Christie’s London Evening Sales Totals £229.3 Million

In a remarkable display of market prowess, Christie’s 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale and The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale have collectively surged by 17% compared to the previous year, amassing an impressive total of £196,685,600 / $250,380,769 / €229,335,410.

These auctions boasted an outstanding success rate, with 87% of lots sold by quantity and 95% by value. The highlight of the evening was the staggering £33,660,000 achieved for René Magritte’s masterpiece, L’ami intime (The Intimate Friend), offered from The Gilbert and Lena Kaplan Collection.

International interest in these auctions was robust, with 72% of buyers hailing from the EMEA region and 24% from the Americas. Christie’s 20/21 sale series attracted bidders from 31 countries, affirming its broad allure among global collectors. Notably, millennials contributed significantly, representing 10% of active buyers.

The Triumph of 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale

The 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale achieved remarkable success, achieving a total of £137,699,300 / $175,291,209 / €160,557,384. This sale reflected a robust demand for carefully curated masterpiece lots, many of which had not been seen on the market for decades.

Christie’s London Evening Sales Showcase Record-Breaking Performances

The auction witnessed fervent bidding for British artists, underscoring the strength of the London market. Francis Bacon’s Landscape near Malabata, Tangier fetched an impressive £19,630,000, while David Hockney’s California, unseen for over 40 years, commanded £18,710,000 during its global auction debut.

Lucian Freud’s intimate portrait, Kai, achieved £4,638,000, and Michael Andrews’ School III: Butterfly Fish and Damsel Fish set a world auction record for the artist at £3,125,500.

Resurgence of Impressionism

Claude Monet’s Matinée sur la Seine, temps net, presented at auction for the first time in 45 years, realised £14,397,500, marking the 150th anniversary of Impressionism. Monet’s Prairie fleurie à Giverny surpassed expectations, selling for £6,290,000, along with Théo van Rysselberghe’s L’île du Levant vue du Cap Bénat, Provence (£2,460,000).

Christie’s London Evening Sales Showcase Record-Breaking Performances

The auctions also witnessed a surge of interest in works by contemporary female artists. Allison Katz’s Snowglobe soared to £277,200, while Jadé Fadojutimi’s The Woven Warped Garden of Ponder achieved £1,552,500, setting new auction records. Claire Tabouret’s Les Debutantes (Pink and Black) closed the event on a high note, fetching £239,400.

London’s Enduring Appeal for European Masters

London remains a focal point for European masterpieces, exemplified by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Zwei Mädchen mit Badewanne (Frau in flacher Wanne und Mädchen mit Fächer), which realised £3,791,000. Alexej von Jawlensky’s Frau mit Fächer (Frau aus Turkestan) fetched £4,759,000, while Hermann Max Pechstein’s Abend in der Düne achieved £2,460,000.

A significant highlight of the evening was the inclusion of four works by Alighiero Boetti from a visionary private collection, recently featured in a retrospective at Christie’s in February. Notable among these were Mettere al mondo il mondo (Bringing the world into the world) (£1,310,500) and (i) Rosso Gilera 60 1232 (ii) Beige Sabbia 583 (£907,200).

The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale: A Centenary Celebration

Now in its 24th year, The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale coincided with the centenary of the Surrealist Manifesto. This year’s event achieved an extraordinary total of £58,986,300 / $75,089,560 / €68,778,026, marking a remarkable 52% increase from the previous year.

Christie’s London Evening Sales Showcase Record-Breaking Performances

René Magritte’s L’ami intime (The Intimate Friend), offered from The Gilbert and Lena Kaplan Collection, dominated the auction, fetching £33,660,000. Other works by Magritte also performed admirably, including Le principe d’Archimède (£1,492,000) and La magie noire (£4,638,000).

Two female Surrealists, Hannah Höch and Meret Oppenheim, set new records with their works. Höch’s 1920 collage Das schöne Mädchen (The Beautiful Girl) fetched £453,600, while Oppenheim’s iconic Tisch mit Vogelfüssen achieved £529,200.

In conclusion, Christie’s London Evening Sales has once again demonstrated the vibrancy and resilience of the art market, setting new benchmarks and reaffirming London’s position as a global hub for art auctions.

As these auctions continue to evolve and innovate, they uphold a legacy of excellence and inspire collectors worldwide.

Images: Christie’s

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