Press Release

Sotheby’s Live-Streamed Sales of Contemporary and Impressionist & Modern Art Bring $283.9 Million

By Sotheby's

Sotheby’s Live-Streamed Sales of Contemporary and Impressionist & Modern Art Bring $283.9 Million

Two Marquee Evening Auctions Are an Exceptional 97.4% Sold by Lot
Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale is 100% Sold

Nearly 1 Million Viewers Stream Live Across, Social Media and Broadcast Television

Sotheby’s October Evening Sales of Contemporary and Impressionist & Modern Art Exceed $500 Million Worldwide

Following the Private Sales of Two Alberto Giacometti Femmes This Week,
Tonight’s Auctions Are Led by His Femme Leoni,
Sold for $25.9 Million

From the Collection of the Late Enrico Navarra,
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Black and Jazz Together Total $15.1 Million

The Renowned Alfa Romeo B.A.T. Concept Cars, An Automotive Masterpiece in Three Parts Sell Together as One Lot for $14.8 Million

10-Minute Bidding Battles for:
Giorgio de Chirico’s Metaphysical Masterpiece Il Pomeriggio di Arianna (Ariadne's Afternoon), Sold for $15.9 Million
*New World Auction Record for the Artist*
A Highly Important and Unique Dining Table by Carlo Mollino, Sold for $6.2 Million
*New World Auction Record for the Artist + Any Work of Italian Design*

Sotheby’s New York
28 October 2020 Evening Auctions

97.4% Sold by Lot
Evening Estimate: $239.2/344.3 Million

In a continuation of the strong results for outstanding examples of Surrealism established in our June 2020 sales, 10 works sold in tonight’s 12 Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale achieved $52.3 million

Works from notable private collectors – such as Sandra Moss, Enrico Navarra, Ambassador and Mrs. Felix Rohatyn, and Ezra and Cecile Zilkha – also brought strong prices, with 14 lots sold across both Evening Sales achieving a combined $41.1 million.

Download Press Images


A Post-War Alfa Romeo | Banksy/Hirst Collaboration Giorgio de Chirico | Carlo Mollino


Auction Total: $141.1 MillionSale Estimate $111.0/160.0 Million
100% Sold by Lot

The Evening Sale was led by a prime example of Alberto Giacometti’s towering female sculptures: Femme Leoni from 1947, which realized $25.9 million after 5-minute bidding battle between Hong Kong and New York. It was also the top price for any piece of sculpture in tonight’s sale, with 5 sold works achieving a combined $30.4 million.
         ○ Femme Leoni is one of the first tall, static female sculptures that would come to symbolize Giacometti’s work for the remainder of his life ○ Peggy Guggenheim commissioned the first bronze cast, after seeing the plaster of the work in Giacometti’s studio in the fall of 1957. The plaster was first exhibited in Bern in 1956.
         ○ 1947 was the same year that Guggenheim moved into the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni in Venice, now the home of her eponymous museum. Giacometti titled the work in honor of its new home
         ○ At the start of tonight’s Evening Sale, it was announced that Lot 111 Femme de Venise IV by Alberto Giacometti, was sold earlier via a private sale
         ○ Femme de Venise IV is number four of Giacometti's celebrated series of nine standing female nudes, collectively known as the Femmes de Venise. These standing women are perhaps Giacometti's best-known works, regarded by many as his most significant contribution to 20th-century art. ○ Additionally, the spectacular Grande Femme I, a monumental, nine-foot sculpture by Giacometti, offered for sale in a sealed-bid private sale that was announced last week, has also sold.

