Christie's October 20th Century Week totals $387.2 million in New York
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Christie's October 20th Century Week totals $387.2 million in New York
Christie's innovates with new global auction format.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s October 20th Century Week – an innovative addition to the global sales calendar this year — realized a grand total of $387,242,500, including the Evening Sale, two Day Sales of Post-War and Contemporary Art and Impressionist and Modern Art and an online-only sale of Robert Motherwell Prints from the Dedalus Foundation.

Demonstrating continued demand in the markets for both masterpiece and core level works of art, the sales were further strengthened by Christie’s accelerated strategy of expanded digital reach and global connectivity. The series saw an increased number of registered clients engaging with Christie’s across platforms, from online to livestream, as well as a broadening demographic of bidders under the age of 40.

The geographic breakdown across evening and day sales demonstrated the strength of market demand from around the world. A wide range of lots saw competition from bidders on different three continents or more. This remained consistent throughout the week across price points, from the masterpiece level with Pablo Picasso’s Femme dans un fauteuil, which sold for $29.6 million in the Evening Sale, to core market works such as Block 21 by auction newcomer, Robert Alice, which sold for $131,250 against an estimate of $12,000-18,000 in the Post-War and Contemporary Day Sale.

Jennifer Zatorski, President, Christie’s North and South America, remarked: “This season, we re-invented the traditional auction calendar, in the spirit of innovation, agility, and best serving our clients in this current environment. Following a close analysis of the market, we chose to jumpstart the fall season with a strong offering of 20th art and objects, ultimately achieving $387,242,500 across a dynamic series of Evening, Day and online-only sales this week. A total of 346 items were sold from our redesigned New York auction room, using cutting-edge live-streaming technology to reach an exponentially larger global audience than ever before. The solid results of this past week are a testament to the continued demand for excellent works of art, and our team’s boundless creativity in reimagining auction best practices for a digital world.”

The October 6 Evening Sale paired blue chip masters, including Cy Twombly and Pablo Picasso, with STAN, one of the largest and most complete T. rex skeletons ever found, and achieved a strong result of $340,851,500.

More than 280,000 people watched the live-streamed Evening Sale, which debuted an innovative new format, featuring a newly reoriented sale room configured to optimize the at-home viewing experience. To best capture the drama and excitement of an evening sale, the auctioneer was positioned at the center of the proceedings, facing a room of socially-distanced phone bidders in New York, as well as those joining virtually from salerooms in London and Hong Kong, and clients participating via Christie’s online bidding platform. At the auctioneer’s back, was a wall-sized LED screen illustrating each lot in brilliant detail, alongside the pertinent bidding information.

The evening was further enhanced by a pre-show conversation on Christie’ between Christie’s Chairman Marc Porter, art advisor Jeffrey Deitch and Melanie Gerlis of the Financial Times, and followed by live commentary by Chairmen, Bonnie Brennan and International Head of Prints, Richard Lloyd throughout.

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