Skip to content

$81.9 Million Warhol of Elvis Tops Christie’s Record Breaking $852.8 Million Contemporary Art Sale

November 12, 2014

Lot 9. Andy Warhol (1928-1987) Triple Elvis [Ferus Type] signed, titled and dated 'elvis Andy Warhol 63' (on the reverse) silkscreen ink and silver paint on linen 82 x 69 in. (208.3 x 175.3 cm.) Painted in 1963. Estimate: approximately $65 million. Click on image to enlarge.

Lot 9. Andy Warhol (1928-1987) Triple Elvis [Ferus Type]
signed, titled and dated ‘elvis Andy Warhol 63’ (on the reverse)
silkscreen ink and silver paint on linen: 82 x 69 in. (208.3 x 175.3 cm.)
Painted in 1963.
Estimate: approximately $60 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $73 million ($81,925,000 with fees).
Click on image to enlarge.

After Monday’s amuse-bouche (Sotheby’s Mellon sale), and last night’s tepid starter (Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Sale), the art world was ready for the main course at Christie’s, a hot heaping buffet of Warhols, Wools, de Koonings, Richters, Twomblys, Rymans, Cornells, and more estimated to yield in excess of $600 million.  The total of $852,887,000 blew away Christie’s May 13, 2014 record breaking sale in New York that hauled in $744.9 million.  The combined hammer price of $741,030,000 (without the buyer’s fees) meant the result fell in the middle of the pre-sale $630.6-836 million, which does not include the buyer’s fees. Of the 82 lots offered, two were withdrawn and five went unsold – a triumph (here’s Christie’s press release with the Top Ten and detailed press release about the sale). World auction records were set for eleven artists: Cy Twombly, Ed Ruscha, Martin Kippenberger, Peter Doig, Arshile Gorky, Georg Baselitz, Yayoi Kusama, Cindy Sherman, Mark Tansey, Sturdevant, and Seth Price, in a marathon session that lasted nearly two-and-one-half hours.

According to the New York Times’ Carol Vogel: “Some of this country’s biggest collectors came to watch the action, includingMichael Ovitz, a former Hollywood agent; J. Tomilson Hill, the vice chairman of Blackstone Group; Andrew Saul, a New York businessman; and the Chicago collector Stefan Edlis.”

To insure success, many of Christie’s top estimated lots have third party guarantees including: Warhol’s Triple Elvis [Ferus Type] and Four Marlonsthe Twombly so-called Blackboard painting, Untitledde Kooning’s Clamdigger; Kline’s King OliverLichtenstein’s Keds;  Ryman’s LinkDoig’s Pine House (Rooms for Rent)Kippenberger’s Untitledand others.

Click on image to enlarge.

Click on image to enlarge.

Auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen opened the evening with Seth Prince’s Vintage Bomberestimated at $50,000-70,000, which rocketed to hammer at $650,000 ($785,000 with fees), followed by Georg Baselitz’s Der Brückechor (The Brücke Chorus)estimated at $5-7 million, and carrying a third party guarantee, which made a comfortable $6.5 million ($7,445,000 with fees).

The first of the Richters, Untitled (687-4), estimated at $5-7 million, and carrying a third party guarantee, pushed along by $500,000 bid increments, made $8 million ($9,125,000 with fees), followed by, Lot 6 Robert Gober’s Three Urinalsestimated at $3.5-4.5 million, which hammered below estimate for $3 million ($3,525,000 with fees).

Lot 7 Christopher Wool’s Untitled [FOOL], estimated at $12-18 million, and carrying a third party guarantee, came in on the low side with a winning bid of $12.5 million ($14,165,000 with fees).Next up an early Kusama infinity net painting, White No. 28 from 1960, shot past its $2 million high estimate to make $6.2 million ($7,109,000 with fees).

The Warhol Triple Elvis [Ferus Type], opened at $48 million and quickly climbed to $62 million, then crept along at $1 million increments to sell to a telephone bidder for a hammer price $73 million ($81,925,000 with fees), a result met with applause. It was immediately followed by Warhols Four Marlonswhich opened at $40 million and moved along to  – at $50 million the auctioneer said he could sell the work – but bidding continued to final price of $62 million ($69,605,000 with fees), a result that received no applause (how quickly people become jaded). According to artinfo.com’s Judd Tully: “Both Warhols had been on long-term display in a German casino chain owned by the Spielbank Aachen from 1977 to 2009, having been were purchased by the bank in the 1970s from the late and legendary Zurich dealer Thomas Ammann. The bank paid approximately $83,000 for Triple Elvis in 1977 and a bit more for the Four Marlons in 1978.”

