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Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary evening art auction garnered over $127 million on February 14, 2013, the highest total ever for a February sale of its kind at Christie’s London. Out of the 72 lots presented, 65 were sold; the auction total cruised past the pre-sale estimate of $86.8 million to $120.8 million.

The top lot of the night was Jean-Michel Basquiat’s (1960-1988) text-laden acrylic, oilstick, and paper collage on canvas titled Museum Security (Broadway Meltdown) (1983), which sold for $14.5 million. French collector John Sayegh-Belchatowski purchased the work, which carried a third-party guarantee. In 2012, Museum Security was pulled from a Christie’s New York auction after a legal dispute between an owner, the British aristocrat Lord Edward Spencer-Churchill, and dealers, Gerard Faggionato and Alberto Mugrabi, broke out. The case was settled out of court and the work was re-offered at Christie’s last night.

Other highlights from the blockbuster sale include Gerhard Richter’s (b. 1932) Abstraktes Bild (889-14) (2004), which sold to a telephone bidder for $13.2 million; Francis Bacon’s (1902-1992) Man in Blue VI (1954), which was also snapped up by a telephone bidder for $7.8 million; and David Hockney’s (b. 1937) figurative painting Great Pyramid at Giza with Broken Head from Thebes (1963), which went for $5.5 million.

Basquiat, Bacon, and Richter garnered major sales at both Christie’s and Sotheby’s, who’s contemporary sale the night before brought $116 million, proving that the category has not lost its edge in the art market.

Published in News
Thursday, 18 October 2012 13:16

$8 Million Miro Sells at FIAC

The International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) starts today in Paris and runs through Sunday, October 21. One of the largest forums for contemporary artists, galleries, and dealers, the FIAC encompasses a number of events across the city at the Grand Palais, the Louvre Museum, the Tuileries Gardens, and various other locations.

The Grand Palais portion of the FIAC is held on two floors and features 182 dealers of modern and contemporary art from around the world. Last night’s preview, which is considered a litmus test of the art market’s strength, hosted a number of notable sales. Joan Miro’s Surrealist abstract Peinture (Le Cheval de Cirque) (1927) was sold by Helly Nahmad Gallery (New York) for $8 million and Lucio Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale, Attese (1967–68) was sold by Paris’ Tornabuoni Arte for $2.36 million.

A number of high-profile collectors were in attendance including French billionaires Francois Pinault and Bernard Arnault, U.S. collector Alberto Mugrabi, and Turkish collector, Omer Koc. If the preview is any indication of the how the fair will proceed, it should be any exciting next few days in Paris.

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