Christie’s London has proven that the Contemporary art scene has completely bounced back after selling 56 of 59 lots in its recent Tuesday sale. The auction brought in $117.1 million, and set multiple artists’ records in the course of the evening.
The top-earning piece was a Peter Doig canvas, while artists’ records were set for works by the following: Albert Oehlen, Carol Rama, Cecily Brown, Günther Uecker, Henry Taylor, Jean Dubuffet, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Neo Rauch, and Wolfgang Tillmans. A joint piece from Joan Miro and Josep Llorens also set a record.
While the evening sale didn’t quite reach the levels of 2014 and 2015, the high pre-estimate of $123.9 million was up 65 percent from last year’s equivalent sale. The total sale garnered $117.1 million, nearly reaching the high-end of the pre-sale estimate (three pieces short).
The highest estimate belonged to Mark Rothko’s No.1 (1949), valued at $10 to $15 million, much less than the $36 million Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev paid for the work in 2008. The Rothko No. 1 ended up selling for $13 million.
The Peter Doig 8-foot canvas featuring a snowy landscape dubbed Coburg 3+1 (1994) ended up reaching a final gavel price of $15.6 million.
Overall there were bidders from 36 countries for the Christie’s London sale, which also sounds an optimistic note for the Contemporary art market.