Lot 10. Andy Warhol (1928-1987) Four Marlons signed and dated 'Andy Warhol 66' (on the overlap) silkscreen ink on unprimed linen 81 x 65 in. (205.7 x 165.1 cm.) Painted in 1966. Estimate: approximately $65 million.

Lot 10. Andy Warhol (1928-1987) Four Marlons
signed and dated ‘Andy Warhol 66’ (on the overlap)
silkscreen ink on unprimed linen: 81 x 65 in. (205.7 x 165.1 cm.)
Painted in 1966.
Estimate: approximately $60 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $62 million ($69,605,000 with fees).

Lichtenstein’s Reflections on the Prom, estimate on request (it sold for $8.78 million in 2008), opened at $11 million and topped out at $19 million ($21,445,000 with fees), followed by  Lot 13, Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills21 works with a combined estimate of $6-8 million being sold by Mitch Rales, went slightly below the low estimate for $5.9 million ($6,773,000 with fees). Next up Andy Warhol’s Self-Portrait, estimated at $10-15 million, and carrying a third party guarantee, made the low estimate ($11,365,000 with fees).

Lot 15, Roy Lichtenstein’s Hot Dog from 1964, the first of the five works being sold by the Cy Twombly Foundation (there’s also a separate catalogue), nearly doubled its $2 million high estimate to make $3.8 million ($4,421,000 with fees). The next work from the Twombly Foundation, Lot 16, Andy Warhol’s Little Electric Chairestimated at $3.5-5.5 million, hammered at $5.25 million ($6,045,000 with fees).

The great Twombly so-called Blackboard painting Untitled from 1970, sold by his long-time assistant Nicola del Roscio, opened at $24 million and moved steadily past it’s $55 million high estimate to an astonishing $62 million ($69,605,00 with fees), shattering the artist’s record at auction. The Wall Street Journal’s Kelly Crow tweeted that bidders from Mexico, China, London and the US vied for the work.

Lot 20. Cy Twombly (1928-2011) Untitled signed and dated 'Cy Twombly 1970' (on the reverse) oil based house paint and wax crayon on canvas 61 1/4 x 74 3/4 in. (155.5 x 190 cm.) Executed in 1970. Estimate: $35-55 million.

Lot 20. Cy Twombly (1928-2011) Untitled
signed and dated ‘Cy Twombly 1970’ (on the reverse)
oil based house paint and wax crayon on canvas: 61 1/4 x 74 3/4 in. (155.5 x 190 cm.)
Executed in 1970.
Estimate: $35-55 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $62 million ($69,605,00 with fees).

Lot 21. Willem de Kooning (1904-1997) Clamdigger incised with signature 'de Kooning' and stamped with number 'AP' (on the right foot); incised with date and initials '1972 D.C' (lower center) bronze 59 1/2 x 29 5/8 x 23 3/4 in. (151.1 x 75.2 x 60.3 cm.) Executed in 1972. This work is artist's proof number one from an edition of seven plus three artist's proofs. Estimate: $25-35 million.

Lot 21. Willem de Kooning (1904-1997) Clamdigger
incised with signature ‘de Kooning’ and stamped with number ‘AP’ (on the right foot); incised with date and initials ‘1972 D.C’ (lower center)
bronze: 59 1/2 x 29 5/8 x 23 3/4 in. (151.1 x 75.2 x 60.3 cm.)
Executed in 1972. This work is artist’s proof number one from an edition of seven plus three artist’s proofs.
Estimate: $25-35 million. this lot sold for a hammer price of $26 million ($29,285,000 with fees).

de Kooning’s Clamdigger (above) opened at $18 million and hammered just above the low estimate for $26 million ($29,285,000 with fees), while Franz Kline’s King Olivercame in just below the low estimate for $23.5 million ($26,485,000 with fees).  This was followed by Lot 24, de Kooning’s Untitled XXIV, from 1982 and estimated at $9-12 million, which went easily over its high estimate to make $15.5 million ($17,525,000 with fees), then  Lot 25, Roy Lichtenstein’s Landscape with Figures, estimated at $15-20 million, and carrying a third party guarantee, that made $16 million ($18,085,000 with fees). Warhol’s Five Deaths on Orange, from 1963 and estimated at $8-12 million, and carrying a third party guarantee, landed in the middle of its estimate at $10 million (11,365,000 with fees).

