Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Les femmes d’Alger, Version O Copyright 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society New York
Pablo Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger (Version 0) sold for $179,365,000 at Christie’s in New York last night to become the most valuable work of art ever sold at auction. At the same sale Giacometti’s Pointing Man made $141,285,000 to become the most expensive sculpture ever sold at auction. Both featured at Christie’s Looking Forward to the Past, a curated auction that achieved a staggering $705,858,000. There were new world auction records for ten works. Of the 35 works offered, two sold for over $100 million, three for over $50 million, nine for over $20 million, 12 for over $10 million and 29 for over $1 million.
Alberto Giacometti – L’homme au doigt (Pointing Man). Courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd. 2015/© 2015 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York
A total of 15,000 visitors viewed the pre-sale exhibition at Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries over the last 10 days. The auction saw participation from a diverse group of clients representing 35 different countries.
“From the moment that we announced the sale, global collectors embraced the concept and were prepared to consign masterpieces to the auction. Over 70 percent of the works included in the sale have been shown in major museum exhibitions and the works themselves spanned over 100 years of modernism, beginning with Monet’s Le Parlement of 1901 to Urs Fischer’s wax figure of Rudolf Stingel of 2011,” noted Jussi Pylkkänen, Global President and the sale’s auctioneer. “Christie’s will continue in years to come to innovate more sale concepts that inspire the art collecting public. We have entered a new era of the art market where collectors from all parts of the world compete for the very best across categories, generating record prices at levels we have never seen before.”
The other eight auction records were for Chaim Soutine ($28,165,000); Peter Doig ($25,925,000); Jean Dubuffet ($24,805,000); Jean Michel Basquiat ($13,605,000); Cady Noland ($9,797,000); Robert Delauney ($2,405,000); Diane Arbus ($785,000) and Rene Magritte ($5,429,000) a world auction record for a work on paper.
(See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for May 7, April 17, April 15, April 10 and March 25, 2011)