Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Christie's Sells Francis Bacon's Triptych for $34.5 M. and Balloon Flower by Jeff Koons for $25.8 M.

Christie's Sells Francis Bacon's Triptych for $34.5 M. and Balloon Flower by Jeff Koons for $25.8 M.

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Francis Bacon (1909-1992), Three Studies for Self-Portrait; signed and dated `Francis Bacon Paris 1975' (on the reverse of the left and right panels); signed, titled and dated `3 etudes pour auto-portrait 1975 Francis Bacon' (on the reverse of the centre panel) oil on canvas, in three parts; each: 14 x 12in. (35.5 x 30.5cm.) Painted in Paris in 1975.

LONDON.- Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale took place this evening (30 June 2008) and realised $171,879,508 - the highest total for the category at Christie’s in Europe. The top lot of the auction was Three Studies for a Self Portrait by Francis Bacon (1909-1992), a rare self-portrait triptych that the artist painted while in Paris in 1975, which sold for $34,457,475.

18 works of art sold for over £1 million (30 for over $1 million), and buyer activity at the auction (by lot) was 42% Europe including United Kingdom, 48% Americas, 8% Asia and 2% other. The auction saw a total of 9 artist records established, including for Jeff Koons, Antonio Lopez, Gilbert and George and Syed Haider Raza, among others.

Pilar Ordovas, Director and Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s London: “We are very pleased with the results of this evening’s auction which established a record total for the category for Christie’s in Europe and illustrates the continued confidence in the global art market. We were particularly pleased to sell three works for over £10 million as exceptional pieces by Freud, Bacon and Koons attracted the interest of collectors from all over the world. The auction has welcomed thousands of visitors while on public view in London for the last two weeks, and Jeff Koons’ Balloon flower (Magenta) attracted continuous crowds to its special exhibition at St. James’s Square before selling for £12.9 million this evening and setting a world record price for the artist at auction.”

The top 5 prices of the evening:

- Three Studies for a Self Portrait by Francis Bacon (1909-1992), a rare self-portrait triptych that the artist painted while in Paris in 1975 and that had never before been seen in public. It sold for $34,457,475.

- Balloon Flower (Magenta), 1995-2000 by Jeff Koons (b.1955) sold this evening for $25,752,051, a world record price for the artist at auction.

- Naked Portrait with Reflection by Lucian Freud (b.1922), one of the most important works by the artist to be offered at auction, sold for $23,519,891, the second highest price for the artist at auction.

- Nine Multicoloured Marilyns (Reversal Series), 1979-86, by Andy Warhol (1928-1987), sold for $8,117,987.

- Last Supper, 1986, by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) sold for $6,443,867.

The auction offered a selection of Indian art at the London evening sale for the first time, as the international demand for Post-War and Contemporary Indian art continues to grow. The leading highlight was La Terre, 1973, by Syed Haider Raza (b. 1922), one of India’s leading modern masters and a founder member of the revolutionary Bombay Progressive Artist's Group, which sold for $2,537,587. Chinese contemporary art was led by Pape by Yan Pei-Ming (b.1960) which realised $2,046,512, a world record price for the artist at auction.


ARTIST RECORDS:

For any work by the artist:

Lot 12, Jeff Koons (b. 1955), Balloon Flower (Magenta), 1995-2000
Sold $25,752,051,
WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR THE ARTIST

Lot 17, Antonio Lopez (b. 1938), Madrid Desde Torres Blancas
Sold $2,760,863
WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR THE ARTIST
MOST EXPENSIVE WORK BY SPANISH ARTIST SOLD AT AUCTION

Lot 19, Michael Andrews (1928 – 1995), The Cathedral, The North East Face/Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Sold $1,967,939
WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR THE ARTIST

Lot 25, Jeff Koons (b. 1955), Auto, 2001
Sold $4,992,963
WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR PAINTING BY THE ARTIST

Lot 27, Gilbert & George (b.1943 and b.1942), To Her Majesty
Sold $3,765,275
WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR THE ARTIST

Lot 38, Nicolas de Stael (1914-1955), Marseille Sous La Neige
Sold £1,721,250, $ 3,430,451, €2,167,053
WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR THE ARTIST

Lot 40, Syed Haider Raza (b. 1922), La Terre
Sold $2,537,587
WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR THE ARTIST

Lot 47, Karin Mamma Andersson (b. 1962), Heimat Land
Sold $1,030,879
WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR THE ARTIST

Lot 57, Yan Pei-Ming (b.1960), Pape
Sold: $2,046,512
WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR THE ARTIST

This evening’s sale is a highlight of a series of exhibitions and auctions dedicated to Impressionist and Modern and Post-War and Contemporary art taking place from 21 June until tomorrow (1 July) at Christie’s in London, and follows on from last week’s auctions of Impressionist and Modern Art which realised a record $331,089,538 and saw Claude Monet’s Le bassin aux nymphéas sell for $80,451,178, a record price for the artist at auction.

The Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale will take place on 1 July 2008 at Christie’s, 8 King Street, London.

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