Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Pork (1981) was the top lot at Christie’s post war and contemporary sale in London last night. From the collection of the actor Johnny Depp it made £5,122,500. Basquiat’s Self Portrait (1981) also from the Depp collection made £3,554,500. Christie’s said that Depp’s focused collecting eye met with keen approval in the sale room.
Sean Scully’s Eve (1992) achieved a record £902,500 and Manolo Millares’ Untitled (Composition) Painting no. 4 made £842,500. A total of 10 works sold for over £1 million, with 16 for over $1,000,000 and 17 for over €1,000,000. Registered bidders from 39 countries across four continents demonstrated the continued demand in the global contemporary market, as well as a proven strength of the domestic market with 10 lots selling to UK-based collectors.
Edmond Francey, Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, London: “Tonight’s results offer real assurance and continued strength to the globalised art market, with a particularly energetic response to Adrian Ghenie, Andy Warhol, Nicolas de Staël, Georg Baselitz and Manolo Millares. The response to Johnny Depp’s Basquiats electrified the sale room and we continue to see that for the top works collectors will stretch themselves to the highest levels. Christie’s has been able to read the market and offer our consignors and buyers the quality that can continue to attract top collectors to the market. This evening’s total contributes to Christie’s successful 250th anniversary with a Bacon, two Freuds, two Rileys and two Auerbachs to come tomorrow as part of a stellar cast of artists, which we estimate will contribute a further £40-60 million to Post-War and Contemporary Art totals this week as part of the Defining British Art Evening Sale.”