Christie’s Spring Auctions Reach Astounding $922 Million

In an awe-inspiring display of artistic prowess and financial achievement, Christie’s Spring Marquee Week of 20th and 21st-Century Art Sales concluded on a triumphant note, amassing a staggering $922,194,766 through eight live auctions spanning eight extraordinary days.

With an impressive 89% of lots sold and a remarkable 102% hammer against the low estimate, this event showcased the global demand and appreciation for exceptional artworks.

Christie's Spring Auctions Reach Astounding $922 Million

The week-long extravaganza witnessed the unveiling of remarkable collections, including those of S.I. Newhouse, Gerald Fineberg, Paul G. Allen, Alan and Dorothy Press, Sophie F. Danforth, Jacques and Emy Cohenca, among other esteemed collectors.

Notably, the top lot of the week was a mesmerizing Basquiat masterpiece, while a total of 34 new records were established, with 15 of them belonging to female artists. The spirited auctions witnessed active bidding from across the globe, with enthusiastic participation via phones, online platforms, and the illustrious Rockefeller Center saleroom.

Celebrating the S.I. Newhouse Collection: Masterpieces that Transcend Time

The Spring Marquee Week kicked off with the highly anticipated “Masterpieces from the S.I. Newhouse Collection” sale on May 11, 2023. This remarkable event featured 16 awe-inspiring artworks, all of which were sold, achieving an extraordinary 100% lot success and an astounding 105.6% against the low estimate, resulting in a cumulative sale value of $177,792,000.

Christie's Spring Auctions Reach Astounding $922 Million

With this monumental sale, the S.I. Newhouse Collection now solidifies its position as the sixth highest-grossing collection ever to be sold at auction, with a remarkable combined total of $415,767,000. The standout piece of the sale was Francis Bacon’s iconic 1969 Self-Portrait, which commanded a phenomenal price of $34,622,500, closely followed by Willem de Kooning’s captivating Orestes, reaching an impressive $30,885,000.

The Glorious 20th Century Evening Sale: A Showcase of Extraordinary Art

Immediately following the S.I. Newhouse Collection sale on May 11, 2023, the 20th Century Evening Sale took centre stage, captivating art enthusiasts with over 50 exceptional artworks.

Noteworthy estates and private collections, including the Alan and Dorothy Press Collection and the Paul G. Allen Collection, lent their prestigious pieces to this monumental event. The sale achieved a remarkable total of $328,779,600, with 81% of lots sold and an astonishing 109% hammer against the low estimate.

The highlight of the evening was the sale of Henri Rousseau’s remarkable Les Flamants, fetching an impressive $43,535,000 and setting a new record for the artist. The auction also witnessed two additional artist records, established by Agnes Pelton and Ken Price.

Notable highlights included Pablo Picasso’s captivating Nature morte à la fenêtre, which sold for $41,810,000, Ed Ruscha’s mesmerizing Burning Gas Station from the Press Collection, achieving $22,260,000, and Georgia O’Keeffe’s iconic Black Iris VI from the Allen Collection, which fetched $21,110,000.

Christie's Spring Auctions Reach Astounding $922 Million

Collectively, the auctions held on Thursday evening generated a colossal sum of $506,571,600, with 86% of lots sold and an extraordinary 107% hammer against the low estimate.

Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale: A Captivating Showcase of Modern Brilliance

Continuing the exhilarating Spring Marquee Week, sales continued on May 12, 2023, with the Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale. This eagerly anticipated event achieved a remarkable total of $80,464,790, with an impressive 90% of lots sold and an extraordinary 114% hammer against the low estimate.

The standout piece of the sale was Jackson Pollock’s mesmerizing Number 28, 1949, from the esteemed collection of Ann and Gordon Getty, which fetched a remarkable $6,705,000—marking the second-highest price ever attained in a Day sale.

The auction also witnessed the establishment of nine new records, including the remarkable sale of Jenna Gribbon’s Set List Focus, which realized a staggering $403,200, more than ten times its low estimate.

Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper Sale: A Delight for Art Connoisseurs

On May 13, 2023, Christie’s hosted the much-anticipated Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper Sale. This captivating auction achieved a total of $10,684,100, with 83% of lots sold and an impressive 114% hammer against the low estimate.

The highlight of the sale was Claude Monet’s enchanting La Tamise, which sold for $2,954,000. Additionally, two other notable works captivated buyers: a Van Gogh drawing titled Weesman met een hoge hoed in zijn linkerhand, from the estate of Helen Sonnenberg Tucker, and Picasso’s Tête d’homme au chapeau from the Orange Blossom Collection, both selling for $529,200.

Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale: A Showcase of Artistic Brilliance

Immediately following the Works on Paper sale on May 13, 2023, the Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale took the stage, enchanting art enthusiasts with an exquisite array of masterpieces.

