Published: May 11, 2016
NEW YORK CITY — Christie’s May 10 evening sale of Post-War and contemporary art attained $318 million, led by an untitled 1982 work by Jean-Michel Basquiat that set a new world auction record at $57.2 million. The sale had sell-through rates of 87 percent by lot and 91 percent by value.
The auction established six new world auction records for artists, including Basquiat, Agnes Martin, Mike Kelley, Richard Prince, Kerry James Marshall and Barry X Ball. The results of the sale brings the week’s running total to $396.5 million, which includes the price achieved by the May 8 evening auction of the Bound to Fail sale. The sale attracted registered bidders from 39 countries, with strong bidding from Asia, Europe and the United States.
Sara Friedlander, Vice President, Head of Evening Sale, Post-War and Contemporary Art, said, “We built our sales this season to reflect the macro environment, providing an ideal balance that suits an array of collecting tastes. Tonight’s success is the result of a tightly edited sale with top quality works, which were extremely fresh to the marketplace. Eighty-four percent of the lots had never been sold at auction, and of the ten works that had been sold, only four had been offered over the past ten years.”
Brett Gorvy, Chairman and International Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, remarked: “We are very proud of the record price achieved for Basquiat’s monumental portrait of the artist as devil at a time when top collectors are pursuing works of the very highest quality. This painting drew intense competition that dispelled questions of a market contraction. We are particularly happy that the work was acquired by a collector in Asia, demonstrating the global scope of the masterpiece market.”
A complete report on the auction will follow.
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