Art Market

Amoako Boafo, Dana Schutz, and Nicolas Party achieved new auction records at a Christie’s hybrid sale.

Justin Kamp
Dec 3, 2020 7:53PM, via Christie’s

Amoako Boafo, Baba Diop (2019). Courtesy Christie’s.

Christie’s hybrid “20th Century: Hong Kong to New York” sale closed yesterday, achieving $119.2 million in total sales, with a sell-through rate of 90 percent by lot. The sale, which occurred across the auction house’s locations in both cities, saw participation from buyers around the world, with roughly 30 percent of buyers hailing from the Americas and more than half of buyers hailing from the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

The sale saw a number of new auction records for artists including Amoako Boafo, Dana Schutz, Nicolas Party, Joyce Pensato, and Shara Hughes. Boafo, whose painting The Lemon Bathing Suit (2019) made waves earlier this year when it sold at Phillips for £675,000 ($880,971), broke the $1 million mark with his 2019 canvas Baba Diop, which sold for HK$8.8 million (US$1.1 million), beating its low estimate by roughly a factor of ten. Meanwhile, Party’s pastel Still Life (2014) sold for HK$ 10.4 million (US$1.3 million), beating his previous record of $1.1 million, set last year at Christie’s Hong Kong.

Finally, Schutz nearly tripled her previous auction record when her large-scale 2017 canvas sold for HK$50 million (US$6.4 million) after a 10 minute bidding war. According to Artsy data, interest in works by Schutz on the platform have steadily increased over the past five years, with inquiries nearly doubling between 2016 and 2017, the year Schutz was included in the Whitney Biennial. Following a dip in 2018, inquiries on her work again doubled in 2019, when she was included in a number of institutional group shows and had a comeback solo show at New York's Petzel Gallery.

Alex Rotter, Christie’s chairman of 20th and 21st Century art, said in a statement:

Today’s relay sale results show we read the market and its current appetites well, leveraging the strengths of both our Hong Kong and New York sales hubs by focusing on exciting contemporary material and rarities of Impressionist and Modern art. It was a formula well-suited to this December season, when the primary market focus traditionally shifts to this sector of the market. Given the tremendous depth of bidding and numerous auction records achieved, it was a sale strategy that proved ideal for this moment, and illustrates our commitment to innovation and experimentation in this continually-evolving market environment.
Justin Kamp