The Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale and the auction of The Art of the Surreal took place on the evening of 4 February at Christie’s London, realising a combined total of £176,986,000/ $288,133,208/ €212,737,172 and selling 86% by lot and 95% by value. The auctions had a combined pre-sale estimate of £113.3 million to £162.9 million. The top price was paid for Nature morte à la nappe à carreaux, 1915, by Juan Gris (1887-1927) which sold for £34,802,500/ $56,658,470/ €41,832,605, setting a new world record price for the artist at auction (estimate: £12-18 million, pictured above). In total, 35 works of art sold for over £1 million / 43 for over $1 million, and four artist records were set, led by Juan Gris and also including records for a work by Carlo Carrà (lot 110), Le Corbusier (lot 14) and Dorothea Tanning (lot 124).
Olivier Camu, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s: “It was a pleasure to work with the intellectual and generous family who entrusted us with the sale of the Swiss Collection, enabling us to offer the works with appealing estimates and in the best context. The market rose to the appearance of these privately owned modernist works which have never been seen on the market and were either bought or gifted directly from the artists. The result of the collection offered so far is a testament to the discipline and sharp eye of this couple who were passionate about art and architecture. It was led by a new world record price for any Cubist picture and also set a new benchmark record for Carra, the co-inventor of „Pittura Metafisica?, and a record price for Le Corbusier. The Surrealist sale was packed with quality, unseen works including the Carra, the Tanning – which had not been seen for 30 years and sparked competition amongst 15 bidders - and the Magritte, which is one of only three works by the artist to reach the $10 million mark and which sold to a contemporary art collector who has, like many others, joined the Surrealist field of collecting.”