Christie’s Marquee Week Achieves $864 Million in Sales

In a dazzling display of artistry and creativity, Christie’s New York concluded its Fall Marquee Week of 20th and 21st Century Art Sales on Monday, November 13, 2023.

Over the course of six days, the auction house orchestrated a symphony of art, achieving a staggering total of $864,049,952 across five live auctions and one online auction. Notably, the sales soared to new heights, with 96% of items sold by value and an astounding 103% hammer against low estimates.

These sales featured masterpiece objects from the most celebrated artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as exceptional collections that paid homage to the diverse world of creativity. Among these collections were those of iconic filmmaker Ivan Reitman and music industry legend Jerry Moss.

Christie's Marquee Week Achieves $864 Million in Sales
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) – Nature Morte, Compotier Avec Fruits, Pot Avec Fleurs

The auctions witnessed enthusiastic participation from art lovers worldwide, with active bidding taking place via phones, online platforms, and in the saleroom. The event was also a digital sensation, drawing more than 2.5 million viewers who livestreamed the auctions across Christie’s global platforms.

Bonnie Brennan, President of Christie’s Americas, expressed her admiration for the incredible series of sales put together by the Christie’s team, remarking, “This fall, the Christie’s team skillfully assembled a fantastic series of sales, offering a breadth of the finest masterpieces spanning the 20th and 21st centuries.” She went on to highlight the remarkable market response and the exceptional results achieved during the auctions, noting that the event marked the highest auction total since 2017 for a various-owner sale. Brennan also expressed the privilege of presenting the personal collections of iconic figures such as filmmaker Ivan Reitman and music industry giant Jerry Moss.

Alex Rotter, Christie’s Chairman of 20th and 21st Century Art, emphasized the dynamic nature of the 20/21 sale format, which continually presents new challenges and surprises each season. He celebrated the format’s success, which far exceeded existing auction records for numerous leading artists spanning different genres. These artists ranged from established icons like Richard Diebenkorn, Joan Mitchell, and the late Fernando Botero to emerging talents such as Jadé Fadojutimi and Jenna Gribbon. Rotter also expressed anticipation for the upcoming sales in Hong Kong, building on the momentum of this season’s success.

Fall Marquee Week also witnessed remarkable results for restituted artworks. The sale achieved $38,935,000 for Paul Cezanne’s “Fruits et pot de Gingembre,” benefiting the Museum Langmatt in Baden, Switzerland. Additionally, six Egon Schiele works on paper from the collection of Fritz Grünbaum achieved $19,771,000.

Marc Porter, Chairman of Christie’s Americas, acknowledged the significance of commemorating Fritz Grünbaum and Jacob Goldschmidt while seeking justice for their heirs. He emphasized the importance of addressing sales under duress as part of the ongoing inquiry into the Nazi regime and its victims. As the 25th anniversary of the Washington Principles approached, Porter noted Christie’s proud role in evolving this field.

21st Century Evening Sale Sets the Stage

On Monday, November 7, 2023, the 21st Century Evening Sale dazzled with a total of $107,451,800, selling 95% by lot and 95% hammer against low estimates. The highlight of the evening was CY Twombly’s “Untitled (Bacchus 1st Version II),” which achieved an impressive $19,960,000.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) – Untitled

The sale also saw four records set for artists, including Jenna Gribbon, Jia Aili, Jadé Fadojutimi, and Ilana Savdie. A noteworthy mention goes to Lalanne’s “Mouton de laine,” which achieved the highest total for a single Lalanne Mouton.

20th Century Evening Sale Shines Bright

On Thursday, November 9, the 20th Century Evening Sale reached new heights with a remarkable $640,846,000 in sales. This sale achieved an outstanding 97% by lot, 98% by value, and an astonishing 105% hammer against low estimates. Ten works soared above $20 million in prices, with the pièce de résistance being Claude Monet’s “Le bassin aux nymphéas,” which commanded a remarkable $74,010,000.

Claude Monet (1840-1926) – Le Bassin Aux Nymphéas

This total marked the highest for a single night in a various-owner evening sale since November 2017. Furthermore, the sale set six new records for artists, including Richard Diebenkorn, Joan Mitchell, Arshile Gorky, Barbara Hepworth, Fernando Botero, and Joan Snyder.

Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale Thrives

Friday, November 10, saw the Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale achieve a remarkable $66,582,610, selling 102% hammer against low estimates. The top lot of the sale was Andy Warhol’s “Endangered Species,” which sold for $3,438,000. This sale set four new artist records.

