- Title: Two works break $50 million USD barrier at Christie's contemporary sale
- Date: 18th May 2017
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (MAY 17, 2017) (REUTERS) PHILIP GUSTON, CY TWOMBLY, JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT AND ANDY WARHOL ON DISPLAY MORE OF PHILIP GUSTON, CY TWOMBLY, JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT VARIOUS OF SALE OF CY TWOMBLY "LEDA AND THE SWAN" VARIOUS OF SALE OF FRANCIS BACON "THREE STUDIES FOR A PORTRAIT OF GEORGE DYER" CHRISTIE'S SIGN VARIOUS OF SALE OF JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT "LA HARA" VARIOUS OF SALE OF ANDY WARHOL "BIG CAMPBELL'S SOUP CAN WITH CAN OPENER (VEGETABLE)" VARIOUS OF SALE OF ROY LICHTENSTEIN "RED AND WHITE BRUSHSTROKES" MORE OF PHILIP GUSTON, CY TWOMBLY, JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT AND ANDY WARHOL ON DISPLAY EXTERIOR OF CHRISTIE'S AUCTION HOUSE
- Embargoed: 1st June 2017 05:10
- Keywords: Contemporary art Post War Paul Dyer art auction Christieâ€™s triptych Francis Bacon
- Location: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- City: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Human Interest / Brights / Odd News
- Reuters ID: LVA0016HD689L
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Works by Francis Bacon and Cy Twombly each sold for more than $50 million (USD) at Christie's on Wednesday (May 17), helping drive a $448 million sale of contemporary art that met expectations in an uncertain market.
The auction marked the second solid result this week for Christie's, which on Monday (May 8) sold $289 million in Impressionist and modern art, helping reassure a jittery market following recent seasons that saw owners reluctant to open their vaults and consign top-tier works.
Of the 71 lots on offer virtually all found buyers, with only three going unsold. The sale's total nipped at the high pre-sale estimate of $463 million.
Officials called the result robust, and provided evidence of "the great results you get for exceptional masterpieces," as Christie's global president Jussi Pylkkanen, who also served as auctioneer, put it.
Bidding at the sale was strong, if measured, and short of the kind of free-wheeling spending that marked sales from roughly 2011 to 2015, which were marked by spiking prices and nearly continuous record breaking.
The sale's top lot was Cy Twombly's "Leda and the Swan," which sold for $52.9 million including commission of just over 12 percent, against an estimate of $35 million to $55 million.
Francis Bacon's "Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer," a 1963 triptych, fetched $51.8 million, at the very lowest end of its $50 million to $70 million estimate.
Other highlights included Jean-Michel Basquiat's "La Hara," handily beat the high estimate of $28 million, selling for just under $35 million.
Works by Andy Warhol -- one of his iconic Campbell's soup cans -- and Roy Lichtenstein, each estimated to fetch $25 million to $35 million, achieved $29.4 million and $28.2 million respectively.
The auctions wrap up on Thursday (May 18) with Sotheby's contemporary sale, featuring Jean-Michel Basquiat's untitled work from 1982, last auctioned in 1984 for a mere $19,000 but now expected to reap more than $60 million, setting it up to break the artist's $57.3 million record set just a year ago.
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