May 15 has proved to be a date that would be thoroughly remembered by Christie’s unless it juggles up another record-breaking auction sale. The international auction house has made it large at its Post-War & Contemporary evening sale, reaching the highest sale total in auction history at $495 million, even eloping its own $491.4 million marks set the Impressionist and Modern evening sale back in November 2006. Its moments imply and assure art auctioneers that with the right concoction of artists, they can go beyond breaking records. And Christie’s, as it is, has a repute to showcase on auction the most trendy and sought after pieces of art.
Christie’s had its hands full last Wednesday, accommodating bids from bidders worldwide for Abstract Expressionist, Pop & Contemporary masterpieces by artists including Pollock, Lichtenstein, Basquiat, and Rothko. The highest bid lot was a Number 19, 1948 by Pollock that sold at more than double its estimate, at $58,363,750.
“The role of provenance remained as important as ever,” as the lot from the Estate of Andy Williams and the Collection of Celeste and Armand Bartos drew $46 million and $30.2 million, respectively.
Other paintings also enjoyed high sale figures: 3 paintings sold above $40 million, 9 above $10 million, 23 above $5 million, and 59 above $1 million.