Sotheby's first live streamed Contemporary Art Evening Sale in Asia achieves US$88 million
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Sotheby's first live streamed Contemporary Art Evening Sale in Asia achieves US$88 million
The sale was led by Gerhard Richter’s fresh-to-auction Abstraktes Bild (649-2), which attracted a 10-minute bidding war. Courtesy Sotheby's.

HONG KONG.- Tonight in Hong Kong, Sotheby’s sale of Contemporary Art realised HK$684,106,000 / US$88,201,787, the highest ever total for a various-owner sale in this category staged at Sotheby’s Asia. Live-streamed to the world from Hong Kong, the sale was 92% sold by lot.

This season, the Contemporary Art Evening Sale adopts Sotheby’s pioneering live-streaming auction format – a first in Asia - with Hong Kong-based auctioneer Ian McGinlay taking bids from specialists on phone banks in real time in New York, Hong Kong and London, creating a truly global auction experience as Hong Kong reaches new heights as a global platform for Asian and Western contemporary art.

The sale was led by Gerhard Richter’s fresh-to-auction Abstraktes Bild (649-2), which attracted a 10-minute bidding war. The winning bid came from the Pola Museum of Art in Hakone, Japan at HK$214,631,000 / US$29,283,854, achieving the highest price for any Western artwork sold at auction in Asia.

“2020 has been a year of change and resilience. Debuting the first live streamed auction in New York in June was a defining moment in Sotheby’s history, and tonight we made history again, adopting the pioneering format for the first time in Asia. Tonight’s star lot was Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bilder (649-2), which sold for the highest price ever achieved for any Western artwork sold at auction in Asia. We are thrilled to announce that the outstanding piece has found a new home at the Pola Museum of Art in Hakone, Japan, one of the most prestigious private museums in Asia. We are furthermore extremely delighted to have witnessed intense bidding from our London and New York phone banks for tonight’s Asian highlights across the board, reflecting global interest and commitment in the genre which will drive Asia’s artistic talents to new heights.” --Yuki Terase, Head of Contemporary Art, Sotheby’s Asia

• Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (649-2) becomes the highest priced Western artwork sold at auction in Asia. Sotheby’s now holds the top 4 prices, with Richter’s painting followed by KAWS’s THE KAWS ALBUM, David Hockney’s 30 Sunflowers and Andy Warhol’s Mao

• Adrian Ghenie’s Lidless Eye achieves HK$54,920,000 / US$7,481,528, the second highest price ever achieved for the artist at auction

• Debuts of major works in Asia by Marlene Dumas and Francis Bacon

• Zhang Xiaogang’s The Dark Trilogy: Fear, Meditation, Sorrow leads the offerings from “The First Avant-Garde: Masterworks from the Johnson Chang Collection”, eclipsing its high estimate to realise HK$54,920,000 / US$7,481,528 (est. HK$25-45 million)

• From the collection of Natalie Chan Chu and Lawrence Chu, Firenze Lai’s The Colleagues sold for HK$3,024,000 / US$410,790 (est. HK$900,000 – 1.2 million), achieving a new auction record for the artist. A portion of the sale proceeds will benefit the Chu Foundation, an independent not-for-profit entity founded by the Chu’s with a mission to empower human potential through art and education

• Firenze Lai, The Colleagues
Sold Price: HK$3,024,000 / US$410,790

• Cui Jie, Daughter of the Sea
Sold Price: HK$441,000 / US$59,907

• Hilary Pecis, Matt’s Collection
Sold Price: HK$529,000 / US$71,888

*Artist auction debut

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