After the astronomical success of the Contemporary auctions last November, it seemed unlikely for May Contemporary sales to meet the benchmark set six months ago.
However, expectations have been redefined. Christie’s Post War and Contemporary sales fetched US$640 million in a single week, setting a new auction record for value sold at auction for any collecting category!
As one of the most anticipated sales of the Chinese auction season, China Guardian concluded its 5-day spring auction of Fine Art, antiques, and jewellery yesterday in Beijing, with a combined total of 2.57 billion RMB (418.5 million USD). The result is close to a 25% increase from the same time last year, giving the market hope of a slow revival after a year of correction in 2012.
Check out some of the top selling lots.
Record Art Sotheby’s
Last night at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction, six bidders fought over Barnett Newman’s Onement VI, a spectacular blue abstract composition from 1953. In the end, a telephone bidder payed US$43.8 million, a record price for the artist’s work at auction.
Records were set for four artists that night, including Gerhard Richter’s 1968 work, Domplatz, Mailand, which was bought by New York businessmanDonald L. Bryant for US$33 million.
There were some high-profile casualties, with a Francis Bacon and a Jeff Koons work failing to attract bidders.
At the end of the night the Contemporary Art auction totaled US$293.6 million.
Impressionist & Modern Art
It’s a very important week for Impressionist and Modern Art lovers, with Sotheby’s and Christie’s hosting their Spring Auctions in New York. Soutine’s Le Petit Patissier, (The Little Pastry Chef) carries the highest estimate at Christie’s evening sale on Wednesday, at US$16–22 million. The auction house hopes it will set a record for the Russian-born French artist.
However, Andre Derain’s 1905 Portrait de Madame Matisse au kimono, estimated at US$15–20 million, will probably be one of the main attractions. Derain’s painting of Matisse’s wife is “the most important portrait” ever auctioned by the artist and “an unparalleled collecting opportunity for fine art connoisseurs worldwide,” according to Christie’s.
Get a sneak peek at the entire Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Auction.
As one of the world’s fastest growing art markets, China is unveiling its 2013 spring auction season this May.
Highly anticipated is China Guardian’s beautiful sale, Grand View: Chinese Painting Highlight. Click through for a sneak peek of the sale.
Photography at Phillips
One of the auctions we’re looking forward to this spring is The Curious Collector: Important Photographs from the Collection of Dr. Anthony Terrana. This auction will take place at Phillips New York on April 2, 2013, and will include beautiful artworks from the likes of Alfred Stieglitz, Irving Penn, and Diane Arbus.
South Asian Art
Mark your calendars for one of this spring’s highlights: the Christie’s auction of South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art.
This sale, which will take place on March 20, 2013, will present a rich collection of Modern and Contemporary works spanning the region. To highlight 50 years of Goa’s independence, Christie’s is also featuring a collection of early works by Francis Newton Souza!
News from London: Untitled (Pecho/Oreja), a stunning 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, once owned by the rock band U2, sold Tuesday night at Sotheby’s London for US$10,666,951.
Find out more about Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Chagall, Kisling, and Rubin
Jerusalem-based Matsart Auctioneers & Appraisers is owned by the renowned artist Lucien Krief. Founded in 2006 as a result of a merger between the established firms Matsa for Public Auction and Lucien Krief Fine Art Gallery, the auction house holds offers Israeli and International fine paintings and sculptures.
Get a sneak-peek at their upcoming Modern & Contemporary Art sale, with fantastic works by Chagall, Kisling, and Rubin, to name a few!
Contemporary Art Season
Pictured is Francis Bacon’s 1980 triptych Three Studies for a Self-Portrait, which carries the highest estimate and is expected to fetch between £10 and £15 million! In his work, Bacon often pictures screaming, agonized, or caged figures, which solidified his reputation as an overwhelmingly compelling, if somber, observer of human nature.
Picasso, Monet, and Miró
A 1932 Picasso painting of his lover Marie-Therese Walter, Femme Assise Pres d’une Fenetre, was the centerpiece of the auction, selling for 28.6 million pounds (US$44.8 million).
In what are expected to be some of the most expensive UK sales ever seen, £500 million worth of art by stars from Pablo Picasso to Francis Bacon will be going under the hammer at auction houses in London this month.
Highlights at Sotheby’s include a monumental portrait of Pablo Picasso’s mistress muse Marie-Thérèse Walter, which could fetch as much as £35 million, and Three Studies For A Self-Portrait by Francis Bacon, which could fetch up to £15 million.
Christie’s offers paintings including a portrait by Amedeo Modigliani of muse and lover Jeanne Hébuterne at £16 to 22 million, as well as Wassily Kandinsky’sBalancement, which is estimated at £5 to 6 million.
Old Masters at Christie’s
More New York auctions:
Here is a preview of Christie’s beautiful sale, Old Master & Early British Drawings & Watercolors, which includes an Important Canadian Collection and a Distinguished Private Collection.
Pictured: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’s Comtesse Charles d’Agoult, née Marie d’Agoult, and her daughter Claire d’Agoult, which is estimated at US$1,500,000 to 2,500,000.
Old Masters at Christie’s
Here’s a sneak peek of the Christie’s Old Masters auction happening today in New York!
Pictured: Giovanni Paolo Panini’s View of the Campidoglio, Rome, which is estimated at US$3–5 million.
Preview the highly anticipated auction, Albrecht Dürer: Masterpieces from a Private Collection, which is taking place at Christie’s New York today!