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    Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021
    UPDATE: THE BASQUIAT WARRIOR SOLD FOR £30,265,619. PICASSO’S Femme assise dans un fauteuil noir (Jacqueline) sold for £9,659,000

    Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Warrior (on the right above) will launch the Christie’s 20th Century Art sale from Hong Kong today. Picasso’s Femme assise dans un fauteuil noir (Jacqueline) (1962) on the left above is one of two Picasso portraits in the sale. The live stream of the 20th Century Art evening sale and The Art of the Surreal from London begins at
    9pm Hong Kong / 1pm London / 9am New York on Tuesday March 23. 

    UPDATE: THE auction realised £198,716,619, selling 93% by lot, 97% by value and 128% hammer above low estimate. The series of consecutive sales was launched from Hong Kong with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Warrior (1982), which set a new record, becoming the most expensive western artwork ever sold in Asia at HK$323,600,000. Warrior saw competition from bidders in London, New York and Hong Kong, before ultimately selling to an Asian buyer on the phone in Hong Kong. Banksy’s painting Game Changer (2020), a tribute to international frontline workers during the global pandemic, achieved a world auction record following 14 minutes of bidding. Proceeds of more than £16,000,000 from the sale of the artwork will be used to support the wellbeing of University Hospital Southampton staff and patients as well as benefitting associated health organisations and charities across the UK


    Monday, March 15th, 2021

    “So when she saw me, she went crazy about my hair and absolutely wanted to do my portrait with my hair loose”  French art critic Denyse Proutaux explained in a 1931 letter to her partner Phillippe Dyvorne. The resultant re-discovered portrait by Amrita Sher-Gil is the top lot at Christie’s South Asian, Modern and Contemporary Art auction in New York on March 17.  “As it was for a competition and she had very little time, I posed almost non-stop for three days, and that’s why I couldn’t write to you as I had promised you. I’ve never known such an amazing girl, you know Phil?” Proutaux wrote. Amrita Sher-Gil was born in Budapest in 1913 to a Hungarian mother and Indian father. Living between Hungary, France and India she painted people and places with an intensity that remains unparalleled in modern Indian art and was elected as an associate of the Grand Salon in Paris in 1933.  Sher-Gil died unexpectedly in 1941 in Lahore at the age of 28.  Most of her documented work is in the national collection of Modern Art in New Delhi.   Portrait of Denyse is estimated at $1.8-$2.5 million.

    Amrita Sher-Gil (1913-1941), Portrait of Denyse. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Thursday, March 11th, 2021

    Until October, the most Mike Winkelmann — the digital artist known as Beeple — had ever sold a print for was $100. Now he is among the top three most valuable living artists. Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days,  a collage of all the images that Beeple has been posting online each day since 2007, achieved $69,346,250 at Christie’s, New York today.

    The record-smashing NFT sale comes after months of increasingly valuable auctions. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique files that live on a blockchain and are able to verify ownership of a work of digital art. Buyers typically get limited rights to display the digital artwork they represent. In October, Winkelmann sold his first series of NFTs, with a pair going for $66,666.66 each. In December, he sold a series of works for $3.5 million total. And last month, one of the NFTs that originally sold for $66,666.66 was resold for $6.6 million.

    Beeple (b. 1981), EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS
    21,069 x 21,069 pixels (319,168,313 bytes)
    Minted on 16 February 2021. This work is unique.

    The sale of the first purely digital NFT based work of art by a major auction house achieved a new world record for any work of digital art, the highest price for any lot in any online-only auction, the highest price for any winning bid placed online, and the highest total for any online-only auction. There were bidders from 11 countries and 22 million visitors tuned into Christie’s for the final minutes of bidding. Christie’s say that there were 33 active bidders, 55% from the Americas, 27% from Europe and 18% from Asia. 91% were new bidders at Christie’s.

    Digital Art has been an established artistic medium since the advent of the personal computer. However, before the introduction of NFTs and Blockchain technology it was impossible for even the most celebrated digital artists to claim their place in the art market. These mechanisms have paved the way for future of art of purely digital means.

    Beeple said: Artists have been using hardware and software to create artwork and distribute it on the internet for the last 20+ years but there was never a real way to truly own and collect it. With NFT’s that has now changed. I believe we are witnessing the beginning of the next chapter in art history, digital art.  This is work that has just as much craft, message, nuance and intent as anything made on a physical canvas and I am beyond honored and humbled to represent the digital art community in this historic moment.

    Mike Winklemann

    Noah Davis, Specialist, Post-War and Contemporary Art, remarked: “Christie’s is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Beeple, a brash pioneer among digital artists, to present the first purely digital NFT-based work of art ever offered by a major auction house. We see this as a pivotal moment for the future of New Media and even the practice of collecting itself. Everydays–The First 5000 Days is a monumental work comprised of 5,000 individual images created over the course of as many days, giving viewers the opportunity to zoom in and witness Beeple’s often irreverent but always engaging evolution as an artist pixel by pixel. The capacity to represent 13 years of an artist’s career in a single work perfectly illustrates the limitless nature of this medium. Not unlike the advent of Street Art as a blue chip collecting category, NFT-based art is on the threshold of becoming the next ingeniously disruptive force in the art market. Christie’s is proud to be in the vanguard of this exhilarating movement.”


