AO Auction Preview: Summer auctions in London at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips de Pury start tomorrow

June 22nd, 2009

picasso man with sword christies
Pablo Picasso’s ‘Homme à l’épée’ estimated to sell between £5-7 million via Christie’s

The summer auction season starts next week with the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sales in London at Christie’s on Tuesday, June 23, and at Sotheby’s the following evening.  Both sales feature a late Picasso painting,part of his Muskateers series, painted by the artist on successive days and both titled ‘Man with a sword.’  The Sotheby’s Picasso is estimated to sell between £6-8 million and the Christie’s Picasso is estimated between £5-7 million. Both auction houses each offered a Muskateer painting in the spring auctions, with one failing to meet its reserve and the other selling for $14.6 million. This era of Picasso’s works has been enjoying a wave of popularity after Gagosian Gallery’s ‘Mosqueteros’ exhibition (as covered by AO here) earlier this spring gaining record attendance, as well as two major museum shows in Paris and London focusing on the artist’s late career. The Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sales take place on Thursday, June 25 at Sotheby’s, Monday, June 29 at Phillips de Pury, and Tuesday, June 30 at Christie’s.  Though healthy sales at Art Basel last weekend have boosted confidence in the market, this season’s estimates are down over 70% from last year.

Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Phillips de Pury Contemporary Art Evening Sale, Monday, June 29, 2009
Sotheby’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, Thursday, June 30, 2009
Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale with Specialists Helena Newman and Alexander Platon [Video; Sotheby’s]
Contemporary Art Evening Sale with Specialists Oliver Barker, Cheyenne Westphal and Alexander Branczik [Video; Sotheby’s]
En garde! Rival houses offer Picasso musketeers
[Reuters]
Can Buying Impressionist Art Make You Happy? [Wall Street Journal]
Christie’s Resumes Cutting Jobs After May N.Y. Auctions Decline [Bloomberg]
Battle of the Picasso paintings [TelegraphUK]
London Sales Estimates Down 70 Percent From Last Year [Artinfo]
Warhol, Prince Works Fail to Save Art Sales From 70% Decline [Bloomberg]
After Basel, Dealers Have High Hopes for London Sales [Wall Street Journal]
Artworks by Goya, Fragonard, David and Turner for Sotheby’s July Old Master Paintings Auction [Art Auction Publicity]
Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Art Auction Expected to Take £20 million [Art Auction Publicity]
Doig painting of Canadian childhood could fetch $3 M [Montreal Gazette via Art Market Monitor]
Duchamp, Miró, Marc, Monet and Picasso Highlight Christie’s Auction of Impressionist and Modern Art [Artdaily]
London Contemporary Art Auctions [The Art Collectors]
Phillips de Pury & Company Announce Highlights of the Forthcoming London Contemporary Art Sales [Artdaily]
Picasso, Monet and Giacometti, for Sotheby’s Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art [Art Auction Publicity]
Sotheby’s London Contemporary Art Evening Sale to Present Three Rare Andy Warhol Paintings [Artdaily]
The art market: Picasso endures [Financial Times]
Art Market Watch [Artnet]

Claude Monet - Au Parc Monceau
Claude Monet’s ‘Au Parc Monceau,’ estimated to sell between £3.5-4.5 million, via Christie’s

With 45 lots, Christie’s Impressionist sale is estimated to bring in between £38-51.5 million while Sotheby’s 27 lots total an estimated £27-38 million.  Other highlights include a number of Giacometti sculptures, including ‘Buste de Diego (Aménophis)’ at Sotheby’s for an estimated £2-3 million, Monet’s ‘Au Parc Monceau’ at Christie’s for an estimated £3.5-4.5 million, and Pissarro’s ‘Le Quai Malaquais et l’Institut,’ which had been stolen by Nazi’s and finally restored to the owner’s granddaughter in 2007.

Andy Warhol - MRS. MCCARTHY AND MRS. BROWN (TUNAFISH DISASTER)
Andy Warhol’s ‘Mrs. McCarthy and Mrs. Brown (Tunafish Disaster),’ estimated to sell between £3.5-4.5 million via Sotheby’s

With 40 lots, the total low estimate of Sotheby’s Contemporary sale is £19 million, while Christie’s comes in at £20 million with 41 lots, and Phillips de Pury has 40 lots for £5.4 million, all figures considerably lower than a year ago. A number of Andy Warhol silkscreens are among the priciest lots, with Sotheby’s offer of ‘Mrs. McCarthy and Mrs. Brown (Tunafish Disaster)’ topping the list at an estimated £3.5-4.5 million. Both Christie’s and Sotheby’s are offering paintings by Peter Doig, with ‘Night Playground’ one of Christie’s highest priced lots, estimated at £1.5-2 million. A highlight from the Phillips sale is Ed Ruscha’s ‘That Was Then This Is Now,’ estimate at £800,000.