an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me

Do I Hear $1 Billion? Christie’s Record-Smashing $852.89 Million Contemporary Sale

It wasn’t so much that big-money works soared over their estimates (although Warhol‘s “Triple Elvis” did hammer at $73 million against a presale estimate “in the region of $60 million). But quality, quantity and a bravura podium performance by auctioneer Jussi Pylkkänen gave Christie’s a final Contemporary Art total (with buyers premium) of $852.89 million—the most for any art auction, ever.

This Ruscha, Lot 30, says it all:

Ed Ruscha, "Smash," 1963 $30.4 million

Ed Ruscha, “Smash,” 1963
$30.4 million

The sale’s $751.57 million hammer total far outstripped the presale estimate, which was pegged at “in the region of $600 million” before the sale announcement that two works (with a combined estimate of $30-42 million) had been withdrawn.

For the full sale results, go here.

Below is my running Twitter commentary:

an ArtsJournal blog