Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact
  • Posts Tagged ‘Cy Twombly’


    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.”