Christie’s Auction Sells Picasso for Record $179Million; Giacometti Sets Sculpture Record

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Christie's Auction House, in an invitation only evening sale, aided by private buyers worldwide, attained dizzying results achieving a record breaking 705 million dollars against the 35 pieces of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Art available in the Looking Forward to the Past lot.

"From the moment that we announced the sale, global collectors embraced the concept and were prepared to consign masterpieces to the auction. Over 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," noted Jussi Pylkkänen, Global President and the sale's auctioneer.

New world auction records were set for 10 works of art during the sale,including Picasso's Les femmes d'Alger, Version O (above) from 1955, which sold for $179,365,000 and became the most valuable work of art ever sold at auction.  The Picasso originated and was released from a distinguished private European Collection.

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 over $100 million, three for over $50 million, nine lots for over $20 million, 12 lots for over $10 million, 12 lots over for over $10 million, and 29 lots over $1 million.

Claude Monet,Le Parlement, Soleil Couchant (The Houses Of Parliament, At Sunset), an oil on canvass achieved a sale of $40,485,000.

"Christie's will continue in years to come to innovate more sale concepts that inspire the art collecting public. We have entered a new era of the art market where collectors from all parts of the world compete for the very best across categories, generating record prices at levels we have never seen before," Pylkkänen said.

Chaim Soutine, Le Boeuf, an oil on canvass depiction of a side of beef, achieved a sale of $28,165,000.

Paris Polka, an oil on canvass by Jean Dubuffet achieved a sale of $24,805,000.

Jean Michael Basquait, Swiss House on Fire, an acrylic marker drawing on canvass, achieved a sale of 2,285,000.

Open to the public, Christie's Rockefeller Center galleries saw more than 15,000 visitors viewing the pre-sale exhibition which continues limited May 12 and May 13. The sale generated interest from diverse client base from thirty-five participating countries.

A series of auctions continue this week at Christie's: 

Post-War & Contemporary Day Sale Session I, Tuesday, 12 May, 9 a.m., 

Post-War & Contemporary Evening Sale, Wednesday, 13 May, 7 p.m.,

Post-War & Contemporary Day Sale Session II, Thursday, 14 May, 9 a.m., 

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, Thursday, 14 May, 5:30 p.m., 

Impressionist & Modern Art Works on Paper & Day Sale,  Friday, 15 May, 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Online Only: Picasso Ceramics, Continues through May 19, 2015.                  

Online Only: Post-War & Contemporary Art, Continues through May 15, 2015.

For more information: http://www.christies.com/calendar/

Images courtesy of Christie's Auction House

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