Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) Untitled
© The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris / ARS, New York 2016.
An untitled 1982 acrylic on canvas by Jean Michel Basquiat was the top lot at Christie’s Post War and Contemporary art evening sale in New York on May 10. Bought by a collector in Asia it made $57,285,000 in a 60 lot auction which realized $318,388,000. The sale was 87% sold by lot and 91% by value.
Mark Rothko’s No. 17 painted in 1957 made $32.6 million: Clyfford Still’s PH-234 made $28.1 million and an enamel on aluminum by Christopher Wool painted in 1992 sold for $13.6 million. Others in the top ten were Agnes Martin, Joan Mitchell, Richard Prince, Robert Ryman, Cy Twombly and Roy Lichtenstein.
There were six new world auction records for artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Agnes Martin, Mike Kelley, Richard Prince, Kerry James Marshall and Barry X Ball. The results bring the week’s running total to at Christie’s to $396.5 million, which includes the price achieved by the May 8 evening auction of Bound to Fail. Registered bidders from 39 countries took part, with strong bidding from Asia, Europe and the United States.
Sara Friedlander, Vice President, Head of Evening Sale, Post-War and Contemporary Art, stated: “We built our sales this season to reflect the macro environment, providing an ideal balance that suits an array of collecting tastes. Tonight’s success is the result of a tightly edited sale with top quality works, which were extremely fresh to the marketplace. 84% of the lots had never been sold at auction, and of the 10 works that had been sold, only 4 had been offered over the past 10 years”.
Brett Gorvy, Chairman and International Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, remarked: “We are very proud of the record price achieved for Basquiat’s monumental portrait of the artist as devil at a time when top collectors are pursuing works of the very highest quality. This painting drew intense competition that dispelled questions of a market contraction”.