Our Evening Auction realised £130.4m ($204.7m / €183.9m), Sotheby’s highest-ever total for a sale of Contemporary Art in Europe. Warhol’s Painting of a One Dollar Bill sold for £20.9m, the highest price for any work sold in London this week.
Two newly discovered works by Francis Bacon made £30 million. Four Eggs on a Plate, a present from Lucian Freud to the Late Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, made almost £1 million - ten times its low estimate, and £250,000 per egg.
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Art in London, said “We reached new heights at Sotheby’s tonight with the highest total we’ve ever achieved for Contemporary Art in London. Bidders from across the globe were drawn to Warhol works that ripped up the rule book for 20th-century art; rediscovered Francis Bacon gems; and some of the greatest works by British artists of the last 70 years. Tonight’s achievements affirm the pivotal position of London within the international art market.”
The Contemporary Art Evening Auction this July is headlined by masterpieces by Francis Bacon: a rare work from his iconic Pope series and two re-discovered self-portraits. Other highlights include a magnificent abstract painting by Gerhard Richter, one of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s renowned sports figure paintings, an imposing IKB monochrome by Yves Klein, an impressive ten-cut Concetto Spaziale, Attese in red by Lucio Fontana and Peter Doig’s seminal workPelican from 2004. This extraordinary sale is punctuated by a group of exceptionally rare masterworks by Andy Warhol, which chart his career in terms of the artist’s iconic obsession with the American dollar. Finally, alongside Francis Bacon, works by Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff and R.B Kitaj champion the School of London.
Please note that from Friday 19 until Wednesday 24 June only a selection of highlights will be on view in our London galleries.
Please not that this work is not signed, not dated on the reverse and not included in Heiner Bastian, Cy Twombly: Zeichnungen 1953-1973, Frankfurt 1973, n.p., no. 35, illustrated in colour. Please also note that the medium should read crayon, pen and and pencil on paper and not as stated in the printed catalogue.
Please note that this work is registered with the Associazione Paolo Scheggi, Milan under the number APSM134/001.
Please note that this work was acquired in 1998 and not as stated in the printed catalogue.
This Lot has been withdrawn from the sale.
Please note that this is work is not signed and dated by the artist and is not framed in an artist's frame. The correct orientation of this work is also vertical and not horizontal as in the printed catalogue as confirmed by the Archivio Manzoni, Milan.
Please note that the dimensions for this work should read 50.2 by 56.2cm.; 19 3/4 by 22 1/8 in. and not as stated in the printed catalogue.