Christie’s historic Shanghai to London sale series established a pioneering cultural dialogue between two of the art market’s major hubs, achieving a total of £249,070,155 / RMB 2,087,955,108 / $334,003,078 / €297,389,765. Sell-through rates of 90% by lot and 93% by value demonstrate the confidence of the market, building on the successes we witnessed in 2021.
Across the three sales, registered bidders from 34 countries and 5 continents reflect the strength of global demand, with 21% of buyers from the Americas, 31% APAC, and 49% EMEA. Millennial collectors accounted for 28% of registrants.
Shanghai to London led with museum-quality paintings by Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Franz Marc, and Pablo Picasso:
• Franz Marc’s The Foxes (Die Füchse) sold for £42,654,500, setting a new world auction record for the artist and the highest price ever achieved in Europe for a restituted work of art. A masterpiece of Modernism, the painting has graced several great collections over the course of its life, most recently the Kunstpalast Museum in Dusseldorf, before its restitution to the heirs of Kurt and Else Grawi
• The sale of Francis Bacon’s Triptych 1986-7, which realized £38,459,206, coincides with the Royal Academy’s seminal exhibition ‘Francis Bacon: Man and Beast’ in London
• Pablo Picasso’s surrealist masterpiece, La fenêtre ouverte, a self-portrait of the artist with his great muse Marie-Thérèse, offered at auction for the first time, led The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale (£16,319,500)
• Lucian Freud’s intimate and tender portrait, Girl with Closed Eyes (1986-87) made its auction debut, selling for £15,174,500
Shanghai’s inaugural sale in Bund One realized a total of RMB 222,030,200, selling 95% by lot and 90% by value – an increase of 50% since our last sale there in 2019.
The sale was highlighted by Jean-Michel Basquiat’s II Duce (RMB 94,160,000). Further top lots included Le soir à l ’Hôtel du Palais by Zao Wou-Ki (RMB 24,360,000), Kees van Dongen’s La femme au collier, (RMB 23,160,000) on the artist’s auction debut in China, and Marc Chagall’s Le bouquet de lilas (RMB 18,960,000).
The Shanghai sale included a series of works by contemporary artists, which drew competitive bidding:
• Emmanuel Taku’s Ripped achieved a world auction record for the artist realizing RMB 1,638,000, more than eight times the pre-sale estimate of RMB 200,000 – 300,000
• Ewa Juszkiewicz’s Untitled was pursued by international bidders before selling for RMB 3,276,000
• Joel Mesler’s Untitled (You Deserve Great Things) saw multiple telephone bidders chase the painting to a record price of RMB 5,670,000
• Scott Kahn’s Into the Woods sold for RMB 5,670,000
• Debutants Ball by Genieve Figgis achieved a world auction record for the artist selling for RMB 4,032,000
• Amoako Boafo Orange Shirt achieved RMB 8,760,000
Further highlights of the 20th/ 21st Century London auction included:
• Flora Yukhnovich’s Tu vas me faire rougir (You’re going to make me blush), derived from Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s The Swing (1767), sold for £1,902,000, more than seven times the pre-sale estimate
• Jadé Fadojutimi’s Acquainted Intruder sold for £942,000
• World of Women, Woman #5672, a rare NFT created by an artist and an online community on a mission to rebalance gender representation in the digital realm, sold for £567,000
• Pablo Picasso’s Le repas frugal achieved £6,014,500, a world record for any print at auction
• Peter Doig’s Some Houses on Iron Hill attracted spirited bidding from London, New York, and Shanghai on the telephones and via Christie’s Live, selling for £2,442,000, more than four times the pre-sale estimate
Records were witnessed in Christie’s salerooms in Shanghai, London, New York and Hong Kong:
• Emmanuel Taku, Ripped, RMB 1,638,000
• Joel Mesler, Untitled (You Deserve Great Things), RMB 5,670,000
• Genieve Figgis, Debutants Ball, RMB 4,032,000
• Victor Man, D with Raven, £214,200
• Angel Otero, Riders on the Storm, £252,000
• Billy Childish, toward a shore, £163,800
• Gabriele Münter, Gelbes Haus mit Apfelbaum (recto); Landschaft (verso), £1,782,000
• Franz Marc, The Foxes (Die Füchse), £42,654,500
• Eugène Boudin, La plage de Trouville, £2,262,000
• Mario Schifano, Grande Particolare, £882,000
The 21st edition of The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale, the only auction platform dedicated to the art of Surreal and Dada artists, achieved a total of £39,888,380, selling 100% by lot and 100% by value. Led by Pablo Picasso’s La fenêtre ouverte, the sale was also highlighted by:
• René Magritte’s La lumière du pôle sold for £5,993,500, while La meditation realised £2,922,000
• Paul Delvaux’s Le soir tombe sold for £1,902,000
• Joan Miró’s Personnage, oiseau, étoile dans un paysage realised £3,042,000, while Personnage et oiseau achieved £2,322,000
• Other strong results for surrealist artists included Tanguy and Dalí
Antony Gormley’s Root achieved £350,000 (hammer price), to benefit the environmental charity ClientEarth, as part of the initiative with the Gallery Climate Coalition, Artists for ClientEarth, which has raised a total of £4,989,064 (hammer price) to date.
Other charitable sales this evening included Fernand Léger’s Composition which realized £6,243,500, with proceeds benefitting Volkart Foundation and Pablo Picasso’s Jeune homme de profil from The Berggruen Family Collection, which sold for £233,100 to benefit New York’s Carnegie Hall.