Banksy Goes Bananas: Devolved Parliament of Chimpanzees Sells for £10million
BANKSY GOES BANANAS: BANKSY AND BASQUIAT RULE BOND STREET AT £10 MILLION EACH
SOTHEBY’S FRIEZE WEEK EVENING AUCTION OF CONTEMPORA
SOTHEBY’S CONTEMPORARY ART EVENING SALE TOTAL: £54,723,750 / $67,260,961 / €61,635,490 | 87% sold by lot
(Pre-sale estimate: £40.4-56m / $ 49.6-6 8.9m / €45.5-63.2m)
BANKSY’S ‘DEVOLVED PARLIAMENT’ REIGNS SUPREME:
Banksy’s Devolved Parliament shattered the artist’s record, selling to applause for £9,879,500 / $12,142,893 / €11,127,304 (est. £1.5-2m).
o More than 10 determined bidders competed for the work over the course of a 13-minute battle, quintupling the pre-sale high estimate.
o The price eclipses the previous record ($1.9m for a collaboration with Damien Hirst, Keep it Spotless sold in New York in 2008; and $1m for Love is in the Bin, sold at Sotheby’s London this time last year) .
BASQUIAT’S ‘PYRO’ FIRES UP THE SALEROOM:
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s electric yellow Pyro fired up the room, selling for £9,879,500 / $12,142,893 / €11,127,304 (est. in excess of £9m)
The work last appeared at auction in Sotheby’s London over two decades ago, in 1996, when it sold for £221,000.
Executed at the pinnacle of Basquiat’s career (1984), the work is replete with the artist’s hallmark iconography, including a halo which came to symbolise the cult of celebrity in 1980s America as well as foreshadowing the artist’s impending death.
Later in the sale, Basquiat’s Natives Carrying Things achieved £3,255,000 / $4,000,720 / €3,666,114 (est. £2.5-3.5m), over twenty years since it last appeared at auction in 1995, where it sold for $43,125 – 100 times the price achieved 24 years ago.
IN ADDITION TO BANKSY, FURTHER RECORDS INCLUDED:
Nicole Eisenman’s Close to the Edge, which soared to a record-breaking £639,000/ $785,395 / €719,707 (est. £12,000-180,000)
Opening the sale with a bang, 11 bidders competed for the work, pushing the final price over three times above the high estimate and establishing a new record for the artist.
This was the first time Eisenman’s work had been offered in an evening auction at Sotheby’s.
Lucio Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale, Natura, which set a new benchmark for a sculpture by the artist at £2,535,000 / $3,115,768 / €2,855,177 (est. £2-3m)
It is one of only three monumental Natura left in private hands, the rest of which reside in some of the world’s most prestigious museum collections.
Salvatore Scarpitta’s Housing Developed, which set a new record at £2,535,000 / $3,115,768 / €2,855,177 (est. £1.5-2m)
Executed in 1960, the radical body of work which sought to subvert the genre of painting through the deconstruction of the canvas, tonight reached new heights and set a record for a work by the artist.
FURTHER NOTABLE RESULTS:
Andy Warhol’s Vesuvius made an explosive £555,000 / $682,150 / €625,098 (est. £280,000-350,000)
Pursued by multiple bidders, the ebullient Pop canvas soared above the high estimate.
Warhol is in the spotlight this week – tonight’s sale coinciding with an exhibition of work by Andy Warhol at Victoria Beckham’s flagship Dover Street store, staged with Sotheby’s help. The designer teamed up with Sotheby’s to throw a celebratory Frieze Week party on Monday night.
Jean Dubuffet’s Mélancolie doubled its high estimate to achieve £2,655,000 / $3,263,260 / €2,990,333 (est. £800,000-1.2m)
Eight bidders vied for the work which comes from the inception of the artist’s most sought-after series: the Paris Circus.
It comes to auction from the George S. Rosenthal Children’s Art Trust after residing in the same collection since 1961 - having been acquired just three months after it was painted.
87% sold by lot.
Average lot value: £1.4m / $1.7m / €1.6m.
25 lots appeared at auction for the first time (61%).
International sale with works consigned from Japan, the US, Europe and elsewhere.
Bidding from Asia, North America, Central America, Europe and elsewhere.
Italian art: 12 lots by post-War Italian artists (over 30% of the sale), together brought a total of £13.1m / $16m (average lot value: £1.1m).
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