Christie’s generated a grand total of $1,726,019,375 in a week of fine art sales in New York – the highest single weekly total in auction history. Impressionist & Modern and Post-War & Contemporary art were combined into a single sale week of auctions and online-only sales. Events kicked off on Monday evening with Looking Forward to the Past, a curated sale with top-quality work from both categories in a new context. The stellar results – the opening sale achieved a new work auction record for any painting and for any sculpture – demonstrate that accelerated demand for great art from collectors around the world continues to drive strong prices at all levels.
“This has been an extraordinary week for the art market and for Christie’s. Our much heralded total of $1.726 billion is only a part of the story. It was striking that there were 40 bids above $100 million for the Picasso on Monday night and over 45 bids for the Rothko which made $82 million on Wednesday. This is a rich, deep market in which masterpieces elicit the greatest competition and which now attracts high level buyers from all over the world,” said Jussi Pylkkanen, Christie’s Global President.
There were new world records for Picasso, Giacometti, Freud and Mondrian. No less than 147 lots sold for over $1 million, 18 for over $20 million, seven for over $50 million and two for over $100 million.
Bidders from 48 different countries registered to participate, creating an electric atmosphere of competition that grew and gained momentum over the course of the week.