Lot 23. Franz Kline (1910-1962) King Oliver signed and dated 'FRANZ KLINE 58' (on the reverse) oil on canvas 99 x 77 1/2 in. (251.4 x 196.8 cm.) Painted in 1958. Estimate: $25-35 million.

Lot 23. Franz Kline (1910-1962) King Oliver
signed and dated ‘FRANZ KLINE 58’ (on the reverse)
oil on canvas: 99 x 77 1/2 in. (251.4 x 196.8 cm.)
Painted in 1958.
Estimate: $25-35 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $23.5 million ($26,485,000 with fees).

Lot 28, Roy Lichtenstein’s Sunrisefrom 1965 and estimated at $12-18 million, hammered of $14.5 million ($16,405,000 with fees) to the same buyer as the Cy Twombly Blackboard painting. An early Andy Warhol Small Campbell’s Soup Can (Chili Beef), from 1962 estimated at $6.5-8.5 million, and carrying a third party guarantee, made the low estimate ($7,445,000 with fees).  The Ruscha opened at $11 million and there was a dogfight that included dealers Larry Gagosian, Christophe van de Weghe and Andrew Fabricant from the Richard Gray Gallery that took the work past its $20 million high estimate to hammer at $27 million ($30,405,000 with fees) – the winner was Gagosian, who also purchased Lot 40, the Kippenberger (below).

Lot 30. Ed Ruscha (b. 1937) Smash signed and dated '3 / 1963 E. RUSCHA' (on the stretcher) oil on canvas 71 3/4 x 67 in. (182.2 x 170.1 cm.) Painted in 1963. Estimate: $15-20 million. Click on image to enlarge.

Lot 30. Ed Ruscha (b. 1937) Smash
signed and dated ‘3 / 1963 E. RUSCHA’ (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas: 71 3/4 x 67 in. (182.2 x 170.1 cm.)
Painted in 1963.
Estimate: $15-20 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $27 million ( $30,405,000 with fees).
Click on image to enlarge.

Lot 32. Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) Keds signed and dated 'rf Lichtenstein '61' (on the reverse) oil and graphite on canvas 48 1/8 x 34 1/4 in. (122.2 x 86.9 cm.) Painted in 1961. Estimate on Request. Click on image to enlarge.

Lot 32. Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) Keds
signed and dated ‘rf Lichtenstein ’61’ (on the reverse)
oil and graphite on canvas: 48 1/8 x 34 1/4 in. (122.2 x 86.9 cm.)
Painted in 1961.
Estimate on Request. Bidding on this lot stopped at $19 million and it failed to sell).
Click on image to enlarge.

Lichtenstein’s Keds (above) opened at $16 million and failed to sell at $19 million (the chatter of incredulity in the salesroom was audible). Lot 33, Jeff Koons’ Pink Pantherestimated at $8-12 million, attracted considerable attention landing at $14 million ($15,845,000 with fees). Ryman’s Link (below), opened at a healthy $6 million and moved handily to a solid $10 million ($11,365,000 with fees).

Lot 34. Robert Ryman (b. 1930) Link signed, titled and dated 'RYMAN 02 "LINK"' (on the overlap) oil on linen with four steel fasteners and four six-sided bolts 76 x 72 in. (193 x 182.9 cm.) Painted in 2002. Estimate: $8-12 million.

Lot 34. Robert Ryman (b. 1930) Link
signed, titled and dated ‘RYMAN 02 “LINK”‘ (on the overlap)
oil on linen with four steel fasteners and four six-sided bolts: 76 x 72 in. (193 x 182.9 cm.)
Painted in 2002.
Estimate: $8-12 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $10 million ($11,365,000 with fees).

Lot 35, Judd’s brass and green Plexiglas stack sculpture, Untitled (Bernstein 93-1), estimated at $7-9 million, sold below estimate for $6.5 million ($7,445,000 with fees).

Lot 36. Peter Doig (b. 1959) Pine House (Rooms for Rent) signed twice, inscribed, titled and dated 'PETER DOIG JUL. AUG. SEPT. 94 Doig PINE HOUSE (ROOMS FOR RENT) Rooming house in Cobourg 'Christmas Flowers'' (on the reverse) oil on canvas 70 x 90 3/4 in. (180 x 230.5 cm.) Painted in 1994. Estimate on request.

