Contemporary Art in Paris concluded today with a total of 25.5 million / $27.9 million / £18.5 million, one of the companys highest totals for a Contemporary Art sales series in France.
Stefano Moreni, Head of Contemporary Art, Sothebys Paris: Its been an outstanding week for Contemporary Art at Sothebys in France. The market for works defined by a classical French postwar aesthetic is truly alive and kicking. It was a privilege to offer two masterpieces by Jean Dubuffet, who is scaling new heights at auction, and there was a strong appetite for School of Paris artists. Collectors responded to the exceptional quality and freshness of the work we sourced, reflected in the depth of bidding from around the world.
FACTS AND FIGURES
CONTEMPORARY ART, 9 & 10 December 2015 Sale Total: 25,545,900 / $27,857,548 / £18,523,538
Pre-sale estimate 18.2-26.1m / $19.8-28.4m / £13.2-18.9m (143 lots)
83.9% sold by lot
90.1% sold by value
CONTEMPORARY ART EVENING SALE, 9 December 2015 Sale Total: 20,637,000 / $22,504,442 / £14,964,055
Pre-sale estimate 14.8-21.3m / $20.4-29.2m / £10.8 15.5m (33 lots offered)
Participants from 20 countries
87.9% sold by lot
Almost 70% of works sold achieved prices above their high estimates
Over three-quarters of the works offered had never appeared at auction
Average lot value: 625,323
CONTEMPORARY ART DAY SALE, 10 December 2015 Sale Total: 4,908,900 / $5,353,106 / £3,559,483
Pre-sale estimate 3.4-4.8m / $3.7-5.2m / £2.4-3.5m (110 lots offered)
EVENING SALE HIGHLIGHTS
NEW WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR JEAN-PAUL RIOPELLE
Appearing at auction for the first time, Jean-Paul Riopelles La Forêt was pursued by multiple bidders, driving the sale price to 2m / $2.2m / £1.48m, establishing a new auction record for the artist (estimate: 900,000-1.2m).
This seminal example of Riopelles most renowned technique a kaleidoscopic juxtaposition of matt and glossy textures is comparable with a work held by the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
STRONG PRICES FOR WORKS BY JEAN DUBUFFET
With prices for Dubuffet at auction reaching a new high this year, the evening sale was led by works from three celebrated series by the artist never previously offered at auction.
Midi sonne grelot from Dubuffets sought-after Paris Circus series sold for 2.95m / $3.2m / £2.1m (est. 2.5-3.5m).
o Painted in 10 June 1961, this work boasted an exceptional provenance, including art dealer and collector Daniel Cordier, one of Dubuffet's earliest supporters.
Jardin de fouille roucoule, the first and one of the largest gardens from Dubuffets Tableaux dassemblages series in which the artist initiated a revolutionary technique reminiscent of Matisses cut-outs sold to a European Institution for 1.2m / $1.3m / £872,305 (est. 200,000-300,000).
o The provenance proved attractive to collectors, the work having been held in some of the most prestigious private collections of the 20th century, including William Rubin and Baron Elie de Rothschild.
Terre mère, or Mother Nature, the largest of Dubuffets papier maché Matériologies, made 687,000 / $749,167 / £498,149. o The work formed the centrepiece of this rare series, the culmination of the artists experimentation with abstraction.
SUCCESS FOR THE SCHOOL OF PARIS
The sale saw active bidding from across Asia for works by one of the leading abstract artists of the 20th century, Zao Wou-Ki.
The most coveted was Zaos intensely lyrical 7.8.1965, painted at the pinnacle of his career, which sold to a private Asian collector for 2.7m / $3m / £1.97m (est. 1.4-2m).
There were strong prices for works by Serge Poliakoff, Hans Hartung and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva.
o Poliakoffs Sans Titre sold for 555,000 / $605,222 / £402,435 (est. 200,000-300,000).
o Two works painted by Vieira da Silva circa 1970 surpassed their estimates: Mars suspendu sold for 543,000 / $592,136 / £393,734 (est. 300,000-400,000) and Lécho realised £387,000 / $422,020 / £280,617 (est. 250,000-350,000).
o Hans Hartungs T1950-16 sold for 291,000 / $317,333 / £211,006 (est. 180,000250,000).
FURTHER STAND-OUT RESULTS
A rare work by Pierre Soulages, Peintre 46 x 38 cm, 14 mai 1961, on the market for the first time in 40 years, sold for 843,000 / $919,283 / £611,266, more than double its pre-sale low estimate (400,000-600,000).
Francis Bacons Untitled (Head of a Woman - Lisa Sainsbury), one of four surviving works from an original series of eight studies, made 843,000 / $919,283 / £611,266 (est. 600,000-800,000). The same work made 418,156 / $540,814 / £337,250 when it was last sold at Sothebys, in London in October 2012.
In the Day sale, Jean Dubuffets La Marelle sold to a European Institution for 171,000 / $186,474 / £123,993 (est. 60,000-80,000).
For Jean-Paul Riopelle (Lot 20) - 2,043,000 / $2,227,871 / £1,481,396
For Judit Reigl (Lot 105) - 315,000 / $343,504 / £228,409
RECORDS BY MEDIUM
For a sculpture by François Morellet (Lot 26) - 291,000 / $317,333 / £211,006