London Evening Sale Triumph: Christie’s June 20th / 21st Century Auction Hits £63.8M

Giovanna Bertazzoni, the Vice Chairman of Christie’s 20th / 21st Century Art Department, curated an exceptional selection of artworks for the June auction at Christie’s.

The carefully curated collection aimed to capture the essence of London’s unique cultural program while emphasizing the significance of portraiture in anticipation of the highly anticipated re-opening of the National Portrait Gallery. The sales witnessed intense global bidding, with remarkable masterpieces from the 20th and 21st centuries commanding attention.

London Evening Sale Triumph: Christie's June 20th / 21st Century Auction Hits £63.8M
Calanque des Canoubiers (Pointe de Bamer), Saint-Tropez for £8,015,000

Among the standout pieces, Paul Signac’s captivating portrayal of Saint-Tropez titled “Calanque des Canoubiers (Pointe de Bamer)” achieved an astounding price of £8,015,000, solidifying its position as the highest-priced artwork of the evening. Signac’s talent for capturing the essence of this idyllic coastal town undoubtedly mesmerized bidders from around the world.

Another iconic artwork that stole the show was Jean-Michel Basquiat’s tribute to the legendary Pablo Picasso, aptly titled “Untitled (Pablo Picasso).” This striking portrait fetched a substantial sum of £6,462,500, with a passionate bidder securing the masterpiece. Basquiat’s artwork, which had previously captivated audiences in New York and Hong Kong, continued to garner global interest, further establishing his status as a highly sought-after artist.

London Evening Sale Triumph: Christie's June 20th / 21st Century Auction Hits £63.8M
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s iconic tribute to the legacy of Picasso Untitled (Pablo Picasso) was sold for £6,462,500

The auction also witnessed spirited bidding for emerging contemporary artists and female talents, showcasing the vibrant diversity of the art world. Diane Dal-Pra’s surrealistic portrait, “It Belongs to You,” shattered expectations when it achieved a remarkable price of £113,400, surpassing its estimated value of £30,000-50,000. This sale set a new world auction record for the artist, highlighting the growing recognition of her unique artistic vision.

Another noteworthy artwork was Sahara Longe’s captivating “Self-Portrait,” which marked the artist’s debut in the Evening Sale. The painting fetched £113,400, firmly establishing Longe as a rising talent to watch. Caroline Walker’s evocative “Recreation Pavilion” also commanded attention, selling for £441,000, well above its estimated value of £150,000-250,000.

London Evening Sale Triumph: Christie's June 20th / 21st Century Auction Hits £63.8M
Louis Fratino’s “Listening to a Conch” achieved a price of £201,600

Louis Fratino’s “Listening to a Conch” made a remarkable impression as it became the first artwork by the artist to feature in Christie’s London Evening Sale. The captivating piece achieved a price of £201,600, surpassing the estimated range of £40,000-60,000. This sale further solidified Fratino’s position as an artist of immense potential and promise.

The auction witnessed intense competition for Victor Man’s “Weltinnenraum (World Within),” with 25 bidders vying for the artwork. The captivating piece eventually sold for an impressive £1,734,000, setting a new world auction record for the artist. Similarly, Chase Hall, another artist making their debut in Christie’s London Evening Sale, captured attention with “Earl Hooker Blues in D Natural,” achieving a world auction record price of £75,600.

Miriam Cahn’s thought-provoking artwork, “herumstehen, 9. + 29.1. + 13.4.17 (standing around, 9. + 29.1. + 13.4.17),” also commanded attention and sold for £201,600, surpassing its estimated value of £60,000-80,000.

Additional highlights of the auction included Etel Adnan’s captivating “Untitled,” which sold significantly above its estimated value, fetching £151,200. Pierre Soulages‘ masterful “Peinture 91 x 181 cm, 26 décembre 2014” achieved a notable price of £1,153,200. Ahmed Mater’s “Magnetism (Triptych)” fetched an impressive £189,000, setting a world auction record for the artist.

Ahmed Mater’s “Magnetism (Triptych)” fetched an impressive £189,000

The 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale at Christie’s paid homage to the re-opening of the National Portrait Gallery by placing a special focus on portraiture. Noteworthy sales in this category included Edgar Degas‘ introspective self-portrait, “Autoportrait, vers sa vingt-et-unième année,” which achieved a significant price of £554,400. Pablo Picasso’s “Tête de Femme,” a captivating portrayal that had remained in the Berggruen Family Collection since 1976, sold for £1,250,000. Lucian Freud’s remarkable self-portrait, “A Man (Self-portrait),” which had never been seen at auction before, fetched an impressive £1,734,000.

As the leading auction house for private collections worldwide, Christie’s showcased exceptional works from two noteworthy collections. A Century of Art: The Gerald Fineberg Collection featured outstanding pieces, including Kazuo Shiraga’s dynamic artwork titled “Choryo (Jumping Dragon),” which achieved an impressive price of £1,492,000. Roman Opalka’s mesmerizing artwork, “OPALKA 1965/1 -∞ Détail 2194426 – 2213198,” sold for £554,400.

Coinciding with Cecily Brown’s first survey exhibition in New York, her artwork “Kiss Me Stupid” sold for a remarkable £3,549,000, further cementing her position as an artist of great influence and significance.

London Evening Sale Triumph: Christie's June 20th / 21st Century Auction Hits £63.8M
Cecily Brown’s “Kiss Me Stupid” sold for a remarkable £3,549,000

Visitors have the opportunity to explore the Selfhood: Explorations of Being and Becoming in the 20th and 21st Century Art exhibition, which forms part of the National Portrait Gallery’s Portrait Mode campaign. The selling exhibition, which delves into the realms of self-identity, will be on view until 13 July. For those unable to attend in person, the exhibition is also available online until 31 August, offering a convenient platform to appreciate the works of renowned artists such as Tracey Emin, Lucian Freud, Alice Neel, Suzanne Valadon, and many more.

Images: Christie’s