Lot 36. Peter Doig (b. 1959) Pine House (Rooms for Rent)
signed twice, inscribed, titled and dated ‘PETER DOIG JUL. AUG. SEPT. 94 Doig PINE HOUSE (ROOMS FOR RENT) Rooming house in Cobourg ‘Christmas Flowers” (on the reverse)
oil on canvas: 70 x 90 3/4 in. (180 x 230.5 cm.)
Painted in 1994.
Estimate on request. This lot sold for a hammer price of $16 million ($18,805,000 with fees).

The Doig (above), opened at $12 million and hammered to a new record for the of $16 million ($18,085,000 with fees).  The Richter (below) sold close to its $30 million high estimate for $28 million ($31,525,000 with fees), followed immediately by Lot 38, Richter’s Demo (848-3), estimated at $7-10 million, and carrying a third party guarantee, which made the low estimate ($8,005,000 with fees).

Lot 37. Gerhard Richter (b. 1932) Abstraktes Bild (648-3) signed, numbered and dated 'Richter 1987 648-3' (on the reverse) oil on canvas 88 3/4 x 78 3/4 in. (225.4 x 200 cm.) Painted in 1987. Estimate: $20-30 million.

Lot 37. Gerhard Richter (b. 1932) Abstraktes Bild (648-3)
signed, numbered and dated ‘Richter 1987 648-3’ (on the reverse)
oil on canvas: 88 3/4 x 78 3/4 in. (225.4 x 200 cm.)
Painted in 1987.
Estimate: $20-30 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $28 million ($31,252,000 with fees).

Lot 40.Martin Kippenberger (1953-1997) Untitled oil on canvas 95 1/4 x 79 3/8 in. (241.9 x 201.6 cm.) Painted in 1988. Estimate: $15-20 million.

Lot 40.Martin Kippenberger (1953-1997) Untitled
oil on canvas: 95 1/4 x 79 3/8 in. (241.9 x 201.6 cm.)
Painted in 1988.
Estimate: $15-20 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $20 million ($22,565,000 with fees).

Lot 42. Jeff Koons (B. 1955) Balloon Monkey (Orange) signed and dated 'Jeff Koons 2006-2013' (on the underside of the head) mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating 150 x 235 x 126 in. (381 x 596.9 x 320 cm.) Executed in 2006-2013. This work is one of five unique versions (Blue, Magenta, Orange, Red, Yellow). Estimate: $20-30 million.

Lot 42. Jeff Koons (B. 1955) Balloon Monkey (Orange)
signed and dated ‘Jeff Koons 2006-2013’ (on the underside of the head)
mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating: 150 x 235 x 126 in. (381 x 596.9 x 320 cm.)
Executed in 2006-2013. This work is one of five unique versions (Blue, Magenta, Orange, Red, Yellow).
Estimate: $20-30 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $23 million ($25,925,000 with fees).

Lot 45. Francis Bacon (1909-1992) Seated Figure oil on canvas 60 1/8 x 47 in. (152.8 x 119.5 cm.) Painted in 1960. Estimate: $40-60 million. Click on image to enlarge.

Lot 45. Francis Bacon (1909-1992) Seated Figure
oil on canvas: 60 1/8 x 47 in. (152.8 x 119.5 cm.)
Painted in 1960.
Estimate: $40-60 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $40 million ($44,965,00 with fees)>
Click on image to enlarge.

Lot 43, Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (774-4), estimated at $14-18 million, sold for $15 million ($16,965,000 with fees), followed by Lot 44, de Kooning’s Untitled III, estimated at $12-18 million, and carrying a third party guarantee, that finished just above the low estimate at $13 million ($14,725,000 with fees).  The Bacon only just made its low estimate amid tepid interest ($44,965,000 with fees). Lot 51, Lucian Freud’s 2001 double portrait Julie and Martinestimated at $15-20 million, and carrying a third party guarantee, only made the low estimate ($16,965,000 with fees).

Lot 62, Richard Prince’s Nurse on Trialestimated at $5-7 million, and carrying a third party guarantee, also only made its low estimate ($5,765,000 with fees), followed by Lot 63, Lucian Freud’s 1970 Waste Ground, Paddington, estimated at $6-9 million, which hammered for $6.8 million ($7,781,000 with fees).

 

Andy Warhol's "Triple Elvis" (L) and Four Marlons (R) are displayed during Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art evening sale November 12, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Don Emmert.  Click on image to enlarge.

Andy Warhol’s “Triple Elvis” (L) and Four Marlons (R) are displayed during Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art evening sale November 12, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Don Emmert.
Click on image to enlarge.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: