CHRISTIE’S IMPRESSIONIST AND MODERN ART EVENING SALE Tonight’s sale of Impressionist and Modern Art staged at Christie’s New York realized $394,977,200, the second highest total ever achieved in fine art auctioneering
News-Antique.com - Nov 10,2007 - · Stellar Performance for All Categories within the Sale
· New World Auction Records Set for Matisse, Signac, Pissarro and Others
New York – Tonight’s sale of Impressionist and Modern Art staged at Christie’s New York realized $394,977,200, the second highest total ever achieved in fine art auctioneering and second to Christie’s Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art held exactly one year ago, which included the fabled Bloch-Bauer Klimts and totaled $491 million. The pre-sale total estimate for this evening was $350/480 million. The sale was 85% sold by value and 81% by lot. Buyers were 48.5% American, 24% European, 3% Asian, 1.5% Russian, 1.5% Latin American and 21.5% others.
“The enduring importance of works of art as a stable and consistent store of cultural and economic values was demonstrated in tonight’s dazzling sale of paintings, drawings and sculpture created by the artistic geniuses of the past century. Matisse, Picasso, Monet and Signac continue to captivate and delight a worldwide audience of collectors,” said Marc Porter, President, Christie’s Americas. “We look forward to the continuation of our sales next week with Selections from the Allan Stone Collection offered on the evening of November 12 and Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, taking place on November 13.”
Tonight’s sale offered two spectacular examples of Odalisque-flavored paintings, one by Picasso and one by Matisse and both works flew high in tonight’s sale. L’Odalisque, harmonie bleue, painted in 1937 by Henri Matisse, realized $33.6 million and became the evening’s most expensive work, also setting a new world auction record for the artist. One of Matisse’s favorite subject matters, the odalisque, is portrayed in delicate colors and accentuates Matisse’s femme-fleur idea, the woman as the epitome of beauty, sensuality and fertility. The picture was bought from Matisse’s dealer by the family who offered it in this evening’s sale, an impeccable provenance, which was one of the many attractive qualities of this masterpiece.
Picasso was the evening’s darling. His works caught high prices throughout the sale, starting with the wonderfully simple study of an apple done in 1918 which fetched $825,000 and finding its apotheosis with his spectacular Femme accroupie au costume turc (Jacqueline), painted on 26 November 1955, which achieved $30.8 million. The crowning, definitive painting in a group of ten portraits of his companion Jacqueline Roque, Femme accroupie is perhaps the most Matisse-like of all his Les Femmes d’Alger-related works. Other Picasso highlights of the sale were his 1968 Homme à la Pipe, which fetched $16.8 million and the exquisite Dora Maar portrait from the collection of Lydia Winston Malbin which sold for $16.3 million.
In vibrancy, color-harmony and expressiveness, few portraits reach the heights that Modigliani conquered with his Portrait du sculpteur Oscar Miestchaninoff, 1916. The work fetched $30.8 million, and was the second most valuable painting of the evening. Modigliani appeared on the scene a second time with Jeune fille assise en chemise, which portrays one of the sitters that the artist worked with in Cagnes-sur-Mer, a village in the