Art market analysis 2021
Christie’s new recipe of merged sales for Post-War and Contemporary art under one 21st Century umbrella term brought them positive results. With only 2 unsold lots, the evening sale achieved $210M, almost doubling its pre-sale low estimate. Standing nearly two meters tall, Basquiat’s In This Case fetched $93M, becoming the highlight lot of the night. It’s previous 2002 auction result of this painting barely reached $1M.
Totaling $481M from its 20th Century Art Evening Sale, Christie’s successfully achieved 4% BI with only one passed lot and one withdrawn. The star lot of the night was Femme assise près d’une fenêtre by Picasso, which after 30 protracted bids, sold +64% above its estimate for a total of $103.4M. This artwork was previously sold for $45M at Sotheby’s London in 2013, increasing 45% its value in only eight years.
Despite the reduced offering of 55 lots, Christie’s XXth Century Evening sale exceeded the 120M GBP total sale mark with a BI rate of 4%. The best indicator for healthy bidding competitions at the auction is the fact that more than 60% of lots auctioned in the evening sales obtained hammer prices above their low initial estimates.