Christie's sale of postwar and contemporary art held
at Rockefeller Center on May 17,2017, yielded a total of $448 million, not far
from a 462 million expectation, simply because of a last-minute withdrawal of a
major lot by Willem de Kooning estimated between 25 million and 35 million USD.
The sale was however somewhat rather dull despite the
fact that Christie's improved its last year total of 318,6 Million USD, thanks
to Francis Bacon's "Three Stuies for a portrait of George Dyer"
(1963) which was hammered down at 51,8 million USD (buyer's costs included),
though it was estimated at between 50 and 70 million
Formerly in the collection of Bacon's close friend,
author Roald Dahl, the painting was the first portrait the artist ever
made of Dyer, a petty thief from London's East End who became his lover and
muse. A similar fate fell on Andy Warhol's "Big Campbell Soup can with can
opener" (Vegetable 1962) which only fetched 27,5 million USD (premium included)
whereas Christie's expected a better bid for it.
Sigmar Polke‘s Frau mit Butterbrot (1964), which carried an estimate
beyond $15 million was only sold for 17 million USD while Cy Twombly's
"Leda and the Swan" (1962) went for 52,9 million USD against a high
estimate of 55 million.
Urs Fischer's mixed medium Sodium (2015) sold for $787,500 with premium,
and Roy Lichtenstein‘s sculpture, Expressionist
Head (1980), went for
$3.1 million on an estimate of $2.5—3.5 million.
Sold some three decades ago at Sotheby's for 341,000
USD, Jean-Michel Basquiat's La Hara (1981), which had an estimate
of $22 million to $28 million fetched 34,96 million USD while an untitled 1988 work
by Christopher Wool bearing the word PLEASE half a dozen times went for 17 million