With a total of €28.4 million, Sotheby's Paris beat the record for any auction in France. The evening session achieved €24.1 million, with 94% of lots sold; it was followed by the day session totalling €4.2 million.
The auction’s highlight was the sale of two masterpieces by Zao Wou-Ki, the blue lagoon painting 5.5.60 which exceeded its high estimate at €2,723,000, and the golden yellow painting 1.5.60 which totalled €3.843 million, establishing a new record for the artist in France. Other acclaimed masterpieces were Simon Hantaï’s vibrant Mariale (M.C.5), which sold for €2,555,000 and equalised the international record for the artist that was achieved in December 2013 at Sotheby's Paris. Jean Dubuffet’s works stimulated bidding battles. His L’Homme au Plastron Bleuwas sold for €1,563,000, whilst Nomade aux traces de pas dans le sable reached €2,163,000, representing the highest price for the artist since 1990. Two other French records were achieved for the artists Lee Ufan with From Line (€579, 000) and for On Kawara with July 5 (€387,000).
Two spectacular and unknown paintings by Zao Wou-Ki, rediscovered and reunited for the first time since 1960, set the tone for this sale of extraordinary moments in recent art history. The auction will feature a dazzling array of works by the most important French and international post-war artists, including the seminal M.C.5 (Mariale) by Simon Hantaï, a vivid composition by Basquiat and a 1953 black standing mobile by Calder. An important selection of conceptual and minimalist works and paintings from the distinguished Jerome H. Stone Collection are among the highlights of the sale