Ten of the 11 sculptures in the Sotheby’s sale sold, and brought in a total of $54.1 million, exceeding their combined $41.2 million high estimate.
The withdrawal of the Schiele and Pissarro’s landscape, L’Hermitage en été, Pontoise (1877), brought the total number of lots in Sotheby’s sale down to 50, of which 37 sold, for a sell-through rate of 74% by lot and 86.2% by value. Three works by Picasso were among the lots bought in. A total of 14 lots, estimated to sell for between $54.8 million and $79.2 million, held guarantees and irrevocable bids.
Still, the sale had some early surprises, such as ’s
large bronze sculpture Le Roi jouant avec la reine
(1944, cast 1950), which went for $15.9 million (all prices including buyer’s premium unless otherwise noted) after a drawn-out contest involving more than 10 bidders. Its hammer price was more than twice the high estimate of $6 million and over six times the previous auction record for a sculpture by the artist, set in 2002.
Some of the attraction was attributed to the sculpture’s provenance: It hailed from the collection of the American artist
and his wife Renate.
’s Suprematist Composition with Plane in Projection
(1915) was one of 39 canvases exhibited in Malevich’s 1915 St. Petersburg show “0.10: Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings,” an early foray by the Russian artist into abstract or “
” art. After a lengthy bidding war, it fetched $21.1 million, well above its estimate of $12 million to $18 million. It was the highest price notched all night and the fourth highest price achieved at auction for a Malevich.
water lily painting Le Bassin aux Nymphéas
(c. 1917–20) sold for $15.9 million, hammering at the low end of its $14 million to $18 million estimate. Hailing from a private collection, it last sold publicly for $3.85 million in 1989.
Picasso’s self-portrait Tête d’Homme (1969) was painted when he was nearly 88, four years before his death. The colorful painting sold for $10.9 million, within its estimated range of $8 million to $12 million.
’s Buste de Diego
(1957–58) sold for $10.9 million, missing its low estimate of $10 million without the buyer’s premium. The work was one of five sculptures from the Finn Family Collection on offer last night, and is one of an edition of six sculptures of the artist’s
, who sat for him frequently. It had been in the collection since it was acquired in 1964.