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    Thursday, May 13th, 2021

    An epic three-auction evening auction of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Art realised a total of $596.8 million at Sotheby’s overnight. The live-streamed event featured in-room bidders in New York, telephone bidders in London, Hong Kong and New York, and online bidders from around the world, who all vied for remarkable artworks by exceptional artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

    Art by Warhol, Still, Richter and Diebenkorn lead the Marion Collection which brought in $157.2 million. Diebenkorn’s luminous Ocean Park #40, 1971 sold for $27,265,500, a new auction record for the California artist.

    The Contemporary art sale made $218.3 million and was 100% sold. Basquiat’s  Versus Medici 1982 made $50,820,000 and Twombly’s Untitled (Rome) 1970 made $41,628,000.

    Lead by Monet’s Water Lillies the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale brought a total $221.3 million. The Monet made  $70,353,000 and was the top lot of the evening.

    Claude Monet – Le bassin aux nympheas


    Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

    The international art market is increasingly evolving towards the now.  Developments  happening at breakneck pace are reflected in the annual  May New York sales of big league international art, livestreamed of course, and available to view around the world. Christie’s has torn up the rule book to create an entirely new category of turn of the 21st century contemporary art.  Established contemporaries like Gerhard Richter and Christopher Wool will be offered alongside newcomer artists like Jordan Casteel.

    Two tables with floral pattern by Jonas Wood (born 1977) at Christies.  Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2021. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $6,510,000

    This follows the discovery of a growing appetite for masterpieces by a new generation of artists reported by Christie’s in 2020.  The auction house recorded no less than seven new auction records by 21st century artists in the livestreamed Hong Kong to New York evening sale last December.  Many of these artists are unknown to those of us familiar with the glorious range of art from Monet to Hockney and beyond.  The 21st century evening sale at Christie’s on May 11 will be led by work from artists like Martin Kippenberger, Jordan Casteel and  Gerhard Richter. Mark Rothko’s Untitled, painted in 1970 during the final months of his life, will highlight the 20th century evening sale on May 13.

    Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) by Pablo Picasso at Christie’s.  Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2021 (estimate in the region of $55 million). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $103,410,000

    Even though there are growing numbers of new kids on the block there will be no shortage  of names that are familiar.  Sotheby’s Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art sales will include highlights from Jean-Michel Basquiat, Clyfford Still, Warhol, Hockney, Willem de Kooning, Alexander Calder, Childe Hassan, Degas, Monet, Picasso and more.  An exquisite example of Monet’s Waterlilies series will highlight Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern sale and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Versus Medici will take centre stage at the Contemporary Art evening auction.  Both sales will be livestreamed on May 12. Contemporary auctions reflect the response of todays artists to our changing world and offer a fascinating glimpse of the development of abstract and figurative art from the Post-War period to the present day. To further mark the changes Sotheby’s will hold its first auction entirely devoted to women artists across the centuries later this month.

    Le Bassin aux nympheas by Claude Monet at Sothebys on May 12. ($40-$60 million). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $70,353,000

    The future beckons and it looks exciting. The mix of online and live sales is here to stay. We will not go back to what was there before Covid. If a signpost to the future can be discerned it points in the direction of a more diverse and multicultural art market focused on gender equality, the rights of minorities and masterpieces waiting to be discovered by artists yet largely unknown.

    Versus Medici by Jean Michel Basquiat at Sothebys on May 12 ($35-$50 million). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $50,820,000


    Thursday, March 18th, 2021

    In anticipation of a new era for the art world Christie’s will offer major auctions of “20th Century Art” and “21st Century Art” in New York in May. These sales on May 11 (1880-1980) and May 13 (1980’s into the future) will replace the Impressionist and Modern and Post-War and Contemporary sales.  According to Christie’s the new format will underscore the radical nature of the Modern Masters and their lasting impact on the art being created today, it will emphasise the electricity and relevance of the art created over the past 40 years, and make plenty room for the new – both physical and digital. (Last week the auction house sold a digital non fungible token art collage by Beeple for a record $69 million).

    Alexander Rotter, chairman of 20th & 21st Century Art remarked: ‘This time of upheaval has had an enormous impact on the art world. It has impacted the nature of art that is being created today and has altered our understanding on the art of the past. This new format allows us to bring our new found perspective forward to the market in an exciting and dynamic way. We are looking forward to what the future has to bring.’

    By removing art from the context of its assigned movements, Christie’s seeks to make new stylistic connections, approach topics such as race and revolution from a new lens, and create space to amplify voices that have been historically overlooked and undervalued. The sales will create a new platform to elevate masterworks and discover new and extraordinary works.

    Claude Monet – Waterloo Bridge, effet de brouillard courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. 2021

    Monet’s Waterloo Bridge, effet de brouillard, (estimate in the region of $35 million, will be joined by Andy Warhol’s Nine Multicolored  Marilyns (Reversal Series), 1979-1986 (estimate in the region of $7 million) in the 20th Century Evening Sale. One of the most influential sculptural works of the last 35 years Martin Kippenberger’s Martin, ab in die Ecke und schäm Dich (Martin, Into the Corner, You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself) from 1989 is a highlight of the May 13 sale. It is estimated at $10-15 million. 

    Martin Kippenberger –  Martin, ab in die Ecke und schäm Dich (Martin, Into the Corner, You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself)  courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2021. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $9,520,000


    Friday, April 10th, 2020

    Royal Academy curator Ann Dumas introduces Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny in Normandy for the Painting the Modern Garden, Monet to Matisse exhibition in London in 2016.


