Christie's & Sotheby's Post-War + Contemporary Art Evening Sales in June

Strong prices for Jean-Michel Basquiat, Peter Doig and Francis Bacon

Sotheby's Evening Sale, June 26th

Following the positive results of last week’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sales, the Contemporary and Post-War Evening Sales remained within the framework of the estimates.

Christie’s estimated total sales of £69 million to £90 million for its Post-War and Contemporary evening sale on July 25th. The evening auction realised a total of £70,253,225 ($108,470,979 / €82,477,286), selling 90% by value and 80% by lot.

The top lot of the sale was Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (1982) which sold for £18,765,875 ($28,974,511 / €22,031,137). Peter Doig’s Jetty (1994) sold for £7,341,875 ($11,335,855 / €8,619,361) (estimate: £4,000,000-6,000,000). The first 8 lots from the Homage to Chillida collection sold 100% realising a total result of £7,335,000 ($11,325,240 / €8,611,290), against a combined low estimate of £5.7 million.

Francis Outred, International Director and Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Christie’s Europe: “Overall the auction showed an intelligent, solid market and a depth of global bidding, which is a testament to the worldwide interest in Post-War and Contemporary art.”

Sotheby’s estimated a total sales result of £83.4 million to £119.2 million for its Contemporary Evening Sale the next night, July 26th. The Evening Sale totaled to £75,778,500 ($116,858,025 / €89,343,047). Leading the sale were two works by Francis Bacon. The 1966 triptych portrait of his friend, muse and lover Isabel Rawsthorne sold for £11,282,500, while the first work the artist ever sold, his historic Head III was battled for by six collectors, driving the price to £10,442,500 (est. £5-7m). Fifty-four years ago, just across the road from Sotheby’s at the Hanover Gallery in St. George Street, the same work fetched £150 at Bacon’s first ever commercial show.

Alex Branczik, Head of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Department: “Tonight’s sale was all about the quest for quality - quality across categories - from the modern masters to the new generation of artists. Participation was truly global, making it a strong night for British art, photography, European abstract works and German artists.”

Christie's Evening Sale, June 25th