postwar and contemporary art auction held in London on February 12 yielded
£56.2 million, its lowest total for a winter evening sale in a decade (14.6% down from 2018).
aftermath and the departure of its department chief Francis Outred might
explain this disappointing result. Moreover Christie's had no lot offered at
over £5 million whereas Sotheby's had six the previous night.
highest estimated lot was a Basquiat from the coveted year of 1982,
titled The Mosque, from
the collection of the trader-dealer Mugrabi family. Estimated at £4 million to
£6 million and carrying a third-party guarantee, the work sold below estimate
for £3.9 million.
bidders were evidently more comfortable with Andy Warhol's array of American
sports stars, known as the “Athletes Series,” from the estate of collector
Richard L. Weisman, who died in 2018. In 1977, Weisman commissioned ten 40 x 40
inch portraits from Warhol—Muhammad Ali, Jack Nicklaus, O.J. Simpson, and Pelé
among them—sometimes with eight or ten differently colored versions. According
to the Warhol catalogue raisonné, there are 112 in all, a third of which are
now in institutional collections. In 2007, one complete set was offered by
London dealer Martin Summers for a reported $28 million, but didn't sell;
another set sold for $5.7 million in 2011.
Athlete series produced by Andy Warhol at the request of collector Richard
Weisman who died in 2018 fared satisfactorily with Muhammad Ali being the most sought-after, selling for £4.97
million while the portrait of Brazilian footballer Pelé went for £575,250.
Meanwhile, a two-foot flower painting by Warhol, sold above estimate for £2
portrait of 30 year-old Jordan Casteel's mother, estimated beween £150,00 and
250,000 sold for a record £ 515,250 while a set of 22 small oil panels by
Günther Forg fetched a record £1.3 million.
computer-generated work by Albert Oehlen sold above estimate for £3.2 million
($4.1 million) while Bridget Riley's colorful Gaillard (1989), went within
estimate for £2.3 million.
Brown's Girl Trouble (1999)
sold below estimate at £1.5 million, 300.000 less than when it sold in 2018.