Christie’s second sale in mainland China was another solid, exploratory effort with good prices for material that might not have been exceptional but continued to map the taste of the mainland market. What was most interesting to see among the works selling well in the sale was this Bernard Buffet that made $800,000.
In fact, according to Artnet’s database, that’s a record price for Buffet besting his previous record of $797k by a few thousand dollars in nominal terms. Though that previous record was set in nearly 25 years ago. So it remains the inflation-adjusted peak.
Nonetheless, Buffet’s prices have been rising again in the West with a painting selling at Sotheby’s in February in the UK for nearly $500,000 which makes it now the fourth highest price paid for a Buffet:
“We have created a platform where Asian and Western art intersect,” Jinqing Cai, president of Christie’s China, said in a press release. Of the top 10 lots, five were Chinese and five Western.
The most expensive work was bought by an Asian telephone bidder who paid 12 million yuan, including buyer’s premium, for the Warhol acrylic and silkscreen inks on canvas titled “Self-Portrait With Skeleton Arm and Madonna,” after Edvard Munch.