Christie’s Contemporary Art Auction Brings Strong Prices
Contemporary Art Auction – This past Wednesday, Christie’s hosted a tremendously successful auction of contemporary art at Rockefeller Center in New York City. Shattering many different records in one evening, the auction resulted in more than $495 million worth of purchases – the highest amount for any art auction, ever. Amazingly, $300 million was brought in at a Sotheby’s auction of contemporary art less than 24 hours before. Records for individual artists were also broken at the Sotheby’s show, with celebrated artists such as Barnett Newman and Gerhard Richter selling extremely well.
Perhaps the most remarkable sale from either auction was that of a Jackson Pollock piece, “No. 19, 1948,” a drip painting beautifully representative of Pollock’s unique and immediately recognizable style. Fetching a record-shattering $58.3 million with fees, the huge sale of “No. 19” made Pollock the star of the show, and illustrated the contemporary master’s continually rising star – “No. 19” had been owned by Washington industrialist Mitchell Rales and his wife, and had last been purchased at a Christie’s auction for only $2.4 million in May of 1993.
A similarly successful painting at Wednesday’s auction was a piece by celebrated contemporary pop art artist Roy Lichtenstein: “Woman with a Flowered Hat,” a snide take on a Picasso work of the same title, sold for $56 million with fees, far outselling its pre-auction estimate of only $32 million. A record-setting sale for a Lichtenstein, the huge sale of “Woman with a Flowered Hat” demonstrates the art community’s continuing (and, indeed, growing) love affair with the experimental contemporary masters of the mid-twentieth century – in addition to the massive prices achieved by the Lichtenstein and Pollock pieces, dozens of aesthetically similar pieces also sold well above pre-auction estimates.
With nearly $800 million worth of contemporary art sold in just two days’ time between the Sotheby’s and Christie’s auctions of Tuesday and Wednesday, it is clear that the art world knows what it likes right now, and are more than happy to pay top dollar for it.
If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy other content from the Nazmiyal Blog of Design & Style — like this post about Madonna’s sale of a painting for charity, this post about the Bouroullec Brothers’ new exhibition in Paris, or this post about an antique rug that sold for $2 million at a Christie’s auction!