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Christie's $1.4 Billion Week of Art Work Auctions Sets Record

Image: Christie's $1.4 Billion Week of Art Work Auctions Sets Record
(Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Friday, 15 May 2015 11:23 AM

Sparked by the $179.3 sale a Picasso painting on Monday, Christie's had a record-shattering week in New York in which the auction house saw $1.4 billion in art work sold.

Christie's sailed past the old record $975 million, set in May of 2014, according to Bloomberg Business.

While Pablo Picasso's "Les Femmes d'Alger" or "The Women of Algiers" grabbed most of the headlines on Monday, the auction house also sold Alberto Giacometti's bronze sculpture of a pointing man for $141.3 million on its way to a $705.9 million night, noted Bloomberg.

"The Picasso was one of 10 record breakers on Monday night," Mark Brown of The Guardian wrote. "They included Giacometti's life size L'Homme au Doigt (Pointing Man) which set a new record price for a sculpture when it sold for $141.3 million and a canoe painting by the British artist Peter Doig which sold for a record $26 million."

"Other artist records were achieved for Robert Delaunay, Cady Noland, Jean Dubuffet, Diane Arbus, Jean-Michel Basquiat, René Magritte and Chaim Soutine," Brown wrote.

The New York Times reported that Christie's had another big night on Wednesday, selling $658.5 million in works of art during its postwar and contemporary art auction.

On top of Christie's success last week, its rival Sotheby's on Tuesday sold $379.7 million during its auction on Tuesday, noted the Times.

"It's a spectacle of excess at the highest level," Abigail Asher of the art consultants Guggenheim Asher Associates Inc. told the Times. "The last few years have been building up to this moment. A new class of buyer has entered the market and they're prepared to pay staggering sums for trophy pictures."

The Times noted on Monday that guarantees from Christie's along with an opportunity to get in front of motivated wealthy buyers may have produced the climate for such a large sales this week.

"Prices have reached such high levels, and this has encouraged better things to appear on the market," London art adviser Wendy Goldsmith told the Times. "The sellers are swayed by the figures. They want to strike while the iron's hot. They know that nothing lasts forever."

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Sparked by the $179.3 sale a Picasso painting on Monday, Christie's had a record-shattering week in New York in which the auction house saw $1.4 billion in art work sold.
christie, week, art, work, auctions, record
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2015-23-15
Friday, 15 May 2015 11:23 AM
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