The four sold works by René Magritte in tonight’s sale were led by L’Ovation from 1962, which brought $14.1 million in its auction debut
         ○ The large scale masterpiece is one of the best works by Magritte and perfectly exemplifies his unique style
         ○ It unites two of Magritte’s most important motifs: the clouds and the curtain set against an immense seascape. Through images of curtains Magritte presents a juxtaposition of opposites.
         ○ The canvas once belonged to Jean & Dominique de Menil and Alexander Iolas, and has remained in a private collection since 1985.
         ○ Additionally, Rêverie de Monsieur James from 1943 achieved $5.1 million. Inspired by Surrealist patron Edward James, this lyrical canvas is unique within Magritte’s oeuvre as the only oil painting to combine the hand and flower in this way.
         ○ It was on offer from the collection of actress, philanthropist and art collector, Sandra Moss.
                  ■ Another work from the Moss Collection, Fernando Botero’s monumental Los Amantes from 1970 sold for $1.1 million. Sotheby’s will offer additional works from the Moss Collection in 2020 and 2021

One of the finest flower paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, Fleurs dans un verre realized $16.2 million.
         ○ Painted in June 1890, shortly after Van Gogh arrived in Auvers, it is one of approximately 70 canvases he painted just days before his death.
         ○ The painting captures Van Gogh at the height of his artistic powers
         ○ The artist produced several masterpieces during this period at Auvers, including his famous portrait of Dr. Gachet
         ○ The painting was recovered from the Gallery Fischer in Lucerne in 1946 and was restituted to the family of Alfred Lindon shortly thereafter. From 1963 until 1998 the work formed a part of the famed Reader’s Digest Collection. It had been in the same private collection for over 20 years.

On offer from the same private collection, Giorgio de Chirico’s Il Pomeriggio di Arianna (Ariadne's Afternoon) set a new auction record for the artist when it sold for $15.9 million, after a 9-minute bidding battle between two collectors. Just one lot later, Man Ray’s Black Widow (Nativity) brought the second-highest auction price for the artist, achieving $5.8 million.
         ○ From the pivotal year of 1913, Il Pomeriggio di Arianna (Ariadne's Afternoon) is one of the finest metaphysical paintings by de Chirico remaining in private hands
         ○ It is 1 of only 8 canvases that comprise his earliest painted series and the genesis of his celebrated metaphysical style
         ○ Of these 8 canvases, dating between 1912 and 1913, 5 reside in museum collections, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, with only 3, including this work, remaining private collections. This work is distinguished from others in group by its striking large-scale format.
         ○ De Chirico’s previous auction record was $14.1 million, set in 2009 for Il ritornante circa 1918 from the YSL and Pierre Bergé Collection
         ○ Painted in 1915, Black Widow (Nativity) was the largest and most groundbreaking work that Man Ray had ever painted, and remained in his collection until 1953
         ○ An iconic canvas within his oeuvre and a significant example of Abstraction, the work shows a crucial step in Ray’s development of his style of painting on a flat, planar surface, while advancing the tradition of working on a monumental scale.
         ○ It is the most important painting by the artist to appear at auction since the 1979 sale of Observatory Time: The Lovers from the collection of Edward James.
         ○ Ray’s previous auction record was $5.9 million, set by Sotheby’s in 2013 for Promenade from 1916

5 works by Pablo Picasso in tonight’s sale were 100% sold, together achieving $9.2 million
         ○ The group was led by Tête de femme from 1958, which brougth $2.4 million. Inspired by Picasso’s wife, Jacqueline Roque, the work on paper is a striking example of Picasso’s working method.

Works by artists traditionally offered in our American Art sales also brought strong prices:
         ○ Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jonquils I from 1936 sold for $4 million. In the artist’s collection until her death in 1986, the painting showcases O’Keeffe’s newfound confidence and independence following her nervous breakdown in 1933, brought on by her deteriorating relationship with husband, Alfred Stieglitz, and the pressures of a commission for Rockefeller Center.
         ○ Mary Cassatt’s The Sun Bath, With Three Figures from 1898-99 achieved $4.4 million. Cassatt explored the relationship between mother and child for over three decades of her career, and works of this subject have come to define her oeuvre.

