Christie's New York Post-War and Contemporary Art Week of Sales total $153 million Christie’s Evening Sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art totaled $114 million, with 68% sold by lot. New world auction records were set for six artists
News-Antique.com - Nov 18,2008 - CHRISTIE’S NEW YORK POST-WAR & CONTEMPORARY ART EVENING SALE TOTALS $113,627,500/£75,751,667/€90,180,556
SIX WORLD AUCTION RECORDS SET FOR ARTISTS:
JOSEPH CORNELL, YAYOI KUSAMA, AGNES MARTIN, ROBERT IRWIN, PAUL MCCARTHY, TOM WESSELMANN
New York – Christie’s Evening Sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art totaled $114 million, with 68% sold by lot. New world auction records were set for six artists, including Joseph Cornell, Yayoi Kusama, Robert Irwin, and Paul McCarthy, and for works on paper by Tom Wesselmann and Agnes Martin. Buyers were 59% American, 18% European, and 24% other.
Marc Porter, President of Christie’s Americas, states: “This Evening Sale confirmed the return of the American private collector with strong prices achieved for highly sought-after works by artists such as Joseph Cornell, Yayoi Kusama, and Paul McCarthy. These results demonstrate that buyers continue to collect works of art against a difficult economic background, reinforcing the relative stability of art as a store of value. Works on paper performed well, including the group of American Post-War Drawings from a Private Collection, and The Collection of Robert and Jean Shoenberg, which sold 100% by lot.”
Christie's Evening Sale was led by Abstraktes Bild (710), 1989 by Gerhard Richter, which achieved $14,866,500 million. The sale’s cover lot, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (Boxer), 1982, sold for $13,522,500, the second highest price at auction for the artist. One of the most important works by Basquiat to come to auction, Untitled (Boxer) features an exhilarating depiction of a black heavy-weight fighter, which the artist saw as a self-portrait. The painting was executed at the height of Basquiat’s creative development and fame, and demonstrates his signature blend of raw primitivism and classical portraiture.
A rare monochrome No. 2 by Yayoi Kusama was the object of active bidding, and sold for $5,794,500, obtaining a world auction record for the renowned Post-War Japanese artist. No. 2 is from the Infinity Nets series of 1959 that the artist created soon after her arrival in New York, and marks the first step in a highly original artistic career.
Another auction record was achieved for Joseph Cornell’s Pharmacy, 1943, which sold for $3,778,500. The work has a storied provenance, having been acquired by Mrs. Marcel Duchamp from the Estate of Pierre-Noel Matisse.
A highlight of the sale was a superlative grouping of drawings Master Drawings of American Post-War Art from a Private Collection. Featuring works by Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, Barnett Newman, and Agnes Martin, the collection sold 81% by lot. An outstanding drawing by Arshile Gorky, Study for Agony I, 1946-47, achieved $2,210,500, Willem de Kooning’s radical rendition of the female figure, Woman, 1951, sold for $2,770,500, Agnes Martin’s wondrous cerulean-blue watercolor, Starlight, 1951 set a world auction record for a work on paper by the artist at $542,500, and Barnett Newman’s luminous and stunning, Untitled, 1946 sold for $2,994,500.
In addition, the sale featured Property from the Collection of Robert and Jean Shoenberg, which sold 100% by lot and included a lyrical oil on paper Composition, 1958 by Mark Rothko, that achieved