Published: May 12, 2015
Video Courtesy of Christie’s
NEW YORK CITY — Christie’s evening sale, Looking Forward to the Past, achieved $705,858,000 on May 11 with sell-through rates of 97 percent by lot and 99 percent by value.
New world auction records were set for ten works of art during the sale, including Picasso’s “Les femmes d’Alger (Version O),” 1955, that sold for $179,365,000, and became the most valuable work of art sold at auction.
Later in the sale, Giacometti’s “L’homme au doigt (Pointing Man)” conceived in 1947 achieved $141,285,000, setting a new record for any sculpture sold at auction. Of the 35 works offered, two lots sold for more than $100 million, three for more than $50 million, nine lots for more than $20 million, 12 lots for more than $10 million, 12 lots over for more than $10 million and 29 lots more than $1 million.
All of the works offered in this auction were selected for their connection to a central theme of artistic innovation inspired by the past. The exhibition generated a tremendous response from both clients and the public: 15,000 visitors viewed the presale exhibition at Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries over the last ten days, and the sale saw participation from a diverse group of clients representing 35 different countries.
“From the moment that we announced the sale, global collectors embraced the concept and were prepared to consign masterpieces to the auction. More than 70 percent of the works included in the sale have been shown in major museum exhibitions and the works themselves spanned over 100 years of modernism, beginning with Monet’s ‘Le Parlement’ of 1901 to Urs Fischer’s wax figure of Rudolf Stingel of 2011,” said Jussi Pylkkänen, global president and the sale’s auctioneer.
Loic Gouzer, Christie’s international specialist, postwar and contemporary art and curator of the Looking Forward to the Past sale, said, “There are few companies where you could dream up a new sale concept like this and gain the support and understanding to make your idea become a reality, let alone a major success. Christie’s created this event tonight as a team, and we are thrilled to see collectors have responded to this cross-category approach so enthusiastically.”
A full report on the sale will appear in a future edition.
“Les femmes d’Alger” (Version “O”), oil on canvas by Pablo Picasso, 1955, 44 7/8 by 57 5/8 inches, ©2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Alberto Giacometti’s (1901–1966), “L’homme au doigt,” conceived in 1947, bronze with patina and hand painted by the artist, 69 7/8 inches, signed and numbered A Giacometti 6/6 on the top of the base; inscribed with foundry mark Alexis Rudier Fondeur Paris on the back of the base. Courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd, 2015. ©2015 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York.
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