    Sunday, December 22nd, 2019

    Monet, Picasso, Bacon and Rothko were the highest priced artists at Sotheby’s in 2019. The top lot of the year at Sotheby’s was Meules by Monet which made $110,747,000 in New York. Picasso’s Femme au Chien made $54,936,000, Bacon’s Study for a Head sold for $50,380,000 and an untitled work by Mark Rothko made $50,095,250. All these works were sold in New York last May.

    Claude Monet – Meules


    Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

    Impressionist and Modern masterpieces features at Sotheby’s evening and day sales in London on June 18 and 19 respectively. Helena Newman, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department commented: “From Monet to Modigliani, this season’s London sales bring together outstanding works by some of the world’s most beloved and sought-after artists”.

    Claude Monet, Nymphéas, 1908 (£25-35 million)

    “Monet’s Nymphéas – an iconic image of his most celebrated subject – is at the same time radical and poetic, whilst Modigliani’s deeply arresting portrait of an unnamed youth unites the personal and the archetypal. These outstanding works have remained unseen for over half a century in their respective private collections and epitomise quality and freshness, both critical criteria for today’s global collectors. They will be offered alongside defining examples from landmark moments of Impressionism and Modern Art.”

    Amedeo Modigliani, Jeune homme assis, les mains croisées sur less genoux, 1918 (£16-24 million)


    Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

    There was a world record for Monet at Sotheby’s in New York last night when Meules (Haystacks) sold for $110.7 million. This is the first work of Impressionist art to break the $100 million barrier and is 44 times the price achieved when Meules last sold at auction in 1986.

    The scene at the auction room

    A total of 13 works of Impressionism achieved $160 million – nearly half of the auction total of $333.2 million. Another highlight was Gustave Caillebotte’s La Rue Halévy, vue du sixième étage from 1878, which well-exceeded its $8 million high estimate to sell for $13.9 million.

    Helena Newman, Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of Impressionist & Modern Art, said: “Tonight we saw a great depth of impassioned bidding from around the globe, fueled by works long-cherished in private collections.  Nearly two-thirds of the lots offered tonight had never before appeared at auction, and the market responded enthusiastically – helping us to achieve our highest total since 2015, and our second consecutive evening sale with a sell-through rate over 90%. With the record-breaking Monet leading the charge, the Impressionist and Modern market is as strong as it has ever been in my more than 30 years in this business.”

    (See posts on for April 16 and May 7, 2019)


    Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

    Claude Monet – Le Palais Ducal

    There was a new world record for a Venetian view by Monet at Sotheby’s in London on February 26. Le Palais Ducal from 1908 sold for £27.5 million.  The evening sales of  Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist Art brought a total of £87.7 million.  Following the strength of results for German and Austrian art at Sotheby’s New York last November, the London auction saw a continued demand for rare and important pieces from the region, with six works together bringing £25.5 million.

    The group was led by Egon Schiele’s Trieste Fishing Boat from  (1912) which sold for £10.7 million.  Schiele’s  Auf dem Bauch liegendes Mädchen, a major work on paper, was pursued by six bidders from Europe and Asia, selling for £1.6 million. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Mädchen auf dem Diwan (1906) made its auction debut at £3.8 million and was sold to benefit the Museum of Modern Art, New York’s acquisition fund.

    The Surrealist sale was led by René Magritte’sbold and beautifully painted L’Etoile du Matin (1938), which sold for £5.3 million.


    Friday, February 22nd, 2019

    The big art selling season gets underway in London next week with Impressionist and Mondern Art and the Art of the Surreal evening sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s on February 26 and 27 respectively.

    Highlights at Sotheby’s include Monet’s Le Palais Ducal in Venice (£20-30 million) and Egon Schiele’s modernist vision of a Trieste fishing boat (£6-8 million) as well as three visually arresting paintings by Magritte as well as work by Kirchner, Chagall, Picasso, Rodin, Degas, Jean Arp and Man Ray.

    Christie’s will offer Monet’s waterlilies – Saule pleureur et bassin aux nympheas, a Still Life by Cezanne, an early Van Gogh portrait and art by Paul Signac, Gustav Caillebotte, le Corbusier, Degas, Picasso and Alexej  von Jawlensky.  Here is a sample of upcoming highlights:

    Paul Cézanne Nature morte de pêches et poires at Christie’s  UPDATE: THIS MADE £21.2 MILLION

    Egon Schiele (1890 – 1918)
    Triestiner Fischerboot (Trieste Fishing Boat) at Sotheby’s  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £10.7 MILLION

    Gustave Caillebotte Chemin montant at Christie’s  UPDATE: THIS MADE £16.6 MILLION

    Claude Monet – Le Palais Ducal at Sotheby’s  UPDATE: THIS MADE £27.5 MILLION


    Thursday, June 21st, 2018

    Pablo Picasso, Femme dans un fauteuil (Dora Maar)

    The Impressionist and Modern sale at Christie’s in London last night made £128,081,750.  The top lot was Claude Monet’s exterior view of the Gare St. Lazare which made £24.9 million.

    Picasso’s Femme dans un fauteuil (Dora Maar) made £19.3 million.  Franz Marc’s Drei Pferde sold for £15.4 million, six times the estimate of £2.5 million and Auguste Rodin’s Baiser, moyen modele made £12.6 million.

    A landscape by Kazimir Malevich made £7.8 million and L’Estaque by Georges Braque sold for £5.2 million.  Strong results were also achieved by German and Austrian artists.