More on the London Sales

Perhaps the sky is not falling.

artlyst reports on the Sotheby's Contemporary Evening sale
Sotheby’s London evening sale has achieved £52,194,000 / $69,350,168 / €62,580,802 this was above the high estimate despite the Brexit decision which is engulfing British politics.

“It’s clear that the passion for collecting continues to override any broader concerns about the economy. The geographical spread of the artists in tonight’s sale was matched by the global mix of bidders - we saw Asian collectors bidding on Western artists, and Western collectors bidding on Asian artists. After tonight we can now look forward with real confidence.” - Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Art Europe

Included in the sales was a record price for Jenny Saville: Shift (1996-7) makes £6.8m / $9.1m / €8.2m

The painting was last exhibited at the iconic exhibition “Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection”, Shift merits its revered place in art history as the standout work of Saville’s prodigious career. Offered at auction for the first time tonight, the painting tripled the artist’s previous auction record of £2.1m ($3.5million) set in 2014. (Lot 25, Est. £1.5-2m / $2.2-2.9m).

Shift was purchased on the phone by Jen Hua, Sotheby's representative in Beijing, on behalf of Wang Wei, director of the Long Museum. The work will be included in the forthcoming "She" exhibition of works by international female artists at the Long Museum (West Bund), July 27th to October 30th 2016.

Record for Keith Haring: The Last Rainforest (1989) makes £4.2m / $5.6m / €5m. Never before offered at auction, this is Keith Haring’s last great masterpiece, painted just before his death in February 1990. The work has remained in the collection of Haring’s friend and renowned photographer David LaChapelle since 2005. LaChapelle recalls first seeing the painting: “I just fell in love with [it]. I thought it was prophetic… He had a sense of his time running out, and he really wanted to say something with these works.” (Lot 15, Est. £2-3m / $2.9-4.3m). Sotheby’s now holds the top five prices for Haring at auction. Previous auction record for Haring: £2.9m / $4.9m set at Sotheby’s New York, May 2014.

Three works by Jean Dubuffet: kept in a private collection for three decades. Barbe de Lumière des Aveuglés (Beard of Blinding Light) from 1959 (only the third work from Haring’s celebrated Barbes (Beards) series to come to auction) was driven by four bidders to £3.2m / $ 4.2m / €3.8m (Lot 9, Est. £1.2-1.8m / $1.7-2.6m). An early Dubuffet from 1943, Personnage au Bicorne soared to £1.3m / $1.8m / €1.6m (Lot 10, Est. £250,000-350,000 / $363,000-510,000). A double portrait last sold in 1985, Ménage en Gris, Outremer et Carmin, (1945) totalled £1.5m / $1.9m / €1.7m (Lot 11, Est. £1-1.5m / $1.5-2.2m).

Adrian Ghenie: Seven bidders drove Ghenie’s The Hunted (2010) to £1.9m / $2.5m / €2.2m – among the top three prices for the artist at auction (Lot 12, Est. £400,000-600,000 / $580,000-870,000). The artist’s Self-Portrait as a Monkey (2011) more than tripled the pre-sale estimate to make £665,000 / $883,586 / €797,338 (Lot 13, est. £150,000-200,000 / $217,000-290,000). Sotheby’s now holds the top five prices for Ghenie at auction.

A Private Swedish Collection: This summer’s sales of Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern art were distinguished by the sale of a Swedish collection of 25 works, a testament to an entire generation of post-war Scandinavian collectors whose tastes were moulded by the early curation of The Moderna Museet (founded in 1958), and its legendary first curator, Pontus Hultén.

Tonight’s sale opened with four works from the collection (lots 1-4) that all sold above their high-estimates. Among them was an early Yves Klein, Untitled Blue Monochrome (IKB 217) – one of only 11 works included in the artist’s ground-breaking Galleria Apollinaire show in 1957 that launched Klein’s career and “blue period”. It sold for £2.2m / $2.9m / €2.6m this evening (Lot 3,
Est. £1.5-2m / $2.2-2.9m).

Seven bidders vied for Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Nets (2006) from the same collection - a superb example from the artist’s most celebrated series. The work sold for £670,000 / $899,530 / €811,726 (Lot 1, Est. £200,000-300,000 / $290,000-434,000) – ten times the £63,650 paid for the work at Sotheby’s in 2010.
 .Source: artlyst 

On Christie's Post-War and Contepmporary Art Evening sale

.Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction received strong bidding in the room and on phones to achieve high sell through rates of 92% by lot and 98% by value with 50% of works selling over estimate and 30% within estimate. The top three works of the night were by American artists that sold globally with buyers in Asia and Europe. Registered bidders from 39 countries across four continents demonstrated the continued demand in the global contemporary market, as well as a proven strength of the domestic market with 10 lots selling to UK-based collectors.

The top lot of the evening was Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Pork (1981), selling over its high estimate for £5,122,500 / $6,838,538 / €6,167,490. A major draw, two works from the Collection of Johnny Depp were a highlight of the night, with Basquiat’s Self Portrait (1981) more than doubling its high estimate to reach £3,554,500 / $4,745,258 / €4,279,618 after a bidding war of 10 phone bidders. With both works dating from 1981, a pivotal year in Basquiat’s practice, Depp’s focused collecting eye met with keen approval in the sale room.

Records were achieved for Sean Scully’s Eve (1992), which sold for £902,500 / $1,204,838 / €1,086,610 and Manolo Millares’ Untitled (Composition) Painting no. 4 which achieved £842,500 / $1,124,738 / €1,014,370, with a record for the medium: Neo Rauch’s work on paper Stau (Congestion), selling for £326,500 $435,878 / €393,106. A total of 10 works sold for over £1 million, with 16 for over $1,000,000 and 17 for over €1,000,000.

Edmond Francey, Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, London: “Tonight’s results offer real assurance and continued strength to the globalised art market, with a particularly energetic response to Adrian Ghenie, Andy Warhol, Nicolas de Staël, Georg Baselitz and Manolo Millares. The response to Johnny Depp’s Basquiats electrified the sale room and we continue to see that for the top works collectors will stretch themselves to the highest levels. Christie’s has been able to read the market and offer our consignors and buyers the quality that can continue to attract top collectors to the market. This evening’s total contributes to Christie’s successful 250th anniversary with a Bacon, two Freuds, two Rileys and two Auerbachs to come tomorrow as part of a stellar cast of artists, which we estimate will contribute a further £40-60 million to Post-War and Contemporary Art totals this week as part of the Defining British Art Evening Sale.”
Source: artlyst 

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