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AUCTION NEWS | February Auctions Report

10 Feb 2016

Update on the latest auctions at London’s top auction houses: Sotheby’s, Christies and Bonhams.

Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day/Evening Auction
10-11 February 2016
London, UK
Number of Lots: 55
Top Sellers: Lucien Freud - £16.1m, Alberto Burri - £9.1m.

Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on 10th February:

The top lot was Lucian Freud’s oil painting depicting his lover Bernadine Coverly at the time she was pregnant with their daughter Bella. This portrait went for £16.1 million, a huge £9 million above estimates. Notable Warhol sales included ‘Campbell Soup Can’ at £5,133,000 and ‘Two White Mona Lisas’, for £1,385,000.

Sculptures by important contemporary artists Roy Lichtenstein and Damien Hirst also attracted healthy sales; Lichtenstein’s Brushstroke Sculpture was sold for £509,000, whilst the highest bid for Hirst’s ‘In Search of Nirvana’ came in at £1,205,000.

Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day Auction begun on 11th February:

The auction balanced between a range of works by established blue-chip artists as well as contemporary emerging artists. The top lot was a charcoal drawing ‘Untitled (Tiger Head No.8)’, part of Robert Longo’s Mysteries series, which sold for £845,000. Other noteworthy sales included Bridget Riley’s ‘Colour Study for Entice No. 1,2 & 3’ selling for £102,500, Andy Warhol’s ‘Hearts (Four)’ at £125,000 and Grayson Perry’s ‘Untitled (…perverts, suburbia and kitsch.)’, a glazed ceramic vase, went for £12,500.

Upcoming auctions at Sotheby’s:
- Contemporary Curated, 3rd March, New York (Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselman, Marc Quinn)
- Contemporary Curated, 15th March, London (Andy Warhol’s ‘Daisy’ is estimated at £20,000-30,000, Banksy ‘Angel Head’ estimated at £50,000-70,000)

Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction
11 February 2016
London, UK
Number of Lots: 54
Top Sellers: Peter Doig- £11,282,500 & £3,442,500, Francis Bacon - £5,458,500, Lucien Freud - £4,786,500, Hockney – £3,106,500.

The evening auction owed its success to the masters of the contemporary art movement: Bacon, Hockney and Freud. Highlights included Francis Bacon’s ‘Two Figures’, 1975 and Lucien Freud’s ‘Head of Esther’. Additionally, the Miles and Shirley Fiterman collection presented major artworks by Hockney, including the well recognisable ‘Beach Umbrella’.

Upcoming auctions at Christies’s:
- Andy Warhol @ Christies: Andy’s Factory 16th- 25th February, New York
- James Bond Spectre: The Auction, Post War and Contemporary Art online, bid now through to 23rd Feb, London

Bonham’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Auction
11 February 2016
London, UK
Number of Lots: 48
Top Sellers: Frank Auerbach- £2,042,500, Kazuo Shiraga - £1,538,500.

Labelled by Bonham’s as their most ‘prestigious’ sale to date, this auction included Warhol’s monumental canvas, 14 Small Electric Chairs series which was estimated to sell between £4 million - £6 million. The piece is over 2 metres tall, and has powerful bright colours and texture. David Hockney’s, ‘Football Player’ reached a price of £22,500 in the auction room, Banksy’s ‘Keep it Real’ original painting sold for an impressive £194,500 and Damien Hirst’s Sagittarius, went for £57,500.

Upcoming auctions at Bonham’s:
- 19th Century European, Victorian and British Impressionist Art 2nd March, London
- Modern British and Irish art 15th March, London