The Contemporary Art Evening Auction realised a final total of £69,461,000. The sale was led by Lucian Freud’s tender portrait of his lover Bernadine Coverley, pregnant at the time with their daughter Bella. The 1960-61 work was pursued by six bidders and sold for £16.1 million, more than £9 million above the pre-sale low estimate and a new record for an early painting by the artist.
New auction records were also established for Alberto Burri and Adrian Ghenie. The former’s 1959 work Sacco e Rosso achieved £9.1 million, almost twice the previous record established in 2014. Adrain Ghenie’s colossal Van-Gogh-inspired Sunflowers in 1937 soared above its pre-sale estimate of £400,000-600,000 selling for £3.1 million.
Alex Branczik, Head of Contemporary Art London, commented after the sale:
“Tonight we saw a confident art market, punctuated by some real high-points and a depth of bidding. There was much debate about the market ahead of the sale, but in spite of the broader economy, tonight proved that collectors will always compete for works of outstanding quality and rarity.”
This February Sotheby's will present a selection of exceptional post-war and contemporary art masterpieces including outstanding works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, a rarely seen silver Electric Chair by Andy Warhol, and a vivacious landscape from Frank Auerbach's enigmatic corpus of Primrose Hill paintings. Fresh from Alberto Burri's critically acclaimed retrospective at the Guggenheim, the auction is punctuated by Burri's standout masterpiece Sacco e Rosso from circa 1959. This sale is also led by the extraordinarily beautiful portrait of Bernadine Coverley, Pregnant Girl, painted by the iconic British artist Lucian Freud in 1960-61. Other highlights include outstanding works by Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Adrian Ghenie, Ed Ruscha and Christopher Wool.
Admission to the sale is by ticket only. Please call +44 (0)20 7293 5891 or email CONTEMPORARY.TICKETS@SOTHEBYS.COM for further information.
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|Lot Number||Saleroom Notice|
|17||Please note that the provenance should be: Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London John F. Parks, London Sotheby's, London, British Impressionist and Post-Impressionist and Modern Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, 25 May 1983, Lot 216 Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London Acquired from the above by the present owner in September 1983 And not as stated in the printed catalogue.|
|25||This Lot has been withdrawn from the sale.|
|36||Please note that this lot is subject to a guaranteed minimum price and an irrevocable bid. Please refer to the printed catalogue for information on guaranteed property and irrevocable bids.|
|41||This Lot has been withdrawn from the sale.|
|42||Please note that this work is signed and numbered 3/8 on the right hand panel and that the medium should read 'gelatin silver print on Alu Dibond, in three parts'.|
|44||Please note that the provenance should be: Regen Projects, Los Angeles Private Collection, United Kingdom Gagosian Gallery, London Acquired from the above by the present owner and not as stated in the printed catalogue.|
|45||This Lot has been withdrawn from the sale.|
|48||Please note that this lot is subject to a guaranteed minimum price and an irrevocable bid. Please refer to the printed catalogue for information on guaranteed property and irrevocable bids. Please also note that the work is signed, titled and dated in Japanese on the reverse, and the provenance should read: Collection of the artist Private Collection, Japan Art U Gallery, Osaka Private Collection, New York Mnuchin Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner And not as stated in the printed catalogue.|
|57||This lot should have a double dagger symbol in the printed catalogue. The item will be sold under the 'Temporary Importation Arrangement' and import VAT will be charged at 5% on the hammer price, although in appropriate circumstances the VAT may be cancelled or refunded. Please refer to the printed catalogue for further VAT information.|
|59||This Lot has been withdrawn from the sale.|
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