Of the 63 lots offered, 58 sold for a 92% sell-through on £61,380,500
Christie’s take on their own sale:
· A highly important, monumental-scale self-portrait by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) sold for £10,793,250 / $17,441,892 / €12,854,761. Recently discovered having been in a private collection since 1974, this previously unpublished work was executed in 1967 and is an addition to an historically important series of 10 self-portraits. It was offered with a pre-sale estimate of £3 million to £5 million and was bought by a bidder in the room.
· L’année dernière à Capri (titre exotique) by Martial Raysse (b. 1936) sold for £4,073,250 / $6,582,372 / €4,851,241 – a world record price for a work by a living French artist. It had a pre-sale estimate of £1 million to £1.5 million; proceeds will benefit a charitable Foundation. Painted in 1962, it is an exceptionally early milestone from the early history of Pop Art. It was offered at auction for the first time having been in the same private collection since circa 1975.
· Abstraktes Bild, 1990, by Gerhard Richter (b. 1932) sold for £3,177,250 / $5,134,436/ €3,784,105 against an estimate of £1 million to £1.5 million. A mesmerizing work that represents the pinnacle of the artist’s move into abstraction, it was one of 4 works by the artist offered at this evening’s auction, all of which sold.
· Winter Bears by Jeff Koons’ (b. 1955) sold for £2,953,250 / $4,772,452 / €3,517,321 (estimate: £2.5 million to £3.5 million). Executed in 1988, it is a seminal work from the highly acclaimed Banality series which launched him as an international art star in the late 1980s.
· Concetto spaziale, 1961, by Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) realized £2,729,250 / $4,410,468/ €3,250,537 (estimate: £2 million to £3 million). A sumptuous symphony of gold, this work is from the artist’s breakthrough series Olii, which includes the celebrated Venice series of the same year.
· The auction presented a strong group of global artists from the 21st century. Leading highlights included Parede com Incisões a la Fontana II (Wall with Incisions a la Fontana II), 2001, an important masterpiece by Adriana Vãrejao (b. 1964), one of Brazil’s leading contemporary artists. It sold for £1,105,250 / $1,786,084 / € 1,316,353 – far exceeding the estimate of £200,000 to £300,000 and setting a record for the artist’s work at auction. Grand Timonier by Chinese artist Yan Pei Ming attracted 11 telephone bidders from Europe, America and Asia and sold for £529,250 / $855,268 / €630,337 (estimate: £250,000 to £350,000).