In a remarkable turn of events, the Emily Fisher Landau Collection has just etched its name into history by achieving unparalleled success in a high-octane, $406.4 million white-glove evening sale.
This outstanding feat has earned the distinction of being the most valuable auction ever dedicated to a female collector in the annals of auction history. Let’s delve into the highlights of this extraordinary event that has left the art world astounded.
Pablo Picasso’s Magnum Opus: A Milestone in Auction History
The star of the show was undoubtedly Pablo Picasso’s iconic masterpiece, “Femme à la montre” (1932), which realized a staggering $139.4 million. Not only did it claim the title of the second-highest price ever achieved for any work by the prolific artist at auction, but it also earned the distinction of being the most valuable piece sold at auction this year.
The sheer magnitude of this auction has set the stage for more captivating sales as further works from the Emily Fisher Landau Collection are poised to go under the hammer in the coming days. With the momentum generated by this monumental event, art enthusiasts around the world are eagerly anticipating tomorrow’s offerings and subsequent sales.
A Closer Look at the Numbers: Key Facts & Figures
The auction’s statistics are nothing short of astonishing:
- Evening Sale Total: An astronomical $406.4 million, making it the most valuable auction ever dedicated to a female collector.
- Joining the Elite Ranks: This sale proudly joins the ranks of the most valuable single-owner auctions ever staged.
- White-Glove Excellence: A remarkable feat, as every lot was sold, resulting in a 100% success rate.
- High-Value Transactions: Notably, five works fetched more than $20 million, while nine works achieved prices exceeding $10 million.
- Averages of Excellence: The average lot value stood at an impressive $13 million, ranking among the highest ever achieved.
Global Acclaim: Asian Buyers Enter the Fray
The global reach of this auction was evident as prominent Asian collectors acquired notable works by renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Robert Indiana, CY Twombly, Jean Arp, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Their participation underscored the international allure of the Emily Fisher Landau Collection.
The involvement of institutions in this sale highlights the art world’s recognition of the Emily Fisher Landau Collection’s historical significance. The collection’s influence extends far beyond the realm of private collectors and into the institutional sphere, where it will continue to shape the narrative of 20th-century art history.
Top Lots & Standout Results from the Night
- Picasso’s Pinnacle: Pablo Picasso’s “Femme à la montre” (1932) commanded the spotlight, realizing an astounding $139.4 million. This achievement not only secured its place as the artist’s second-highest auction result but also earned the title of the year’s most valuable artwork sold at auction.
- Ed Ruscha’s Triumph: Following the highly acclaimed retrospective of Ed Ruscha’s work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, “Securing the Last Letter (Boss)” found a new home for $39.4 million, marking the second-highest price ever achieved for the artist at auction.
- O’Keeffe’s Artistic Elegance: Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Pink Tulip (Abstraction – #77 Tulip)” from 1925 realized an impressive $5.7 million, surpassing its estimated value of $3-5 million. The piece garnered significant attention, with four eager bidders vying for it.
Setting New Records and Shattering Benchmarks
The evening was marked by several records and benchmarks, attesting to the unparalleled quality and desirability of the Emily Fisher Landau Collection:
- Agnes Martin’s Triumph: Agnes Martin’s “Grey Stone II” (1961) achieved a record for the artist, realizing $18.7 million, more than doubling its high estimate of $8 million. The piece sparked fierce competition, with eight bidders vying for its ownership.
- Jasper Johns’ Iconic Flag: Jasper Johns’ “Flags” (1986) set a record for an American flag painting, fetching an impressive $41 million against an estimated range of $25-35 million.
- Mark Tansey’s Battle: “Triumph Over Mastery II” (1987) by Mark Tansey sold for $11.8 million after a prolonged bidding battle between four enthusiastic bidders.
- Rauschenberg’s Milestone: Robert Rauschenberg’s “Vitamin” achieved a record for a work on paper by the artist, selling for $3.5 million.
The Curator’s Vision Realized
In the words of Brooke Lampley, Sotheby’s Global Chairman and Head of Global Fine Art, “Emily Fisher Landau’s prescient and unerring eye allowed us to shine a spotlight tonight onto the great artists who now form the bedrock of 20th-century art history. As every single lot found a new home, we saw the enduring appeal of these masters affirmed once again – with the Picasso taking its rightful place as the star lot of the year and American painters reaching new heights.”
The Emily Fisher Landau Collection’s legacy is firmly cemented in the annals of art history, and this white-glove evening sale has undoubtedly set a new standard for auctions dedicated to pioneering female collectors. As art enthusiasts eagerly await the next chapter of this remarkable collection’s journey, one can only wonder what more historic achievements lie in store.