NEW YORK – Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale achieved a total of $102,767,000 for paintings and sculpture, with top lots from Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, and Tamara de Lempicka commanding the highest prices. A new world auction record was set for Tamara de Lempicka’s Portrait de Madame M. from 1932 for $6,130,500.
“(The) sale demonstrated that auction is very much the arena in which to sell works that are fresh to the market,” Marc Porter, president of Chritie’s Americas, said. “Estate collections performed particularly well.”
Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966). Buste de Diego (Stele III) signed ‘A Giacometti’ (on the back of the sculpture); numbered ‘1/6’ (on the top of the pedestal) bronze with brown and gold patina. Height: 65 3⁄4 inches. Conceived in 1957-1958 and cast in 1958.
Pablo Picasso’s late period Mousquetaire à la pipe from 1968 was the top lot of the evening, selling for $14,642,500. The vivid, full-length image portrays the artist in one of his favorite guises: the brave and adventurous musketeer with long, wavy hair clad in doublets and ruffled collars. The second highest lot for the evening, equally vivid in palette, was Picasso’s late period Femme au chapeau from 1971 that fetched $7,754,500. This portrait had been a centerpiece in the private collection of the artist and Oscar-nominated film director Julian Schnabel since 1989. Alberto Giacometti’s sculpture, Buste de Diego (Stele III), a rare full-size bronze bust balanced on a tall, narrow plinth, sold for $7,698,500.
The two other works offered from this collection also performed well. Matisse’s Nu à la serviette blanche, an early figure painting that captures the artist at a moment of bold innovation fetched $3,218,500, along with a unique study by Joan Miró.
The seductive Portrait de Madame M. by Tamara de Lempicka set a new world auction record for the artist when it sold for $6,130,500. A second work by the artist, La Chemise Rose I from circa 1927, achieved $3,218,500.
Another top lot of the evening was a rare Odalyske by the Russian-born painter Alexej von Jawlensky, which achieved $5,122,500. A work by Paul Gauguin, Nature morte aux tomates from 1883 exceeded its high estimate and sold for $2,882,500.
For more information, visit Christie’s Web site at www.christies.com.