The results for Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale have been released by the leading auction house and the total was £71,461,000 /$112,908,380 /€100,116,861, with a sell-through rates of 84% by lot and 92% by value. Bidders from 32 countries across 5 continents competed in the room and on the telephone for works by the trailblazers of the category, including Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso. In total, 24 works of art sold for over £1 million / 29 for over $1 million. Artlyst was invited to view the sale and meet the executive team, at a breakfast this morning. The sale, at a glance was filled with big names but the work was not necessarily the best examples.
Jay Vincze, International Director and Head of The Impressionist & Modern Art Department, Christie’s London: “This evening’s sale of Impressionist & Modern Art saw notable demand for highly covetable works by the masters of late 19th and 20th century art, led by Claude Monet’s remarkable ‘Iris mauves’. Once again, this auction attracted global participation from bidders around the world, further evidencing the deep international demand for the category witnessed in our New York Sales in May. This resulted in strong prices across the full breadth of the category, from the birth of Impressionism – illustrated by the rare 1872 work by Alfred Sisley – to the energy of the late 1969 portrait by Pablo Picasso. For the second year, this Evening Sale marks the start of a week of ‘Impressionist & Modern Art’ and ‘Modern British & Irish Art’ auctions at Christie’s London, collectively presenting new and established buyers with opportunities across price levels.”
The sale was led by Iris mauves, 1914-1917, by Claude Monet which sold, after four minutes of head-to-head bidding, for £10,834,500 /$17,118,510 /€15,179,135 (estimate: £6-9 million). Offered from a Private European Collection this work dates from the artist’s first concerted campaign of work on the most ambitious undertaking of his career: the Grandes decorations.
Painted on 14 December 1969, Tête by Pablo Picasso sold for £4,450,500 /$7,031,790 /€6,235,151 (estimate: £4.8-6.5 million). A youthful masculine portrait – an alter ego of the artist’s late work – this painting was included in the last major lifetime exhibition of Picasso’s work, held in May-October 1970 at the Palais des Papes in Avignon.
A highly charged, sensuous celebration of the Parisian demi-monde in the first decade of the 20th century, Anita en almée by Kees van Dongen, 1908, sold for £4,114,500 /$6,500,910 /€5,764,415 (estimate: £4-7 million).
La tige de la fleur rouge pousse vers la lune (The Stem of the Red Flower Grows Toward the Moon) by Joan Miró (1893- 1983), painted in 1952, a pivotal year in the artist’s oeuvre when he created some of his most revolutionary and acclaimed pictures, sold for £3,778,500 /$5,970,030 /€5,293,679 (estimate: £3.5-4.5 million).
Marseille, le port, 1934, by Paul Signac realised £3,666,500 /$5,793,070 /€5,136,767 (estimate: £2-3 million). Depicting one of Signac’s favourite subjects, a maritime scene, this is an exuberant painting that bursts with radiant light and movement that captures the bustling port of Marseille.
Bouquet près de la fenêtre by Marc Chagall, painted from 1959 to 1960, realised £3,218,500 /$5,085,230 /€4,509,119 (estimate: £2.5-3.5 million). Acquired by the family of the present owner 35 years ago from Galerie Maeght in Paris, this monumental work has been identified as one of the finest flower paintings of this period by the author of the artist’s definitive biography and catalogue raisonné, Franz Meyer.
Top Photo courtesy Christie’s Others: P C Robinson © artlyst 2015