Works on offer from the Brooklyn Museum were 100% sold, together totaling $7.2 million
         ○ The group was led by Claude Monet’s Les Îles à Port-Villez from 1897, which realized $4.6 million.
         ○ The work comes from a group of six related canvases focusing on a cluster of tidal islands which formed where the Seine and Epte rivers met. Of these 6 canvases, the present work and 1 other are by far the largest and take a broader view of the scene.
         ○ The Museum’s proceeds from Sotheby’s sales will be used to establish a Collection Care Fund to support caring for the institution's world class collections. Creating a direct care fund will help offset the vastly growing expenses of collection care and stabilize collection care efforts in times of economic downturn.


Auction Total: $142.8 Million
Sale Estimate: $128.2/184.3 Million
95.1% Sold by Lot

On offer from the collection of Enrico Navarra, a pair of works by Jean-Michel Basquiat from the pivotal final years of the artist’s extraordinary life and artistic practice together totaled $15.1 million, following six-minute bidding battles for each work - Black reached $8.1 million, and Jazz fetched $6.9 million
         ○ Enrico Navarra was the artist’s great champion, gallerist and editor of the celebrated monograph on the artist’s work
         ○ Underscoring their importance, the works are illustrated on the case of Navarra’s celebrated monograph on the artist

Offered for the first time ever at auction as a united trio and in partnership with RM Sotheby’s, the Alfa Romeo Berlina Aerodinamica Tecnica Concepts aka the B.A.T. 5, 7 & 9d sold for $14.8 million - setting a new world auction record for any post-war Alfa Romeo
                  ■ Regarded by many as the seminal vehicle designs of the 20th century and the most famous series of concept vehicles ever produced, the B.A.T.s feature pioneering design engineering and advanced aerodynamics
                  ■ They are each one of one and were designed by Franco Scaglione and executed by      ○ Carrozzeria Bertone for the Turin auto salons across 1953, 1954 and 1955
         ○ This is the second time a car has been offered at Sotheby’s in the context of a contemporary art evening auction, following the sale of the Schumacher Ferrari for $7.5 million in November 2017

Works offered on behalf of the Brooklyn Museum were 100% sold, totaling $12.6 million. Following a 10-minute bidding battle, the selection was led by a highly important and unique Dining Table by Carlo Mollino that soared to $6.2 million - more than double its $3 million high estimate, setting a world auction record for the artist and record for any work of Italian design.
                   ■ Two works by Jean Dubuffet executed at the height of the artist’s career together achieved $6.5 million - Le Messager - one of the most accomplished personnages from the artist’s esteemed Paris Circus series - sold for $3.3 million; Rue Tournique Bourlique from 1963 realized $3.2 million
                  ■ Proceeds will be used to establish a Collection Care Fund to support caring for the institution’s collection
         ○ Helen Frankenthaler’s monumental canvas Carousel achieved $4.7 million, on offer on behalf of the Palm Springs Art Museum, and sold to support the care of Collections and the Steve Chase Fund for Acquisitions

Works by Living Artists brought strong prices throughout the auction:
         ○ Jordan Casteel’s large-scale Barbershop opened the sale, achieving $564,500 - the second highest price for the artist at auction. The work was produced in 2015, just prior to the beginning of her tenure as an artist in residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem
         ○ Dating from 1968, just two years before Frank Stella became the subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Untitled fetched $8.1 million
         ○ Ahead of Wayne Thiebaud’s 100th birthday this November, his Girl in the Striped Blouse sold for $927,500
         ○ Sorry, the Lifestyle You Ordered is Currently Out of Stock by Banksy/Damien Hirst sold for $2.3 million - only the second Banksy/Hirst collaboration to ever appear at auction, setting a new world auction record for a work by the iconic British artists

In addition to the Mollino table, a strong selection of sculpture highlighted the sale:
         ○ In a bidding battle between New York, London and Hong Kong, Alexander Calder’s Sumac 17 from 1955 realized $8.3 million
         ○ Tom Otterness’s monumental Crying Giant reached $1.2 million
         ○ Ruth Asawa’s remarkable hanging sculpture Untitled achieved $4.3 million

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

More from Sotheby's