Christie's Marquee Week Achieves $864 Million in Sales
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) – Endangered Species

Impressionist & Modern Works on Paper Shine

On the morning of Saturday, November 11, the Impressionist & Modern Works on Paper Sale achieved $10,670,504, selling 96% hammer against low estimates.

The top lot of the Impressionist and Modern Art Works on Paper Sale was a work by Egon Schiele from the Collection of the Viennese Cabaret and Film Star Fritz Grünbaum titled “Knabenbildnis (Herbert Reiner)” (recto); “Zwei weibliche Akte mit Draperie” (verso), which sold for $2,228,000.

Christie's Marquee Week Achieves $864 Million in Sales
Egon Schiele (1890-1918) – Knabenbildnis (Herbert Reiner) (Recto); Zwei Weibliche Akte Mit Draperie (Verso)

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale Closes with Success

The live sales concluded on the afternoon of Saturday, November 11, with the Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale achieving $35,292,338, selling 102% against low estimates.

The sale was led by Claude Monet’s “Les bords de la Seine près de Vétheuil” from the Estate of Sylvia Paine Constable, which sold for $3,438,000, more than doubling its low estimate.

Christie's Marquee Week Achieves $864 Million in Sales
Claude Monet (1840-1926) – Les Bords De La Seine Près De Vétheuil

Picasso Ceramics: A Grand Finale

On Monday, November 13, Picasso Ceramics brought the full week of sales to a triumphant close, achieving $3,206,700. This online sale achieved a remarkable 100% by lot, 100% by value, and an astounding 327% by low estimate. The top lot, “Gros oiseau corrida (A.R. 191),” realized an impressive $504,000, significantly surpassing its low estimate of $50,000.

Christie's Marquee Week Achieves $864 Million in Sales
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) – Gros Oiseau Corrida

Setting New Records in Marquee Week

The Marquee Week set records that will be remembered for years to come. In the 21st Century Evening Sale on November 7, 2023, Jenna Gribbon’s “Regarding Me Regarding You and Me” achieved a notable $478,800, while Jadé Fadojutimi’s “A Thistle Throb” commanded an impressive $1,683,500.

Jia Aili’s “Combustion” reached an astounding $4,769,000, and Ilana Savdie’s “A High-pitched Complicity” was sold for $201,600. Additionally, Lalanne’s “Mouton de laine” set a new record, achieving $1,502,000—the highest total for a single Lalanne Mouton.

In the 20th Century Evening Sale on November 9, 2023, Richard Diebenkorn’s “Recollections of a Visit to Leningrad” achieved a remarkable $46,410,000, while Joan Mitchell’s “Untitled” soared to $29,160,000. Arshile Gorky’s “Charred Beloved I” commanded $23,410,000, and Barbara Hepworth’s “The Family of Man: Ancestor II” achieved $11,565,000. Fernando Botero’s “The Musicians” and Joan Snyder’s “The Stripper” achieved $5,132,000 and $478,800, respectively. Jean Dubuffet’s “Arbre biplan (Version 1)” also made history, setting a record for sculpture with a sale price of $3,317,000.

The Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on November 10, 2023, witnessed Jason Rhoades’ “Three-Wheel Waggon-Wheel Chandelier” selling for $1,008,000, while Gary Simmons’ “20-20 Fall” commanded $119,700, and Mai Anh’s “Solar Eclipse” achieved $17,640. Geoffrey Williams’ “Archipelago #42” reached $4,410, and Robert Indiana’s “LOVE (Red Faces Violet Sides)” achieved the highest price for the scale, selling for $957,600.

Christie's Marquee Week Achieves $864 Million in Sales
Maurice De Vlaminck (1876-1958) – Paysage Au Bord De L’eau

Marquee Week Collections in the Spotlight

Throughout Marquee Week, several collections garnered attention and remarkable sales totals. The “Ivan & Genevieve Reitman | A Life in Pictures” collection achieved a substantial $78,314,250. The “Jerry Moss Collection” also left its mark with a total of $64,253,770. Property sold to benefit the “Museum Langmatt” realized $52,546,000. “The Elegant Eye: Works from an Exceptional International Collection” achieved a total of $26,628,400, while the “Collection of the Viennese Cabaret and Film Star Fritz Grünbaum” achieved $19,771,000.

Christie’s New York Marquee Week has left an indelible mark in the art world, setting records, achieving remarkable sales, and honouring the legacies of iconic figures. As the art market continues to evolve, Christie’s remains at the forefront, showcasing the finest masterpieces and collections for art enthusiasts around the world.

Images: Christie’s

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