UK Contemporary Art sales day#4: Great closing night at Christie’s – 13 February 2014



Christie’s Evening sale closed the London week confirming the good momentum of the contemporary art market at high-level, scoring the highest result of this beginning of 2014, with £124 million against an estimate of £ 87-107 million. Very high percentages selling 83% by lot and 95 % by value, reaching the second highest score in the European square. After the multiple records in the evening dedicated to Arte Povera on February 11, last night Christie’s has collected 7 other artists’ records, from the top lot of Francis Bacon as the highest price at auction for a single panel by the artist, but also by the Italian Domenico Gnoli, the YBAs Jenny Saville, Gary Hume, and even Bridget Riley, Neo Rauch and Gerald Laing.

First lot for the Mickey Mouse by Damien Hirst sold to benefit the Kids Company, with a staggering result of £902.500 against a high estimate of £500,000; confirmed the great moment for Lucien Smith, with a work estimated less than the other works we’ve seen this week , but has also multiplied the estimates coming to its fourth highest price ever, £158.500, for Secret lives of men. With a pre-sale estimate of £ 20-30,000 , Oscar Murillo arrived nearly £200,000, followed by Rebecca Warren with a sculpture entitled The twins that doubles the maximum estimate and sold to an Asian telephone bidder for 266.500 pounds.
From the group of  YBAs artists from the Saatchi Collection, Jenny Saville beats its own record with a nude self-portrait, Plan 1993 , sold at £2 million. Record for the next lot , Gary Hume with Vicious of 1994, sold to the highest estimate at £410,000, while Peter Doig doubled the estimate reaching £2.3 million, with a snowy landscape of 1995 titled Tour de Charvet.
Lot 10 to the highly anticipated Francis Bacon‘s Portrait of George Dyer, 1966 , that with £42 million becomes the single most expensive work by the artist, sold to an American collector of which, however, has not been made ​​public the identity.
Very good figures for Lucio Fontana, but it was Domenico Gnoli the Italian star of the evening, the fourth highest price and record for the artist with Black Hair, 1969 , sold at £ 7 million to the London dealer Guya Bertoni, from a maximum estimate of £1,8 million.
Also at Christie’s a painting by Cy Twombly from the series Rome, which here has crushed estimates reaching £ 2.6 million, thanks to the Turkish collector Kemal Has Cingillioglu, followed by the record of Bridget Riley that exceeded very little its previous record dating back to 2008, with the same work . Reconfirmed good quotes for painting of the post-war period by Pierre Soulages and Nicholas de Stael, followed by the second top lot of the evening, always in Europe, with Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild of 1989, sold at £19.5 million .
Near to the maximum estimate the sparkling Cracked Egg (Magenta) by Jeff Koons, won at the telephone for £14 million, the first time that a works of this series appears at auction.
The catalog incorporates two excellent results for Tracey Emin, and some German names as Andreas Gursky with his classic, the Singapore Stock Exchange, the Leipzig School with Neo Rauch that breaks its own record surpassing the million pounds, Georg Baselitz close to one million from an high estimate of £ 600,000. Great success for the sculpture by Eduardo Chillida, as well as Louise Bourgeois, sold at more than a million pounds with a sculpture of 1999. At the end of the catalog other excellent results from a work inspired at the Demoiselles d’ Avignon by George Condo, Gordon Matta -Clark and Thomas Ruff, all happily doubled the estimates.

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