Results: Christie's NY Contemporary Sale

On Wednesday Christie's NY held is fall Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale. The results were positive, just like the Phillips and Sotheby's contemporary art sales held earlier in the week. The results show strength in the contemporary market after some minor declines over the past few months.

The sale totaled $272.87 million against a pre sale estimate of $236.9 million to $345.8 million. The sale offered 75 lots with 70 selling for an excellent through rate of 93%. The top selling lot was a roy Lichtenstein oil on magna on canvase painted in 1964. It sold of $42.64 million. The next highest lot was an Any Wahrol, Beg Campbell's Soup Can with Can Opener, casein and graphite on linen painted in 1962, selling for $23.88 million. This was against a pre sale estimate of $30 to $50 million. The Buyer geographic breakdown by lot was 63% American, 20% European, 4% Asian, and 13% other.

Marc Porter, Chairman of Christie’s Americas, commented: “We welcomed an enthusiastic response from the global collecting community this evening, giving Christie’s the week’s highest total for Post-War and Contemporary Art evening sales. Led by an exceptional group of museum-quality works from Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, and Gerhard Richter, this was an evening rich with masterpiece-quality works offered fresh to the market from this season’s most important private, corporate and estate collections. Eight lots sold for more than $5 million, and the sale total nearly quadrupled the amount for the same time last year. We continue to see ever-increasing demand from both new and established collectors with deep stores of wealth, who remain actively engaged in the auction market.”

The evening’s top price of $42,642,500/£26,438,350/ €31,129,025 – a world auction record for Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) – was achieved for his Pop Art masterpiece Ohhh...Alright… Painted in 1964 using his signature Ben-Day dots, Lichtenstein’s image of a blue-eyed, flame haired beauty illustrates the brash comic styling of the artist’s most celebrated period of artistic production.

In a sales week that will be remembered as “the season of Warhols”, Christie’s led the auction market for the artist, offering 15 Warhol works and achieving $70,381,500/£43,636,530/ €51,378,495. The top price among the selection was for Andy Warhol’s hand-painted masterpiece, Big Campbell's Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable), 1962, which sold to an anonymous bidder for $23,882,500/ £14,807,150/ €17,434,225. At six feet high, the painting is one of the largest examples of Warhol’s most famous and beloved images of a Campbell’s Soup Can. It was offered from the renowned collection of the Seattle collector Barney A. Ebsworth, who has owned it since 1987.

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