AO Auction Results – London: Christie’s Contemporary Evening and Italian Sales, October 11th, 2012

October 11th, 2012

Gerhard Richter (b. 1932), 5 Türen II (5 Doors II) via Christie’s
Sold for: £2,169,250 ($3,466,462)
Estimate: £1,500,000 – £2,000,000 ($2,397,000 – $3,196,000)

Postwar & Contemporary Evening Sale
Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Auction on October 11th realized a sale total, including buyer’s premium, of  £23,177,900 ($37,158,809) with 47 of 64 lots sold. The Evening Auction featured three artists whose work has not previously been included in an evening sale: Idris Khan, Rebecca Warren and Jonathan Wateridge.  It also included a group of important self-portraits by Martin Kippenberger that include his seminal work on canvas Untitled (from the series Hand-Painted Pictures), twelve self-portraits on paper and his sculpture Immer an der Wand Beißen bei Susan.  Also notable was Gerhard Richter’s 5 Türen II (above), a masterwork from 1967 which has never been at auction or offered privately. 5 Türen II is related in theme to 5 Türen I (1967), which is at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne.  The auction also highlighted figurative sculpture from the early 80s onward.

Martin Kippenberger (1953-1997) Untitled (from the series Hand-Painted Pictures) via Christie’s
Sold for: £3,177,250 ($5,077,246)
Estimate: £2,500,000 – £3,500,000 ($3,995,000 – $5,593,000)

Christie’s Postwar & Contemporary Day Sale will follow tomorrow, featuring paintings, sculpture, photography, installation art and works on paper by major postwar and contemporary artists such as John Baldessari, Walead Beshty, Peter Doig, Dan Flavin, Sigmar Polke, and many others.

The Evening Sale  included a rare example of a late Calder mobile, as he increasingly made large-scale outdoor sculptures from the 1950s onward. The work was first owned by Philip and Muriel Berman, who provided the financing for Homage to Jerusalem-Stabile (1977), a work that would prove to be the last monumental sculpture planned by Calder but which he did not live to see installed.

It also included a large collection of Kippenberger self-portraits, assembled over 25 years as the result of a friendship between artist and collector, ultimately offering a unique insight into the work.


Alexander Calder (1898-1976), Hello Allentown via Christie’s
Sold for: £1,609,250 ($2,571,582)
Estimate: £1,200,000 – £1,800,000 ($1,917,600 – $2,876,400)

Ai Weiwei (b. 1957), Kui Hua Zi (Sunflower Seeds) via Christie’s
Sold for: £421,250 ($673,158)
Estimate: £350,000 – £450,000 ($559,300 – $719,100)

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled, 1991 via Christie’s
C-print jigsaw puzzles, mounted on museum board, in two parts , ed 1/1 + 1 AP
Sold for: £157,250, ($251,286)
Estimate: £130,000 – £180,000 ($207,740 – $287,640)

The Italian Sale

The Italian sale also concluded this evening with a sale total, including buyer’s premium, of £18,162,650 ($29,141,971). The sale showcased Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Metrocubo d’Infinito (Cubic Metre of Infinity) (1966) as well as an outstanding Concetto Spaziale, Attese executed in 1966 by Lucio Fontana. Metrocubo d’Infinito is considered an important work from the Arte Povera movement, and was offered from the collection of the late Graziella Buontempo, a 20th century major collector and “international ambassador” of Italian contemporary art.

Michelangelo Pistoletto (b. 1933) Metrocubo d’infinito (Cubic Meter of Infinity) via Christie’s
Sold for: £690,850 ($1,103,978)
Estimate: £400,000 – £600,000 ($639,200 – $958,800)

Lucio Fontana (1899-1968), Concetto spaziale, Attese via Christie’s
Sold for: £1,385,250 ($2,213,630)
Estimate: £1,200,000 – £1,800,000 ($1,917,600 – $2,876,400)

Piero Manzoni (1933-1963), Achrome
Sold for: £2,617,250 ($4,182,366)
Estimate: £1,800,000 – £2,500,000 ($2,876,400 – $3,995,000)

Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.

-V. Artzimovich

Christie’s [Postwar & Contemporary Evening Sale]
Christie’s [Italian Sale]