Christie’s Spring Marquee Week Reach Record-Breaking $640 Million

Christie’s concluded a remarkable series of six live Spring Marquee Week auctions on Saturday, 18 May 2024.

The two-day sale totalled $112.1 million, adding to over $640 million for the week. Clients from around the world attended in person and online, with strong bidding and buying. 86% of the lots sold by lot, 94% by value and 89% met or beat estimate.

The week-long sale series had global reach, with bidders attending in person, on the phone and online. The participation rate was a testament to the timeless appeal and confidence in Christie’s.

Christie's Spring Marquee Week Reach Record-Breaking $640 Million
Andy Warhol, Flowers

Bonnie Brennan, President of Christie’s Americas, expressed her pride in the team’s achievements, stating, “I am incredibly proud of what the Christie’s team accomplished for our clients this week. We delivered strong results across all six sales and feel privileged to have had the opportunity to help cement the legacy of great collectors including Rosa de la Cruz, Norman & Lyn Lear, Mary & John Pappajohn, and Shirley Ann & Frank Wozencraft.”

Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale

The first of the three-day sales, the Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale, took place on Friday, 17 May 2024 at Christie’s Rockefeller Center saleroom. The sale had lively bidding throughout and totalled $75.1 million.

The top lot was Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) which sold for $3.68 million. A new record was set for Bob Thompson with Music Lesson selling for $1.26 million, triple the estimate.

This sale shows the continued demand for post-war and contemporary art and the art market’s strength and collector interest.

Warhol’s work remains a crowd-pleaser and Music Lesson is a big step forward for Bob Thompson’s career.

Impressionist and Modern Art Sales

The Impressionist and Modern Art Works on Paper Sale took place on Saturday, 18 May 2024 and totalled $11.9 million. The sale was led by Salvador Dali’s Rhinocéros (recto); Etude pour Rhinocéros (verso) which sold for $1.7 million, more than four times estimate. This sale shows the demand for works on paper and the enduring appeal of Dali’s surrealism.

Christie's Spring Marquee Week Reach Record-Breaking $640 Million
Salvador Dali, Rhinoceros (Recto); Etude Pour Rhinoceros (Verso)

Later that day the Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale totalled $25.3 million. The top lot was Claude Monet’s Prairie à Giverny which sold for $2.2 million.

The success of this sale underscored the strong demand for high-quality Impressionist and Modern artworks, reaffirming Monet’s enduring legacy in the art world. These sales demonstrated the broad appeal of Impressionist and Modern art, attracting diverse collectors and achieving noteworthy results.

Evening Sales: Premier Collections and Record Prices

The Day Sales were preceded by two nights of Evening Sales which set the bar high for the week. Tuesday night the sales began with The Collection of Rosa de la Cruz followed by the 21st Century Evening Sale.

Together the sales totalled $114.7 million. Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ “Untitled (America #3)” was the top lot of the first sale at $13.6 million a new artist record. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s The Italian Version of Popeye has no Pork his Diet was the top lot of the second sale at $32 million.

Christie's Spring Marquee Week Reach Record-Breaking $640 Million
Jean-Michel Basquiat, The Italian Version Of Popeye Has No Pork In His Diet

Thursday night’s 20th Century Evening Sale was the biggest of the week at $413.3 million, the highest total of the week. Fifteen works sold for over $10 million, five for over $20 million.

The top lot was Andy Warhol’s Flowers (1964) at $35.5 million. This sale shows the huge demand and high value of 20th-century art.

Legacy of Great Collectors and Global Engagement

The week’s sales honored the legacies of great collectors Rosa de la Cruz, Norman & Lyn Lear, Mary & John Pappajohn and Shirley Ann & Frank Wozencraft.

Each collection brought a different set of artworks to the sale and buyers had the chance to buy from these important collections. The prices and bidding showed the value and historical importance of these collections.

Christie's Spring Marquee Week Reach Record-Breaking $640 Million
Claude Monet, Prairie A Giverny

The sales showed global appeal with a big increase in online bidding. This is a sign of the increasing accessibility of Christie’s to a wider global audience.

Digital platforms have increased the reach and participation in these marquee sales and Christie’s is leading the way.

Images: Christie’s

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