On October 16, Christie’s London evening auctions of Post-War & Contemporary Art and The Italian Sale realised a combined total of £67,928,500. The top price this evening was paid for Peter Doig’s The Heart of Old San Juan, painted in 1999, which sold for £4,562,500. In total 21 lots sold for over £1 million and 32 for over $1 million.
POST-WAR & CONTEMPORARY ART
The Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Auction realised a total of £40,344,500 selling 89% by lot and 94% value against a pre-sale estimate of £32.1 million – £47.1 million. Record prices at auction were established for 5 artists (such Joe Bradley, Rachel Whiteread, Toby Ziegler and Louis Eisner).
Francis Outred, International Director and Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Christie’s Europe: One of the most packed auction rooms I have ever seen witnessed a landmark October auction series, which, for the first time, approaches the importance of our February and June auctions. We saw a record for an Evening Auction in October and a record for the Italian Sale. Achieving a total of £114million over three auctions, this October series doubled our previous record of £57.4million last year and was a testament to the power of Frieze week. Our record Italian Sale, which set a new record for Alighiero Boetti, shows the increasing strength of Italian art, a field in which Christie’s has seen a decade of dominance. In the spirit of Frieze week, the exciting younger generation of painters made a strong debut at our Evening Auction, with record prices for artists such as Joe Bradley, Toby Ziegler, Brent Wadden and Louis Eisner. Strikingly, works by Gerhard Richter made 4 of the top 10 prices at Christie’s tonight, which shows Richter’s continued influence on younger artists and his enduring relevance to painting today.
- Waldstück, 1969 (estimate: £3,000,000 – £5,000,000), which is one of Richter’s three large-scale paintings capturing the heart of the Chilean rainforest, sold for £4,450,500. this work has remained in the same hands for nearly forty years and dates from a breakthrough moment in Richter’s career coinciding with his first New York exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum.
- Peter Doig’s The Heart of Old San Juan, 1999 (estimate: £4,000,000 – £6,000,000) sold for £4,562,500. This image of an emerald basketball court on the edge of the sea holds a significant place in the artist’s oeuvre as it is his first painting in a tropical landscape.
- Executed in 1987, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Love Dub for A (estimate: £4,000,000 – £6,000,000), realised a total of £4,338,500.
THE ITALIAN SALE
The Italian Sale achieved £27,584,000 / $43,968,896 / €34,342,080 – the highest ever total for an auction of 20th century Italian art. It was 88% sold by lot and 88% by value against a pre-sale estimate of £22.4 million – £32.3 million.The top price was paid for Alighiero Boetti’s Colonna, from 1968, which sold for £2,434,500 / $3,880,593 / €3,030,953 and set a world record price for the artist at auction. 6 artist records were set for works by Alighiero Boetti, Marina Apollonio, Agostino Bonalumi and Piero D’Orazio.
Mariolina Bassetti, Chairman Christie’s Italy: Building on the success of last years’ Italian sale and of the single owner auction ‘Eyes Wide Open: An Italian Vision’ in February 2014, which made 14 artist records, we are proud to maintain our status as market leaders in Post-War Italian art. The 14th edition of Christie’s Italian Sale realised a total of £27.5 million, smashing the previous record for the category. Over the years, the Christie’s team has built the strength of the Italian Sale on strong foundations of art historical research and curatorial values. The Italian Sale continues to offer exceptional works from Italian modern and contemporary art, which continues to attract an increasingly international audience. We are pleased that the group of works by Alighiero Boetti realised a combined total of £4.8 million and that the Private Collection ‘Mapping Modern Art in Italy’ achieved such a strong result of £8.3 million. The numerous record prices set tonight prove the gradual and healthy growth of the Post War and Contemporary Italian art market, from artists that are relatively new to the auction house market such as Paolo Scheggi and Marinoa Apollonio to the most significant sculpture by Alighiero Boetti’s entitled Colonna, which set a world auction record for the artist.
POST-WAR & CONTEMPORARY ART
5 RECORD PRICES:
Lot 50 Brent Wadden £74,500 / $118,753 / €92,753
Lot 53 Toby Ziegler £98,500 / $157,009 / €122,633
Lot 54 Joe Bradley £986,500 / $1,572,481 / €1,228,193
Lot 61 Rachel Whiteread £578,500 / $922,129 / €720,233
Lot 89 Louis Eisner £134,500 / $214,393/ €167,453
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THE ITALIAN SALE
6 RECORD PRICES:
Lot 107 Marina Apollonio £92,500/ $147,445/ €115,163
Lot 108 Carla Accardi £170,500 / $271,777 / €212,273
Lot 125 Alighiero Boetti £2,434,500 / $3,880,593 / €3,030,953
Lot 135 Agostino Bonalumi £386,500 / $616,081 / €481,193
Lot 140 Piero D’Orazio £278,500 / $443,929 / €346,733
Lot 166 Nanda Vigo £52,500 / $83,685 / €65,363