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Warhol but not only at Christie’s

Impressive auction in New York, Christie’s, May 9, 2022, with 98 percent by value and 94 percent by lot sold. Total realized in the evening: $ 317,806,490
Among the works sold from the prestigious “The Collection of Thomas and Doris Ammann”:

– Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn reached a record $ 195,040,000 becoming the second most expensive work in the world behind the famous “Salvator Mundi”, Leonardo da Vinci, also sold by Christie’s in 2017 for USD 450,312,500. Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 1964. Acrylic and silkscreen on ink on linen. 40 x 40 in (101.6 x 101.6 cm).

– The second highest price of the evening $ 21,000,000 was achieved by Cy Twombly (1928 – 2011) with the work Untitled, 1955, Oil-based house paint, wax crayon, colored pencil and lead pencil on canvas. 50 x 57⅞ in (127 x 147 cm).

– Sold for $ 20,141,250 the work of Robert Ryman (1930 – 2019), Untitled, 1961. Oil on linen. 66½ x 66¾ in (169 x 169.5 cm).

– Francesco Clemente (1952) sold for $ 1,860,000 starting from an initial estimate of $ 80,000-120,000 and more than doubled the artist’s previous auction record: The Fourteen Stations, No. XI, 1981-82. Oil and wax on linen. 78 x 93¾ in (198 x 238.1 cm).

– Selling for $ 945,000, Mary Heilmann (1940) surpassed her estimate of $ 150,000-200,000 by tripling the artist’s previous record: The Passenger, 1983. Oil on canvas. 98 x 78 in (248.9 x 198.6 cm).

Considering the provenance of all the lots, but above all the quality of the proposed names, Christie’s easily made bingo. To say that everything is fine, it is going well, it will be fine is certainly false, but contrary to asserting that verve has been given to the world art market is correct. We will see in the next auction session what the further trend will be.

by Alain Chivilò