Christie’s Global Series Of 20th Century Auctions Totals £198,7 Million

Christie’s Spring Season of 20TH Century Evening Sales continued on 23 March 2021, realising £198,716,619 / $274,825,084 / €230,312,562 / HK$1,655,333,300, selling 93% by lot, 97% by value and 128% hammer above low estimate. The series of consecutive sales was launched from Hong Kong with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Warrior (1982), which set a new record, becoming the most expensive western artwork ever sold in Asia at HK$323,600,000 / £30,265,619 / $41,857,351 / €35,077,853. Warrior saw competition from bidders in London, New York, and Hong Kong, before ultimately selling to an Asian buyer on the phone in Hong Kong.

Christie’s Global Series Of 20th Century Auctions Totals £198,7 Million

The 20th Century Evening Sale continued with records for contemporary painters Joy Labinjo’s No Wahala, which sold for £150,000, and Claire Tabouret’s The Last Day, which sold for £622,500, both of which exceeding their presale estimates by more than 300% each, Issy Wood’s Over Armour (non-linear, non-violent), sold for £250,000 in the artist’s auction debut.

Banksy’s painting Game Changer (2020), a tribute to international frontline workers during the global pandemic, achieved a world auction record following 14 minutes of bidding. Proceeds of more than £16,000,000 from the sale of the artwork will be used to support the wellbeing of University Hospital Southampton staff and patients as well as benefitting associated health organisations and charities across the UK that enhance the care and treatment provided by the NHS.

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s late Self-Portrait (1988) realised a price of £9,086,500 after bidding was witnessed across our global salerooms. Strong prices were achieved by two major works by Pablo Picasso – The Power Of Colour: Picasso Masterpieces From An Important Private Collection – led by Femme nue couchée au collier (Marie-Thérèse), 1932, which realised £14,582,500 ($20,167,598), and was followed by Femme assise dans un fauteuil noir (Jacqueline), 1962, which achieved £9,659,000 ($13,358,397).

The 20th edition of The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale totalled £48,426,000 / $66,973,158 / €56,125,734 / HK$517,770,792, selling 85% by lot and 90% by value, the second highest total to date for any auction dedicated to dada and surrealism.

Christie’s convened international collectors in London via live-streamed links to the salerooms in Hong Kong and New York reflected by participation in the auction from registered bidders in 36 countries across 5 continents.

The depth of bidding witnessed on 23 March continued the successes seen at Christie’s since launching the Spring Season on 1 March with A Family Collection: Works on Paper, Van Gogh to Freud, and the Modern British Art Evening Sales.

20th Century Art Evening Sale: Key Takeaways

  • Strength of bidding demonstrates global appetite for exceptional quality and provenance
  • New evening sale situates modern masters alongside contemporary stars, reflecting the eclectic tastes of Christie’s international collector base records achieved for:
  • Banksy, Game Changer, £16,758,000
  • Jean Fautrier, Pièges (Traps), 1946, £4,522,500
  • Jean Fautrier, £150,000
  • Claire Tabouret, The Last Day, £622,500
  • Issy Wood, Over Armour (non-linear, non-violent), £250,000
  • Gerhard Richter, Ohne Titel (Untitled), £2,242,500 – Record for a Work on Paper by the Artist
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat, Warrior, HK$323,600,000 – Most Expensive Western Work Sold in Asia
  • Further outstanding lots
  • Amoako Boafo’s Self-Portrait, 2016, £550,000
  • Matthew Wong’s Untitled, 2017, £2,722,500
  • Amedeo Modigliani, Portrait du photographe Dilewski, 1916, £4,402,500
  • Alighiero Boetti, Immaginando tutto (Imagining everything) 1976-1977, £300,000

The Art Of The Surreal: Key Takeaways

  • 20th edition of The Art of the Surreal achieves second highest total to date of £48,426,000 / $66,973,158 / €56,125,734 / HK$517,770,792
  • René Magritte’s continued international appeal demonstrated in strong results for five paintings by the artist
  • René Magritte, La grande marée, £1,942,500
  • René Magritte, La tapisserie de Pénélope, £922,500
  • René Magritte, Le mois des vendanges, £10,002,500
  • René Magritte, Les jeunes amours, £3,262,500
  • René Magritte, La découverte du feu, £2,542,500
  • Examples from one of the greatest collections of Surrealist art ever put together sees market respond with exceptional results for Magritte, Miró, and Ernst
  • 20th Century Modern Masters from a Private French Collection included eight works spanning both portions of the sale, realising a combined total of £27,342,500 / $37,814,678 / €31,689,958 / HK$292,346,010
  • Joining Christie’s global salerooms, over 400,000 viewers tuned into watch and participate in the auctions through Facebook, YouTube, We Chat, Weibo, Artron, ArtPro, Yitao,, and Christie’s Live™, highlighting the inclusive international nature of the interactive live stream.
Christie’s Global Series Of 20th Century Auctions Totals £198,7 Million

For further commentary on the sale, please read the post-sale report on For quotes from Christie’s CEO Guillaume Cerutti and our 20th Century and 21st Century Art Specialists, please see the post-sale press conference here.

Christie’s 20th Century Art Sales continue on 24 March with the Impressionist and Modern Art Day then Works on Paper Sale and 25 March with the Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale. First Open Online remains open for bidding until 29 March 2021.


Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had auction sales in the first half of 2019 that totalled £2.2 billion / $2.8 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectables, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.