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The top price of the evening was for Peter Doig’s spellbinding snow scene Cobourg 3 + 1 More, which saw determined bidding in the saleroom and on the phone and sold for £12,709,000 / $15,530,398 / €14,640,768. © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

LONDON.- The Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction continued the confidence that launched the season, totalling £96,384,000 / $117,781,248 / € 111,034,368, a 65% increase on last February’s equivalent total, with strong sell-through rates of 95% by lot and 98% by value. The top price of the evening was for Peter Doig’s spellbinding snow scene Cobourg 3 + 1 More, which saw determined bidding in the saleroom and on the phone and sold for £12,709,000 / $15,530,398 / €14,640,768. Another highlight Mark Rothko’s No. 1 (1949), realised a price of £10,693,000 / $13,066,846 / €12,318,336 demonstrating that American artists were a particular draw for collectors. This was echoed with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Self Portrait, from the collection of U2’s Adam Clayton, selling for £2,225,000 / $2,718,950 / €2,563,200, and Basquiat’s Alpha Particles (£3,973,000 / $4,855,006 / €4,576,896, both emphasising international demand for the artist ahead of his first UK retrospective at the Barbican later this year. The appeal of contemporary European masters was demonstrated by Jean Dubuffet’s painting Être et paraître (To Be and to Seem), achieving £10,021,000 / $12,245,662 / €11,544,192, while his work on paper Deux Arabes gesticulant (Two gesticulating Arabs) set a world record at auction for the medium of £1,109,000 / $1,353,198 / €1,277,568. The total to date for 20th Century at Christie’s is £258,313,636 / £318,704,602 / £300,478,142. 

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Peter Doig, Cobourg 3 + 1 More, 1994. Oil on canvas. 78½ x 98⅜ in (200 x 250 cm). Sold for £12,709,000 in the Post War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 7 March at Christie’s London © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

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Mark Rothko (1903-1970), No. 1 (1949), signed and dated ‘MARK ROTHKO 1949’ (on the reverse), oil on canvas, 78¼ x 38¾in. (198.8 x 98.4cm.) Painted in 1949. Price realised GBP 10,693,000 (USD 13,066,846) © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

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Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), Être et paraître (To Be and to Seem), signed and dated ‘1963 J. Dubuffet’ (lower left); signed again, titled and dated again “Être et paraitre J. Dubuffet juillet 63’ (on the reverse), oil on canvas, 59 x 76¾in. (150 x 195cm.) Painted in 1963. Price realised GBP 10,021,000 (USD 12,245,662) © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

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Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), Deux Arabes gesticulant (Two gesticulating Arabs), signed ‘J. Dubuffet’ (upper centre), distemper on paper, 12 5/8x 15¾in. (32.1 x 40cm.) Executed in January-April 1948. Price realised GBP 1,109,000 (USD 1,355,198) © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

"The exceptional sell-through rates of 95% by lot and 98% by value demonstrate that Christie’s is able to anticipate and meet the demands of the market today. The prices achieved for American artists demonstrate that they are a significant force and London is an international platform, with top prices achieved for Carl Andre, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alexander Calder, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko and Andy Warhol. Jean Dubuffet was another major highlight selling above estimate. The evening opened with record prices at auction for Wolfgang Tillmans, currently the subject of a celebrated retrospective at Tate Modern, quickly followed by records for Cecily Brown, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Henry Taylor, Albert Oehlen, Carol Rama and Günther Uecker.” --Edmond Francey, Head of Department, Post-War and Contemporary Art, London.

World auction records were set for seven artists including Njideka Akunyili Crosby, whose painting The Beautyful Ones achieved £2,517,000 / $3,075,774 / €2,899,584, over four times its high estimate of £600,000 / $750,000 / €700,000, Albert Oehlen’s Selbstporträt mit Palette (Self-portrait with Palette) which sold for £2,965,000 / $3,623,230 / €3,415,680, Cecily Brown’s triptych The Sick Leaves (£1,805,000 / $2,205,710 / €2,079,360), Günther Uecker’s Spirale I and Spirale II (£2,629,000 / $3,212,638 / €3,028,608), Carol Rama’s Bricolage (£185,000 / $226,070 / €213,120), Henry Taylor’s Terri Philips (£149,000 / $182,078 / € 171,648). 

