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  • Posts Tagged ‘Cy Twombly’


    Wednesday, November 8th, 2023
    Issy Wood – Fanta Car Interior made $277,200

    Female artists represented one fourth of Christie’s 21st Century evening sale in New York last evening and performed exceptionally well. The 41 lot sale brought in $107.4 million and more than 10% of buyers were millennials. Issy Wood’s Fanta Car Interior made $277,200 against a low estimate of $80,000 and Stefanie Heinze’s Third Date sold for $239,400 against a low estimate of $60,000. Artists of colour saw strong results: Eat dem Taters by Robert Colescott sold for $3,922,000, Night 1 by Matthew Wong achieved $4,164,000, and Intersection of Color: Loge by Reggie Burrows Hodges matched the record for the artist, selling for $730,800.

    The top lot of the evening was Cy Twombly’s Untitled (Bacchus 1st Version II) which made $19,960,000. The second highest price came for Basquiat’s Untitled which achieved $11,910,000. There was five new records: Jenna Gribbon’s Regarding Me Regarding You and Me, brought $478,800; Jia Aili’s Combustion made $4,769,000; Jadé Fadojutimi’s A Thistle Throb achieved $1,683,500; Ilana Savdie’s A High-pitched Complicity sold for $201,600, and Lalanne’s Mouton de laine sold for $1,502,000—the highest total for a single Lalanne Mouton.


    Wednesday, October 18th, 2023
    CY TWOMBLY (1928-2011)Untitled (Bacchus 1st Version II) courtesy  CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LIMITED 2023

    This 2004 work by Cy Twombly comes up as a highlight at Christie’s 21st century evening sale in New York on November 7. The work comes from the artist’s celebrated Bacchus series which stands as a culmination of Twombly’s fifty years of painterly practice. The iconic looping theme had been integral to his body of work since the meandering scrawl of his 1960s Blackboard paintings. The character of Bacchus (or Dionysus in Greek), god of revelry and wine, is a notable presence, employed repeatedly throughout Twombly’s career. The character is first referenced in his 1975 collage Dionysus, then again in a 1977 series on the theme of Bacchanalia, and once more in a 1981 triptych Bacchus.

    The 2003 – 2008 Bacchus series is broken into three distinct sets. Untitled (Bacchus 1st Version II) comes from the first and is one of six portrait-format paintings Twombly completed in 2004, not exhibited until 2008 at the Red October Chocolate Factory in Moscow. This set includes the only works with text. Four, including the present example, are inscribed with ‘Psilax’ translating to “the Giver of Wings” a surname attributed to Dionysus. This work is estimated at $18. – $25 million.


    Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

    A total of 280,000 people tuned in to Christie’s 20th century evening sale from New York last night. The sale, live streamed from the Rockefeller Center, realised US$340,851,500. The auction of 59 lots was sold 96% by value and 84% by lot. The top lot was Cy Twombly’s Bolsena which made $38 million, STAN, a T-Rex skeleton made $31,847,500 and there was a world record of $28,650,000 for a watercolour by Cezanne.

    Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)
    Nature morte avec pot au lait, 


    Thursday, October 1st, 2020

    Some of the most seismic artistic moments of the last 100 years, from Impressionist masters to Contemporary art, will be represented at Christie’s upcoming sales. The evening sale of 59 works of 20th century art on October 6 will be livestreamed from the Rockefeller Center in New York. The overall low estimate is more $300 million. The sale is led by Cy Twombly’s Untitled (Bolsena), 1969 ($35-45 million), formerly part of the Saatchi collection. Completed in the aftermath of the Apollo 11 mission works from the series fuse painting, drawing and writing into a lyrical thesis on time and space.

    In assembling this October series at a strong moment in the art market the auction house has utilised its technology, insight into client demand and logistical agility to re-imagine the auction model for a rapidly evolving world. Christie’s will conduct livestreamed sales of Post War and Contemporary art on October 7 and Impressionist and Modern Art on October 8. The sales will offer a new collecting opportunity ahead of the traditional November marquee sale week in New York. Standouts include an early example of the revolutionary drip painting technique by Jackson Pollock and a superlative watercolour by Paul Cezanne by in addition to works by Rothko, de Kooning and Matisse. 

    Marc Porter, Chairman, Americas, remarked: Building on the innovation of ONE, Christie’s live-streamed global auction in July, we set out to demonstrate great agility again, introducing a marquee week of exceptional quality works from across the 20th and 21st centuries, creating a singular opportunity for collectors well ahead of the traditional fall sale calendar.

