Christie's contemporary art sale brings £117 million in London



2015-06-26 11:27:14

A packed London saleroom saw the Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art evening auction top £100 million on Wednesday.

The sale soared to a total of £117.1 million ($178.4 million), buoyed by notable sales of works by Gerhard Richter, Cy Twombly and Francis Bacon. Competitive bidding also pushed the auction to a final sell-through rate of 92% by lot and 95% by value.

The biggest sale of the evening was achieved by Cy Twombly’s Untitled (New York City), one of the artist's famous Blackboard works. It sold for £19.6 million ($29.9 million), the second-highest price ever achieved for a Twombly work at auction.  

This was followed by the Gerhard Richter painting Vierwaldstätter See, a landscape study of a lake in Switzerland, which realized a price of £15.7 million ($24 million); and Francis Bacon's work Study for a Head, painted in 1955, which sold for £10 million ($15.3 million).

"London has seen stellar evening sales for Post-War and Contemporary Art in the last few years – the Christie’s June 2012 record of £132million in a single night has never been beaten. In that spectrum, our sale stands out as a great result, a huge success," said Francis Outred, International Director and Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Christie’s Europe.

"The interest in contemporary art has grown enormously, but at a rate that is sustainable. No bubble produces bidders from 40 countries and six continents for such a diverse range of works.  I am particularly proud that in the week of Richter’s 83rd birthday, one of his greatest paintings - of Lake Lucerne - a place so close to his heart, was so sought after."

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