In the past two years, the top price segment in particular, with plants above the ten million dollar mark, has seen a sharp decline.
This was mainly due to difficulties with supplies.
The upcoming New York auction week of modern, post-war and contemporaries at Christie's and Sotheby's could suggest a recovery.
Christie's has seventeen works on offer in its two evening auctions at top estimates of ten million dollars or more;
there are just as many at Sotheby's.
Often they come from estates, which sometimes forces a quick sale.
The new Christie's format, the “21st Century Evening Sale”, is expected to fetch more than $ 145 million with 39 tickets on May 11th. The “20th Century Evening Sale” with art from 1880 on comprises 51 lots with a total lower price of 350 million dollars. At Sotheby's, the traditional Contemporary Art Evening Auction is offering 34 lots, which are expected to fetch between $ 150.1 million and $ 209.3 million. The separate auction with works from the estate of the Texas collector Anne Windfohr Marion, who died in February, is to contribute a further 132.8 to 190.2 million with eighteen contemporary lots; including works by Clyfford Still, Richard Diebenkorn and Andy Warhol with price tags of more than twenty million dollars each.For the "Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale", Sotheby's is hoping for total proceeds of between $ 169 and 222.8 million for 34 lots.
Monet and Picasso go into action at both companies as the pinnacles of modernity: Sotheby's has a late painting of Monet's water lilies, inspired by his garden in Giverny. Such pictures fetch top prices; for “Le Bassin aux Nymphéas” forty million dollars are expected “in excess of”. The consignor bought it seventeen years ago from Sotheby's for $ 16.8 million, the estimate at that time was nine million. The Monet at Christie's is a blue-misty view of the Thames, "Waterloo Bridge, effet de brouillard", completed in 1903 and with an expectation of $ 35 million. Now to the Picassos: Here Christie's leads with a monumental portrait of the young Marie-Thérèse Walter, who inspired his most sought-after works today; "Femme Assise Près d'une Fenêtre", with an expectation of 55 million dollars,was created in 1932 and was once owned by Marina Picasso. The picture last changed hands in February 2013 at Sotheby's in London for 28.6 million pounds including buyer's premium (at that time the equivalent of 44.8 million dollars); In 1997 it achieved a hammer price of $ 6.8 million at Christie's in New York. At Christie's, Dora Maar also appeared as “Femme dans un fauteuil” (estimate 15/20 million) from 1941. Twelve years later, Picasso's “Femme assise en costume vert” (14/18 million), a portrait of Françoise Gilot, was part of Sotheby's.Raised $ 8 million. At Christie's, Dora Maar also appeared as “Femme dans un fauteuil” (estimate 15/20 million) from 1941. Twelve years later, Picasso's “Femme assise en costume vert” (14/18 million), a portrait of Françoise Gilot, was part of Sotheby's.Raised $ 8 million. At Christie's, Dora Maar also appeared as “Femme dans un fauteuil” (estimate 15/20 million) from 1941. Twelve years later, Picasso's “Femme assise en costume vert” (14/18 million), a portrait of Françoise Gilot, was part of Sotheby's.
The highlights at Sotheby's also include Modigliani's brilliant “Jeune fille assise, les cheveux dénoués (Jeune fille en bleu)” from around 1919 (15/20 million), consigned from a Swiss collection, and four impressionists from a private collection not mentioned in the catalog. It is said that they come from the property of the American philanthropist Tristram Colket, who died last year and heir to the Campbell Soup estate. These include two Monets and Cézanne's exquisite “Nature morte pommes et poires” (25/35 million), painted in 1888/90; Colket bought the painting from Sotheby's in 2003 for $ 8.7 million including buyer's premium. The fourth lot is a “Danseuse” by Degas (10/15 million), formerly in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which Sotheby's brokered to Colket in 2003 for $ 10.6 million.Egon Schiele's “Crouching Female Nude” (2.5 / 3.5 million) has only just been returned to the heirs of the Viennese dentist Heinrich Rieger by the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, where it has been located since 1976; now it operates at Sotheby's.
Other twentieth-century peaks at Christie's include an “Untitled” redhead in blue and green (around 40 million) and Piet Mondrian's “Composition: No. II, With Yellow, Red and Blue ”from 1927 (around 25 million). The consignor bought this abstract masterpiece from Sotheby's in 1993 for $ 882,500.
Among the contemporaries, two paintings by Jean Michel Basquiat compete for the top position of the week: Christie's is offering “In This Case” from 1983, a large skull on a red background, for which more than fifty million dollars are to be offered; only two of Basquiat's works have so far fetched auction prices over fifty million dollars. The picture probably comes from the collection of Giancarlo Giammetti, the co-founder of the Italian fashion house Valentino. “In This Case” was exhibited in the Basquiat retrospective at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris in 2018, where it hung next to a skull from the Broad Museum in Los Angeles and the blue skull that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa won for the 2017 record price of Bought 110.5 million dollars. The following evening Sotheby's brings Basquiats 214 centimeters high,market-fresh painting “Versus Medici” from 1982 for the first time under the hammer; the expectation is $ 35 to fifty million dollars. It was created shortly after the young New Yorker's stay in Italy, for whom the Galleria d'Arte Emilio Mazzoli in Modena held exhibitions in 1981 and 1982. Four of the five highest prices for Basquiat were for works dating from 1982.
The third most expensive lot at Christie's comes from Martin Kippenberger: "Martin, get into the corner and be ashamed" is a life-size self-portrait with shirt and trousers carved out of wood, valued at ten to fifteen million dollars. It was submitted by a collector who bought it from Galerie Max Hetzler in Cologne in 1989 and is one of six unique items that vary the same motif. An aluminum version can be seen in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.