    Cy Twombly – Untitled (Bolsena), 1969. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $38,685,000


    Thursday, May 18th, 2017

    Cy Twombly (1928-2011) – Leda and the Swan

    The top lots at Christie’s Post War and Contemporary evening sale in New York last night were Cy Twombly’s  Leda and the Swan ($52,887,500) and  Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer ($51,767,500).

    The 68 lots sold brought in $448 million and Christie’s say that the results rank among the strongest ever for this category in New York.  A total of 71 lots were offered and five sold for over $20 million.

    La Hara by Basquiat made $34.9 million, Red White and Brushstrokes by Lichtenstein made $28.2 million and Big Campbell’s soup can with can opener (vegetable) by Warhol made $27.5 million.

    (See posts on for February 24 and March 21, 2017)

    IN a post sales roundup Christie’s reported that the spring auction series totalled $842.5 million.   The week scored the highest total for an Impressionist and Modern evening sale at Christie’s since May 2010 and the strongest sell-through rates for a Post-War and Contemporary evening sale in a decade.


    Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

    Cy Twombly’s Leda and the Swan, 1962 will  highlight the May 17 Post-War and Contemporary Art evening sale at Christie’s in New York. One of two large format masterpieces to emerge from this unbridled subject, Leda and the Swan’s heroic sister painting of the same title is among the most popular works on view within the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This unequivocal tour de force has been in a private collection for over 25 years. It has not been seen publicly in that time and has never been at auction before.  It is estimated at $35-55 million.

    Koji Inoue, International Director, Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s remarked: “Hidden from public view for over 25 years, we are thrilled to present one of Cy Twombly’s absolute masterpieces in Leda and the Swan, 1962. This is a remarkable painting that has been pursued by collectors for decades. Impregnated with paint passionately and poetically applied with the hand, brush and stick, Leda and the Swan, is one of the most vital canvases created during this transformative period in the artist’s career. Given its tremendous importance within the context of both Twombly’s oeuvre, and the canon of Post-War art, we are honored to have the opportunity to offer this work to the market after nearly thirty clandestine years. This is also a particularly exciting time for the Twombly market, given its overlap with the Centre Pompidou’s groundbreaking retrospective of the artist’s expansive career.”

    UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $52,887,500


    Thursday, November 12th, 2015

    An exceptional Cy Twombly blackboard painting made $70.5 million at Sotheby’s contemporary art sale in New York last night.  Untitled, New York City instantly  became the most expensive work sold at Sotheby’s worldwide in 2015.  A rare large-scale Mao by Andy Warhol made $47.5 million and works by Jackson Pollock, Lucio Fontana and Francis Bacon performed well. Combined with last week’s auctions of the Collection of A. Alfred Taubman, Sotheby’s contemporary art sales this season have so far totalled $434 million.

    Pollock’s No. 17, 1949 made $22.9 million; Fontana Concetto Spaziale, Attese, 1965 made $16.1 million; a portrait by Francis Bacon made $15.6 million;  an untitled Basquiat work from 198 made $8.3 million and Le Tissu Social, 1977 by  Jean Dubuffet made $7.1 million.

    (See post on for September 16, 2015)

    Cy Twomby's Untitled, New York City, 1968

    Cy Twomby’s Untitled, New York City, 1968

    Jackson Pollock - No. 17, 1949

    Jackson Pollock – No. 17, 1949


    Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

    Cy Twombly - Untitled, 1968 [New York City]

    Cy Twombly – Untitled, 1968 [New York City]  UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR $70.5 MILLION

    Untitled, 1968 [New York City] – a seminal example of Cy Twombly’s  ‘Blackboard’ paintings  comes up at Sotheby’s in New York on November 11.  It is expected to realise more than $60 million.  The work is from the collection of Los Angeles philanthropist Audrey Irmas and sale proceeds will benefit The Audrey Irmas Foundation for Social Justice. The foundation supports causes including Wilshire Boulevard Temple, which will receive $30 million from the sale. The funds will launch the campaign for the Temple’s new building, designed by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) led by Rem Koolhaas, and to be named The Audrey Irmas Pavilion. The building will be OMA’s first commission from a religious institution, and the firm’s first cultural building in California.

    “It is always a pleasure to welcome spectacular works of art back to Sotheby’s” said  Anthony Grant, Sotheby’s Vice Chairman, Americas. “We last offered the painting in 1990 as part of the Saatchi Collection. The brilliance of the artist’s gestural genius is on full display as the written form dissolves into a nuanced grey background. All of us who know and care about the arts in Los Angeles have benefited from the extraordinary generosity of Audrey Irmas and her late husband Sydney, and so we are thrilled to be offering this Twombly masterpiece to benefit such a wonderful cause.”