The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Christie's 20/21 Century Auctions realize combined total of $775,272,750
Christie’s auctioneer Adrien Meyer, Global Head of Private Sales, hammers down Picasso. © Christie's Images Ltd 2021.

NEW YORK, NY.- On May 13, Christie’s 20th Century Evening Sale achieved a resounding USD $481,114,000 (£342,673,789 / €397,501,595) and sold 98% by lot. On May 11, Christie’s inaugural 21st Century Evening Sale opened the highly-anticipated week by realizing USD $210,471,500 and selling 95% by lot.

Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale totaled USD $60,149,500 with 85% by lot and achieved nine new artist records. The Impressionist & Modern Works on Paper Sale totaled USD $9,807,500 with 90% sold by lot. The Impressionist & Modern Day Sale realized USD $11,162,500.

Bonnie Brennan, President, Christie’s Americas notes, “Christie’s flagship May auction series in New York more than doubled our October 2020 sales total, confirming the auction market’s resurgence this season. The global reach of our virtual saleroom drove exceptional prices for masterpieces by Basquiat and Picasso, as well as an abundance of new auction records for undervalued artists of the 20th century and a diverse group of fast-rising artists of the 21st century. An overall sell-through rate above 90% is further indication that our strong results are a reflection of both rebounding demand and bidders’ positive response to our revitalized ‘20/21’ sale context. This combination inspired greater energy and engagement from new and established collectors, leading to greater competition and higher prices in our saleroom.”

• 1,390,270 viewers from 62 countries tuned in by livestream across 11 platforms for Christie’s inaugural 20/21 week of sales. The live sales attracted international buyers with 49% from the Americas, 26% from EMEA and 25% from APAC.

• Pablo Picasso’s monumental masterpiece Femme assise près d'une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse), 1932 headlined the week, realizing USD $103,410,000 at the conclusion of an exhilarating 20-minute bidding battle.

• Picasso’s masterpiece marks the first time an artwork has broken the $100 million milestone at auction since spring 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic began, and re-calibrates the list of the top five auction prices ever achieved for the prolific modern master.

• Together with the exceptional USD $93,105,000 price achieved for Jean-Michel Basquiat’s In This Case on May 11 at Christie’s, the two prices indicate a marked resurgence of the auction market for the first half of 2021.

• Christie’s further established its position as a leader in the world of NFTs following the sale of nine Cryptopunks from Larva Labs, realizing USD $16,962,500.

• 24 new auction records set, including a strong showing for women artists of Abstract Expressionism.

• The Masterpiece market was exceptionally strong throughout the 20th Century Evening Sale with the second highest lot of the night, Claude Monet’s Waterloo Bridge, effet de brouillard, achieving USD $48,450,000.

• The innovative new sales format made auction house history earlier this year, when it replaced traditional Impressionist and Modern Art and Post-War and Contemporary Art nomenclatures in response to shifts in collecting habits and a demand for new art.

• In a unique and innovative partnership with Brioni and Microsoft, the 20/21 sales invited a virtual audience into the saleroom for the first time ever, by allowing guests of Christie’s ‘virtual skybox’ to be visible on the livestreams. An immersive livestream camera offered a dynamic 360-degree view of the saleroom.

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