“New records were set for Mark Bradford, Kelley Walker, George Condo, and others.” – artnet News reports
London’s contemporary art sales may have successfully dodged Chinese New Year by moving back from February to March. But they have gone almost head to head with TEFAF Maastricht and New York’s Armory Show.
Nevertheless, optimism was up that Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s sales would meet their combined £271-413 million target and exceed any previous London series for contemporary art, given the positive results on New York’s mid-season sales at the end of February. (The previous high for the series was £295.5 million in February 2014.)
Christie’s got the ball rolling this evening with a 65-lot sale estimated at £111-161 million—way higher than last February’s £96.4 million sale (estimated at £67-107 million), and its highest pre-sale estimate to date for a single contemporary sale in London. (Prices include buyers’ premium; estimates do not.)
The result was a solid, though not stunning, £137.5 million ($190 million), with seventeen of the lots selling above estimates and only four lots unsold. This now rates as the highest total for any postwar and contemporary art sale in Europe—even if, at times, it didn’t feel like it.
Read the full auction report by Colin Gleadell at artnet News