Nancy Cunard), which sold for $71,000,000 / £52,475,979.
‘The strong results realised this evening reaffirmed that the market is present and more international than ever,’ Adrien Meyer, Co-Chairman of Impressionist and Modern Art at Christie’s, said on the night.
The Impressionist & Modern Art Works on Paper and Day Sale on 16 May closed out the category, with a total of $16,692,375 / £12,383,068 achieved for the former and $27,404,625 / £20,329,842 realised in the latter. The top lot of the Works on Paper sale, René Magritte’s L’amour de la nature, sold for $2,772,500/ £2,056,751, while the Day Sale was led by Pablo Picasso’s Buste d’homme, which made $1,572,500 / £1,166,543.
An online-only sale of Picasso Ceramics which ran from 10-17 May totalled $1,301,900/ £1,205,463 and was 100 per cent sold by lot — an outstanding result. The sale’s top lot, Tripode (A.R. 125), sold for $225,000.
Christie’s CEO Guillaume Cerutti declared that the category’s exceptional performance this spring is ‘proof that great art, great provenance and great teamwork produce a great result’.