This captivating auction achieved a total of $28,505,006, with 84% of lots sold and an impressive 84% hammer against the low estimate. The highlight of the sale was Picasso’s mesmerizing Le peintre et son modèle, which fetched an impressive $3,317,000. Together, the Impressionist and Modern Art sales on Saturday amassed a remarkable $39,189,106, with 84% of lots sold and an impressive 94% hammer against the low estimate.

The Phenomenal 21st Century Evening Sale: A Testament to Contemporary Excellence

On May 15, 2023, the 21st Century Evening Sale took the art world by storm, achieving a jaw-dropping total of $98,802,500. With an impressive 96% of lots sold and a remarkable 123% hammer against the low estimate, this event showcased the soaring popularity and enduring value of contemporary art.

The highlight of the evening was the sale of Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s awe-inspiring El Gran Espectaculo (The Nile), which fetched a phenomenal price of $67,110,000 after a fierce bidding battle lasting over five minutes. Notably, this sale witnessed the establishment of nine new artist records, with more than half of them belonging to female artists.

A Century of Art: The Gerald Fineberg Collection: A Triumph of Diversity and Vision

The Spring Marquee Week reached its pinnacle on May 17 and 18, 2023, with the much-anticipated “A Century of Art: The Gerald Fineberg Collection” sales. Part I of the collection achieved an impressive total of $153,053,300, with 91% of lots sold and 77% hammer against the low estimate.

Christie's Spring Auctions Reach Astounding $922 Million

The standout piece of the sale was Christopher Wool’s captivating Untitled, which sold for $10,070,000. This extraordinary collection also saw the establishment of five new records, including those of Alma Thomas, Jo Baer, and Alina Szapocznikow, highlighting the remarkable contributions of female artists. Notably, two records were set by artists of colour: Thomas and Barkley Hendricks, whose powerful portrait of Stanley Whitney sold for $6,100,000.

Part II of the Gerald Fineberg Collection, which concluded on May 18, 2023, continued the success story, achieving a remarkable total of $44,113,470 and bringing the collection’s cumulative sales to an impressive $197,166,770. The sale boasted an impressive 97% of lots sold and a perfect 100% hammer against the low estimate.

Christie's Spring Auctions Reach Astounding $922 Million

The top lot of the sale was Ed Ruscha’s thought-provoking piece, The Future, which commanded a price of $1,865,000. Notably, the auction also established eight new artist records, once again highlighting the significant contributions of female artists. The remarkable achievements of artists such as Lynne Drexler and Grace Hartigan further added to the success of the sale.

MARQUEE WEEK RECORDS: Paving the Way for Artistic Milestones

Throughout the Spring Marquee Week, numerous records were shattered, underscoring the exceptional quality and desirability of the artworks on offer. Here are some notable records set during the week:

  • Henri Rousseau’s Les Flamants sold for a remarkable $43,535,000 at the 20th Century Evening Sale on May 11, 2023.
  • Agnes Pelton’s The Fountains sold for an impressive $3,438,000 at the same sale.
  • Ken Price’s M. Green fetched a noteworthy $554,400, establishing a new record.
  • Jenna Gribbon’s Set List Focus achieved an astonishing $403,200 at the Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on May 12, 2023.
  • Maysha Mohamedi’s Too Young to Go Steady sold for an impressive $107,100, setting a new record.
  • Robin F. Williams‘ captivating Ice Queen achieved a remarkable $428,400 at the 21st Century Evening Sale on May 15, 2023.
  • Alma Thomas‘ A Fantastic Sunset realized a staggering $3,922,000, establishing a new record for the artist.
  • Melvin Edwards’ Ile Ogun, Planetary, Road to Goma, Alterable [Four Works] sold for $409,500, setting a new artist record.
Christie's Spring Auctions Reach Astounding $922 Million

MARQUEE WEEK COLLECTION TOTALS: A Kaleidoscope of Masterpieces

The Spring Marquee Week presented a captivating array of collections, each contributing to the overall success of the event. Here are the total sales achieved for some of the notable collections:

  • The Gerald Fineberg Collection: $197,166,770
  • The S.I. Newhouse Collection: $177,792,000
  • The Paul G. Allen Collection: $88,856,000
  • The Alan and Dorothy Press Collection: $51,593,310
  • The Estate of Sophie F. Danforth: $25,661,680
  • The Collection of Jacques and Emy Cohenca: $21,653,680
  • The Collection of Nicole Emmerich Teweles: $10,015,090
  • The Collection of Joan and Julius Jacobson: $5,260,500
  • The Orange Blossom Collection: $3,511,620

The Spring Marquee Week at Christie’s New York was an extraordinary testament to the enduring power and allure of art. With its exceptional sales figures, new records established, and a celebration of diversity and artistic excellence, this event firmly established Christie’s as the premier auction house for the world’s most important collections.

The week’s remarkable achievements will undoubtedly be remembered as a milestone in the art world, further cementing the value and significance of these extraordinary artworks.

Images: Christie’s

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