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Njideka Akunyili Crosby (b. 1983), The Beautyful Ones, signed and dated ‘Akunyili 2012’ (lower left), acrylic, pastel, colour pencil and Xerox transfer on paper, 95 5/8 x 66 7/8in. (243 x 170cm.) Executed in 2012. Price realised GBP 2,517,000 (USD 3,075,774) © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

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Albert Oehlen (b. 1954), Selbstporträt mit Palette (Self-portrait with Palette), signed, titled and dated 'A. Oehlen, Selbstportrait mit Palette, 02/05' (on the reverse), oil on board, 65 3/8 x 42 1/8in. (166.5 x 107cm.) Painted in 2005. Price realised GBP 2,965,000 (USD 3,623,230) © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

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Cecily Brown (b. 1969), The Sick Leaves, (i) signed numbered and dated ' Cecily Brown 2009-11 1 of 3' (on the reverse); (ii) signed numbered and dated ' Cecily Brown 2009-11 2 of 3' (on the reverse); (iii) signed numbered and dated ' Cecily Brown 2009-11 3 of 3' (on the reverse), oil on linen, in three parts, overall: 103 x 249¼in. (261.6 x 633cm.), each: 103 x 83 1/8in. (261.6 x 211cm.) Painted in 2009-2011. Price realised GBP 1,805,000 (USD 2,205,710) © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

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Gunther Uecker (b. 1930), Spirale I, Spirale II (Doppelspirale); (i) signed, titled and dated ‘SPIRALE I Uecker ‘97’ (on the reverse); (ii) signed, titled and dated ‘SPIRALE II Uecker ‘97’ (on the reverse); (iii) signed, titled and dated 'Doppelspirale 1997 Uecker' (lower centre), nails and latex paint on canvas laid down on wood, in two parts, accompanied by an artist's architectural drawing; (i) (ii), each: 78¾ x 78¾in. (200 x 200cm.); (iii) 31½ x 78¾in. (80 x 200cm.) Executed in 1997. Price realised GBP 2,629,000 (USD 3,212,638) © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

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Carol Rama (1918-2015), Bricolage, signed and dated 'Carol rama 1967' (lower left), mixed media on masonite, 22¾ x 29 3/8in. (58 x 74.4cm.) Executed in 1967. Price realised GBP 185,000 (USD 226,070) © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

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Henry Taylor (b. 1958), Terri Philips, signed, titled and dated 'Henry Taylor May 3, 2011 Terri Philips' (on the reverse), acrylic and collage on canvas, 93¾ x 76½in. (238 x 194.2cm.) Executed in 2011. Price realised GBP 149,000 (USD 182,078) © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

 

The evening opened with a fast pace that set the tone for the rest of the auction, Wolfgang Tillman’s groundbreaking Freischwimmer 186, which sold for more than double its estimate to realise £269,000 / $328,718 / €309,888, a world record price at auction for the artist. Another highlight was the joint record for Joan Miró and Josep Llorens Artigas’s Vase, which achieved over five times its low estimate at £785,000 / $959,270 / €904,320. Additional highlights from the evening included Thomas Schütte’s Stahlfrau No. 6 (Steel Woman, No. 6) sold for £2,629,000 / $3,212,638 / €3,028,608 and Neo Rauch’s record for a work on paper (£353,000 / $431,366 / €406,656).

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Wolfgang Tillmans (B. 1968), Freischwimmer 186, signed and numbered 'Wolfgang Tillmans 1/1+1' (on a label affixed to the reverse), c-print in artist's frame, image: 66 7/8 x 84 1/8in. (170.6 x 213.6cm.), overall: 71 3/8 x 88 1/8in.(181 x 223.8cm.) Executed in 2011, this work is number from an edition of one plus one artist's proof. Price realised GBP 269,000 (USD 328,718). World record price at auction for the artist © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

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Joan Miro (1893-1983) and Josep Llorens Artigas (1892-1980), Vase, partially painted and glazed earthenware vase, height: 13½in. (34.6cm.) Executed in 1941-1944, this vase is unique. Price realised GBP 785,000 (USD 959,270© Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

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Thomas Schütte (B. 1954), Stahlfrau No. 6 (Steel Woman, No. 6) , stamped and dated 'SCHUTTE 2003' (lower left of the figure), steel, 65 x 98 3/8 x 60 5/8in. (165 x 250 x 154cm.) Executed in 2003. Price realised GBP 2,629,000 (USD 3,212,638© Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

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Neo Rauch (b. 1960), Nerv, signed, titled and dated 'NERV RAUCH 01' (lower right), oil on paper, 97 5/8 x 78in. (248 x 198cm.) Executed in 2001. Price realised GBP 353,000 (USD 431,366© Christie’s Images Limited 2017.