“What a Night”

$640.8m pass through Christie’s 20th Century evening sale in New York on November 9, 2023.

Despite concerns for a cold market, Christie’s auction house brought in $640.8m – under Christie’s Global President, Jussi Pylkkännen, who leaves the firm after this sale. This was a record high for the Auction house for a non-single owner sale, breaking a record previously set in 2017.

Six artist records were made that night including Barbara Hepworth, Richard Diebenkorn and Joan Mitchell.

Jussi Pylkkänen, Christie’s auctioneer and global president, sells the top lot of the 20th Century Evening Sale, Claude Monet’s Le bassin aux nymphéas for $74,010,000. Photo by Christie’s

A Few Highlights:

Richard Diebenkorn’s Recollections of a Visit to Leningrad made its first appearance at auction, selling for $40 million, it topped a previous record for the artist of $27 million.

RICHARD DIEBENKORN (1922-1993) Recollections of a Visit to Leningrad. Photo by Christie’s

Joan Mitchell’s dense painting Untitled (around 1959) sold for $25 million, Mitchell’s previous record was $16.6 million which was set in 2018.

Pablo Picasso’s Nu Coché exceeded it $10 million estimate, fetching $11.5 m by Larry Gagosian. Femme endormie sprang past its estimate as well, making a surprising $37m

PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973) Nu couché. Photo by Christie’s

The night also saw sales of René Magritte, Tamara de Lempicka, Frida Kahlo,  Jean Michel Basquiat, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, and others.

WAYNE THIEBAUD (1920-2021) Dessert Table. Photo by Christie’s

The evening ended with Pylkkännen handing his gavel over to Adrien Meyer, Global Head of Private Sales, and declaring “What a night for Christie’s and what night for the art market”

Bold Highlights from Frieze London 2023

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Frieze London 2023 presented a captivating mix of artistry, from the safe bets to daring presentations that stirred conversations.