Sotheby's achieved their best result in the field of
Contempary art in France since 2001 with a sale held in Paris on December 6 and
7 which totalled €29,049,750, exceeding its presale estimate of €16-23 million,
while contemporary artworks from an Italian collection achieved €1,853,500.
The core of the sale consisted of abstract art from
the 1950s to the 1970s, including a powerful painting by Simon Hantaï, and two
from Pierre Soulages, masterpieces rarely seen at auction. The highest price of
the evening sale went to a monumental canvas by Pierre Soulages, Peinture 162 x 130 cm, 14 décembre
1958, which was eagerly pursued by 14 international bidders, who drove
bidding all the way up to €5,220,000 – well above the high estimate. This
result rivals the world record for the artist set by Sotheby's in London in
June 2013 and is the second highest price for his work.
The second-highest price of the evening sale, m.a.4, the only red Mariale Simon Hantaï ever painted, was
contested by five bidders, ultimately selling for €4,432,500, doubling its high
estimate. Works from this series rarely come to the market, and of the 27
paintings composing the group, a third already belong to museums. With this
result, m.a.4 exceeded the artist's previous world
record, obtained for m.a. 5 in December 2013 at Sotheby's Paris
Last June Sotheby's confirmed once again its
leadership in France for Contemporary Art during the Evening sale. Masterpieces
from French artists such Jean Dubuffet, Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely or Pierre
Soulages achieved exceptional prices.