AO Auction Results – New York: Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Sale, May 15th, 2018

May 16th, 2018

Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition (1916), Price $85,812,500, via Christies
Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition (1916), Price: $85,812,500, via Christies

With another auction come and gone in New York, Christie’s has posed quite a challenge to its competitors last night, closing out a well-run sale with strong results and a set of major auction records broken.  The 37-lot sale was well-appointed, and the sale moved steadily through its paces, ultimately finishing at a final tally of $416,040,000 with only 4 lots going unsold.

Vincent Van Gogh, $39,687,500
Vue de l’asile et de la Chapelle Saint-Paul de Mausole (Saint-Rémy) (1889), Price: $39,687,500, via Christie’s

The sale’s opening Pablo Picasso lot tripled estimate, bringing a final of $3,372,500, while an Alberto Giacometti portrait sold at a similar figure that matched estimate to the tune of $3,612,500.  A second Picasso jump-started the sale, finishing at a strong $9,537,500 (just over estimate), while a Miró in the next lot finished at an impressive $21,687,500, beating its $15 million high with little difficulty.  A Matisse portrait undersold shortly after, yet still made a strong price of $14,375,000.

Constantin Brancusi, , La jeune fille sophistiquée (Portrait de Nancy Cunard) (1932), Price $71,187,500, via Christies
Constantin Brancusi, , La jeune fille sophistiquée (Portrait de Nancy Cunard) (1932), Price: $71,187,500, via Christies

The evening’s cover lot, Léger’s Le grand déjeuner followed close behind, selling at estimate $19,437,500, but it was the Kazimir Malevich work that was the star lot of the evening, rocketing out of the gates to finish at a final of, $85,812,500, easily resetting the artist’s auction record set in 2008 for the same work.

The sale saw a brief lull in the following lots, with a Nolde work passing at lot 15, before an Alberto Giacometti work just topped estimate for a final of $15,781,250, bringing the sale quickly to the second major record-beating work of the evening, a Constantin Brancusi sculpture that quickly passed $60 million to hit a final price of $71,187,500, the second major auction record of the evening to topple.  Another strong lot came shortly after with a Vincent Van Gogh canvas that met estimates to reach a final of $39,687,500.

Joan Miro, Femme entendant de la musique (1945), $21,687,500 via Christies
Joan Miró, Femme entendant de la musique (1945), $21,687,500 via Christie’s

The sale cooled off considerably in the following lots.  With most of the major lots having already passed, a Manet at lot 29 achieving double estimate at $11,000,000 was a rare highlight, while a string of quick sales and passes brought the sale to a quick close.

The sales continue tomorrow as Sotheby’s takes its shot at its Contemporary Art Sale.

— D. Creahan

Read more:
Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Sale [Christie's]