Sotheby’s achieves sales of $ 217 million in London

Sotheby’s back-to-back live sales from London of British and modern and contemporary art reached £ 156.2million, or US $ 217million, on Tuesday, marking the start of a week of key sales for major auction houses.

Sotheby’s said the results, which were in a presale estimate range of between £ 128.5 million and £ 182.9 million, were the strongest for summer sales in Europe since 2018. Final results included the sale of 83 lots, against 95 originally in the middle of withdrawn or unsold works.

Christie’s follows Wednesday with three live sales from London and Paris, led by Alberto Giacometti’s
Capsized man, 1951 (with an estimate between £ 12 million and £ 18 million) and two late works by Pablo Picasso offered for auction for the first time, The Embrace, 1969 (£ 11-16 million), and Man in hat sitting, 1972 (£ 5-7million).

Christie’s auctions will begin with a 20th / 21st century sale at 2:00 p.m. GMT in London, followed by the Francis Gross collection in Paris, and will end with a 20th / 21st century sale in Paris.

that of Lucian Freud David Hockney, 2002, was sold for US $ 20.7 million at Sotheby’s British for sale on Tuesday.

Getty Images for Sotheby’s

The Francis Gross Collection of 23 lots includes that of René Magritte
Revenge, 1936, with an estimate between 6 and 10 million euros (7.2 million and 12 million dollars), and a Picasso war collage by Dora Maar, with a low estimate of 1.2 million euros.

One of the highlights for Sotheby’s was the sale of the portrait of David Hockney by Lucien Freud in 2002 for £ 14.9million, or US $ 20.7million, after a lawsuit by five collectors over the sale. British art.

In the modern and contemporary sale, Sotheby’s sold Wassily Kandinsky’s
Tensions eased, 1937, which was once one of 50 works by the artist owned by Solomon R. Guggenheim and sold at Sotheby’s in 1964, reached $ 21.2 million, with fees, within its estimated range. It was the first time the painting had been seen or sold since the 1964 auction, when it was purchased for £ 10,000.

the Hockney’s Freud oil painting sold by Sotheby’s – which was created when Freud was almost 80 years old – attracted bidders from New York, London and Asia, who pushed the price above a high estimate of £ 12million. It was the first time the painting had been seen in nearly 10 years and the first time it had been sold at auction.

Other auction results at Sotheby’s were dominated by collectors from Asia, who, according to the auction house, bought works by Chris Ofili, Richard Lin, Salmon Toor, two works by Pablo Picasso, three works by Edgar Degas and a painting by Marc Chagall.

The sales of the two auction houses cover a wide range of art history, from the Impressionism of Paul Cézanne and Degas to Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. They also included current artists, such as Jadé Fadojutimi, whose I spin all night, 2019, sold at Sotheby’s for £ 402,200 to a collector in Asia at more than triple its high estimate.

Edgar Degas, Pink dancer, circa 1896.

Courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd. 2021

By offering a mix of decades-old art, collectors can “reconsider works in a different way,” says Tessa Lord, co-head of the 20th and 21st Century Evening Sale in London.

An auction lot order at Christie’s that begins with pure white by Italian artist Piero Manzoni Achrome, 1959, created from a folded canvas and a mixture of glue and liquid kaolin, according to the equally spared of Cy Twombly Untitled, 1964, to a Degas pastel dancer, Pink dancer, around 1896, all “feel in the same tones,” Lord said.

Keith Gill, Christie’s 20th / 21st Century co-sales manager, also notes that two Degas pastels in the sale, the second titled Woman Coming Out Of Bath, circa 1886-89 – also hold their place on the wall against several large-scale modern and contemporary works.

This strategy of bringing together works across eras, which accelerated during the pandemic, also aims to present collectors with a wider range of works.

“We have customers who may have come to look at something very contemporary – to look [
Richter, the Haring or Banksy, then they see the dancer, they instantly recognize him as Degas, and they spend more time with him.

Pablo Picasso, The Embrace, 1969,

Courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd. 2021

Two Degas pastels from a private collection sold well on Tuesday at Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary sale. The bath, 1883, brought in £ 2.7million, above a high estimate of £ 2million, while Woman at her toilet, circa 1897 brought in £ 1.95million, above a high estimate of £ 1.5million. From the same collection, that of Odilon Redon
Blue Profile, circa 1895, a Symbolist work of a cobalt-blue-headed figure, sold for £ 1.4million, above a high estimate of £ 800,000.

About 30% of Christie’s evening sales are works that have not been seen on the market for at least 30 years; another substantial part has not been sold for at least 20 years, says Gill. The fact that they are on sale now reflects the strength of the art market emerging from the pandemic and a deliberate effort to extract works of interest to collectors, say Gill and Lord.

“As we prepare for the sale, we are constantly trying to paint a picture of how the auction has evolved, the sections we are building and the work to be completed and done well in those contexts,” Lord explains.

For example, Christie’s will offer Zing 2 by Bridget Riley which was purchased by its current owner in 1971, the year it was founded, and has not been seen since. Riley’s art has recently experienced “incredible growth” and bringing it to market “is such a privilege,” Lord says. Acrylic emulsion on canvas is estimated between £ 1.8-2.2million.

And there is an Ernst Ludwig Kirchner period dancer from Berlin with a low estimate of £ 6million, which was acquired from the artist’s estate in 1985 and has been in the same collection ever since, says Gill. Oil painting is a rare period for the artist, who, although not a prominent lot, “in terms of quality, rarity and freshness in the market, it is a highlight. and a personal favorite, ”he says.

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