Christie’s is boldly testing the Damien Hirst market during the Frieze week sales in October with a a large butterfly-wing painting, one of the few Hirst categories that still seems to work. Sarah Thornton’s Economist piece laid out the near cessation of Hirst sales that has taken place since the market mop-up sale at Sotheby’s two years ago.
On Oct. 14, Christie’s will be offering a Hirst “butterfly” painting from 2006, “I am become death, shatterer of worlds.” The 17 foot (5 meter) abstract is estimated at as much as 3.5 million pounds, making it the most valuable work by the artist to have appeared at auction since 2008.
Another Hirst butterfly of the same size sold for 4.7 million pounds at Phillips in October 2007. The seller of this latest work to be offered, featuring two circular explosions of color inspired by nuclear physicist Robert Oppenheimer’s quotation from the Bhagavad Gita, is an American collector, Christie’s said.