The sales have concluded in London tonight, after Christie’s capped a tightly run 54-lot auction that saw a final tally of £35,562,500, with 9 lots going unsold.
The sale kicked off with striking results, as Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s Knave shot out of the gate, rising on multiple phone bidders to sell for a final price of £446,500, more than five times its estimate, and bringing an auction record for the artist. A Jonas Wood followed up strong, bringing a £542,500 over its estimate. Several lots later, an early Robert Ryman started steadily and crept up slowly to a final of £962,500. Peter Doig’s impressive Cabin Essence came one lot later, selling for a strong price of £9,602,500, while a Lucian Freud followed, meeting estimate for £542,500.
An early surprise came from Gerald Laing, whose Commemoration doubled estimates to achieve a £1,202,500 final, placing it among the top sales of the evening. An Andy Warhol Flowers followed after, selling just under its high estimate for £1,846,500. Several lots later, an Alexander Calder mobile settled just within estimate for £1,166,500, continuing the auction house’s consistent performance until a Dan Flavin passed one lot later, and a Gerhard Ricther’s Abstraktes Bild sold for a final price of £2,658,500 also sitting squarely within estimate.
As the sales continued, a number of works passed almost consecutively, with works by Sigmar Polke and Yoshitomo Nara failing to find a buyer. Several smaller lots and quick sales followed, with action picking up again with lot 31, a 2011 Joe Bradley that saw strong interest to beat its £700k estimate for a final of £986,500, and an Albert Oehlen piece that followed up with a strong £1,142,500 final. Kippenberger followed a strong night for the German painters, as his Police Call Boxes piece sold just shy of the high estimate for a final of £2,434,500.
The late lots of the sale were dictated mostly by passes and minimal interest, with the exception of a Keith Haring at lot 47 that brought a final price of £1,010,500, doubling its low estimate.
The fall sales will reach their apex next month, as the major houses open their doors in New York
— D. Creahan
Christie’s Contemporary Art Sale [Christie’s]