London, 6 - 20 February 2014

Christie’s Sets New Record Total For a Week of Post-War & Contemporary Art Auctions In Europe

Christie’s February week of Post-War & Contemporary Art auctions in London, including Eyes Wide Open: An Italian Vision welcomed new and established bidders who competed for a rich array of masterpieces at every price level, resulting in a combined total of £176,028,975/ $291,506,598/ €213,371,149, beating the previous record set by Christie’s in June 2012 of £148 million. This demonstrated an appetite for significant works of quality, which saw bidding from around the world, and created 28 records.


Francis Outred, International Director, Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Europe: "Last week was a landmark for the Post-War and Contemporary Art market in Europe. Christie’s managed to break its own existing record from June 2012 for any week of sales in the category in Europe by 15% (the 2012 record was £148 million). The week’s overall total of £176 million includes the highest price for any Post-War and Contemporary Art work sold in Europe set by Francis Bacon’s Portrait of George Dyer Talking from 1966, which was also the world record for any single panel by the artist. The collection Eyes Wide Open: An Italian Vision also broke through all expectations, achieving substantial new record prices for Alberto Burri alongside most of the key Arte Povera artists, some of whose works doubled their previous records. This signaled a huge shift in these markets and a recognition of the quality and historical importance of these works. The sale was notable for strong international bidding and appreciation of Italian art, which continued into the Evening Auction, second only to Christie’s June 2012 auction for a single auction in Europe, where a further 7 artist records were achieved, including the historic price of £7million for Domenico Gnoli’s Black Hair. Elsewhere, the new record for Gerald Laing, more than double his previous level, proved the impact of the When Britain Went Pop exhibition at Christie’s Mayfair at the end of 2013, and the high sell-through rates of the Day Auction showed the strength of the market at all levels. We are also proud of the high price achieved for Damien Hirst’s Mickey, which far exceeded its estimate, and was sold to benefit the charity Kids Company."

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