A world record for Yves Klein set the seal on Christie’s record breaking Post War and Contemporary Art auction in London tonight. The sale brought in £132,819,400, the highest total for any auction of Post War and Contemporary Art in Europe. The top lot was Yves Klein’s Le Rose du bleu (RE 22), which sold for £23,561,250. This price, which converts to $36,779,111, narrowly pipped the $36,482,500 achieved for Klein’s FC1 at Christie’s in New York in May.
In total four lots sold above £10 million, 21 sold for over £1 million and record prices were established for David Altmejd, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Marcel Broodthaers, Yves Klein and Beatriz Milhazes. A Study for Self-Portrait painted by Francis Bacon in 1964 sold for £21,545,250, an untitled work by Basquiat made a record price of £12,921,250, Gerhard Richter’s Struktur 2 made £12,697,250 and Rouge triomphant, Alexander Calder’s largest hanging mobile ever sold at auction made £6,201,250.
Francis Outred, Christie’s Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Europe: “Following the record result achieved at Christie’s New York in May, we are delighted with tonight’s results which established a new record for an auction of Post-War & Contemporary Art in Europe. Totalling more than £132.8 million, at the foundation of the auction’s success were five masterworks by Yves Klein, Francis Bacon, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Gerhard Richter. The price for the Bacon was particularly satisfactory following the discovery that this self-portrait carries the body of Lucian Freud. Overall we brought together consignments from four continents, reached buyers on four continents and benefitted from a depth and strength of bidding from across the room and on the phone”.
(See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for May 29 and April 4 2012.