Christie's sale of Impressionist,
Modern, Post-War and contemporary art held simultaneously in Hong Kong, Paris,
London and New York on July 10, 2020 yielded 421 million USD against a 332-444
million USD bulk estimate.
A different auctioneer in each
region led each respective part of the sale which got off to a rather confusing
start as the various salesrooms were clearly struggling to get in tune with the
relaying bids coming in from across cities, time zones, and video screens, not
to mention juggling with four different currencies over the course of the sale.
Finally, the sale sold 94 percent
by lot and 97 percent by value with 37% of buyers from the Americas, 38% from
Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 26% from the Asia-Pacific region.
The highest priced work of the
sale was $46.2 million reached for Roy Lichtenstein's Nude with Joyous
Painting (1994), estimated at around $30 million it went to a Hong
One of the rare works not
guaranteed, Barnett Newman's Onement V (1952) only achieved
30.9 million USD against a 30-40 million estimate while Picasso's Les femmes d'Alger (version
‘F') (1955), which drew multiple competing bids sold for a
premium-inclusive $29.5 million.
Another top-selling lot was Brice
Marden's Complements (2004-07), which sold to for $30.9
million with premium (estimate: $28—35 million), a new auction record that more
than tripled the previous high of $10.9 million set for Marden, in November
2019, at Sotheby's New York for Number Two (1983-84).
Ed Ruscha's classic blue-chip
work Annie (1962), which was opened with a $14 million bid (estimate:
$20—30 million) before being quickly hammered down at $17 million, or $23
million with premium.
The price paid for Wayne
Thiebaud's Four Pinball Machines (1962) at $17.5 million hammer
($19.1 million with premium), was a new auction record for the artist doubling the
previous auction high of $8.5 million set at Sotheby's last November. However, the
bidding did not go above the lofty presale estimate of $18 million to $25
A new record was also set for
artist Ruth Asawa, whose market has clearly been on the rise recently,
when Untitled (S.401, Hanging Seven-Lobed, Continuous Interlocking
Form, with Spheres within Two Lobes) (1953-54), sold for $5.4 million,
over the $5 million high estimate.
The $1.1 million price achieved
for Richard Avedon's classic black-and-white photograph Dovima with
Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris (1955), also
marked a new auction record.
One of the top selling lots of
the sale, Rene Magritte's L'Arc de Triomphe (1962), sold for
$22.3 million. In November 1992, it was sold at Christie's New York for $1.1
Richter's Frost I (1980) sold for $10.3 million, compared with
a May 2007 sale at Christie's New York when it fetched $2.8 million while Joan Miro's Peinture (1933),
went for $6.2 million. When offered at Sotheby's New York in November 1999,
just over 20 years ago, it sold for $2.3 million.
Of the 10 lots offered in Hong Kong,
new records were set for two works, Takeo Yamaguchi's Yellow
Quadrangle (1959), which sold for $1.4 million, and George
Condo's Force Field (2010) which achieved $6.9 million.