AO Auction Recap – London: Christie’s Contemporary Evening Sale, October 18th, 2013

October 18th, 2013

 

 

Mark Tansey, The Raw and the Framed (1995), via Christie's
Mark Tansey, The Raw and the Framed (1995), via Christie’s

The last major auction of Frieze Week in London concluded this evening at Christie’s, a strong sale that saw nearly all of the 55 lots on sale finding a buyer, bringing the total sales for the evening up to £27,788,900, placing the auction house as the clear leader in a week of busy auctions and impressive sales figures.

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Nets (T.W.A.) (2000), via Christie's
Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Nets (T.W.A.) (2000), via Christie’s

Auction fatigue seemed to be nowhere in sight after two high-selling auctions the previous evening, and buyers were quick to snap up a trio of paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat, each selling for over £1.5 million, an impressive sales figure given the number of works by the artist at auction this week.  Christie’s also sold its cover lot, Glenn Brown’s Böcklin’s Tomb (copied from ‘Floating Cities’ 1981 by Chris Foss) for a final price of £2.3 million, falling short of Sotheby’s sale of another work from the series the evening before.  Even so, the auction house managed to follow up the sale with a £1.7 million auction of Peter Doig’s Red Canoe, beating its high estimate by a hearty £500,000.

Robert Longo, Untitled (Phoenix) (2005), via Christie's
Robert Longo, Untitled (Phoenix) (2005), via Christie’s

A Robert Longo work was also a clear winner in the auction, almost quadrupling its estimate to sell for a final price of £422,500, as well as a Yayoi Kusama, who continues her strong leadership for women at auction, selling a work from her  Infinity Nets series for £1.3 million.  Martin Kippenberger’s Down with the Bourgeoisie, originally estimated to command a considerable £900,000 to £1.2 million also outperformed expectations, settling on a final price of £1,818,500.

Peter Doig, Red Canoe (2000), via Christie's
Peter Doig, Red Canoe (2000), via Christie’s

Of the 55 works for sale, only 6 went unsold, including a pair of works by Wade Guyton, and another pair by Eduardo Chillida.  A work by Tauba Auerbach also joined this list of works failing to meet the reserve price.  Even so, the auction was a clear success, once again affirming Christie’s position as a frontrunner in its long competition for market dominance with Sotheby’s.  With major auctions scheduled next month in New York, the continued strength of the market promises for another intriguing week of sales.

Martin Kippenberger, Down with the Bourgeoisie (1983), via Christie's
Martin Kippenberger, Down with the Bourgeoisie (1983), via Christie’s

—D. Creahan

Read more:
Christie’s [Auction Website]