    Tuesday, March 9th, 2021

    A universal tribute by the artist Banksy to those fighting Covid-19 worldwide comes up at Christie’s 20th century art evening sale in London on March 23. Banksy’s Game Changer will be offered with a pre-sale estimate of £2,500,000-3,500,000. It appeared at Southampton General Hospital during the first wave of the pandemic in May 2020. It was always his intention that it should be auctioned and a reproduction will remain at the hospital. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the NHS.

    UPDATE: Game Changer sold for £16,758,000. Proceeds will be used to support health organisations and charities across the UK that enhance the care and treatment provided by the NHS. Christie’s will donate a significant portion of the Buyer’s Premium to these cause


    Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

    The spring season of interactive livestream 20th century art sales launched in London and New York by Christie’s on March 1 made a total of £43,702,515. Over 145,000 viewers tuned into the sales through Facebook, You Tube, and Christie’s Live™ with collectors from 12 countries over 5 continents achieving combined sell-through rates of 98% by lot and 100% by value.  In New York A Family Collection: Works on Paper, Van Gogh to Freud, a grouping of eight works made a total of £18,070,765. Van Gogh’s rare portrait La Mousmé sold for £7,459,614 and there was a world auction record for Augustus John’s Head of a Girl (Edie McNeill) which made £348,463. In London  Sir Winston Churchill’s Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque set a new world auction record price of £8,285,000 after a nine-minute battle between 10 bidders. Sir John Lavery’s The Viscountess Castlerosse, Palm Springs, from the collection of Charles Delevingne, sold for £862,500, a record for a portrait by the artist. Sir Michael Craig-Martin’s With Red Shoes set a new world auction record for the artist of £325,000.

    Christie’s Modern British Art day sale on March 2 realised a total of £5,427,375, selling 84% by lot and 86% by value. The sale was led by John Nash’s still life A Window in Bucks which realised £375,000, more than 10 times its low estimate and a new world auction record for the artist. Vanessa Bell’s Autumn Bouquet sold for £256,250 against a pre-sale estimate of £25,000-35,000, also a new world auction record for the artist.

    Van Gogh’s La Mousmé selling in New York 


    Monday, March 1st, 2021

    There was a new world auction record for Sir Winston Churchill at Christie’s in London this evening when his Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque (1943) sold for £8,285,000. The only work Churchill created during the Second World War was once in the collection of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who are divorcing. It was offered for sale by the Jolie Family Collection. Churchill painted it in Marrakech following the Casablanca Conference in January 1943. and gifted it to Franklin D. Roosevelt. This act was seen not only as an indication of their friendship but of the special relationship between the UK and the USA.

    Sir Winston Churchill began painting scenes of Morocco after being encouraged to visit the country by his painting tutor, Sir John Lavery. Upon his first visit in 1935, he felt that the light and scenery were unrivalled, creating some 45 paintings of the country.

    (See post on for February 2, 2021)

    Sir Winston Churchill, Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque. Painted in January 1943, it made £8,285,000


    Monday, March 1st, 2021

    More than 20 works by L.S. Lowry will highlight the Modern British Art sale at Christie’s on March 2. They range from seascapes and crowd scenes to portraits including Man in a Trilby from the estates of L.S. Lowry and Carol Ann Lowry. There is work by Pauline Boty, Patrick Caulfield, Peter Blake, Michael Craig-Martin’s and the St Ives School is represented by Terry Frost ,Roger Hilton, Ben Nicholson and Alfred Wallis.

    Ben Nicholson, 1946 (Tibetan) (estimate: £100,000-150,000) and
    L.S. Lowry, Man in a Trilby (1960, estimate: £150,000-250,000). UPDATE: THE NICHOLSON MADE £118,750 AND THE LOWRY SOLD FOR £150,000


    Wednesday, February 24th, 2021

    All lots sold and 72 of the 75 on offer made more than their top estimates at Christie’s Deep Impact: Martian Lunar and Other Rare Meteorites online only sale from New York. It brought in $4,351,750 and attracted bidders from 23 countries across five continents. A slice of the moon, the fourth largest in this world, made $525,000 over a top estimate of $350,000 and a sphere fashioned from a lunar meteorite made $500,000 over a top estimate of $25,000. A 1.7 gram sample of the planet Mars sold for $13,750, worth more than 100 times its weight in gold.

    This stone meteorite made $175,000


    Friday, February 12th, 2021

    Warrior by Jean Michel Basquiat is poised to become the most expensive Western artwork ever offered in Asia. It comes up at a live and livestreamed single lot sale by Christie’s in Hong Kong on March 23 with an estimate of US$31-41 million. The evening sale – We Are All Warriors – The Basquiat Auction – is part of the spring season of 20th century sales at Christie’s.

    Painted in 1982 Basquiat’s Warrior is a commanding and authoritative portrait that amply demonstrates why the artist is regarded as one of the most important painters of the last half century. It comes up at a sale format that highlights Basquiat’s international appeal.


    Monday, February 8th, 2021

    Until we Meet Again by Jack B Yeats comes up at Christie’s Modern British Art evening sale in London on March 1. Painted in 1949 it personifies his expressionistic style of the late 1940’s. Characterised by dynamic brush strokes and thick impasto Christie’s say that Yeats’s treatment of the medium can be readily compared to the paintings of his European Expressionist contemporaries, most notably the work of his good friend Oskar Kokoschka. The work is estimated at £500,000-800,000. UPDATE: THIS MADE £598.500