AKIPRESS.COM - Record prices for works by Kazimir Malevich and Constantin Brancusi lifted Christie’s Impressionist and modern art auction in New York on Tuesday to $415.9 million, the company’s second-highest haul in the category in a decade, Bloombergreported.
The results fell within an estimated range of $326.6 million to $459.6 million, representing a 43 percent increase from a similar auction a year earlier. Of the 37 lots offered, only four didn’t sell. Christie’s also beat Sotheby’s, which tallied $318 million in a similar auction Monday, where a single painting by Amedeo Modigliani made up half the total.
“It was a shot in the arm for the market,” said David Norman, a private art dealer in New York. “It was properly executed, reasonably estimated and with very few guarantees. It was a good, clean sale.”
The event was buoyed by low reserve prices on the lots and the charming authority of the night’s auctioneer Adrien Meyer. The top lot of the evening was “Suprematist Composition,” an amalgam of hard-edged geometric shapes painted in 1916 by Malevich that sold for $85.8 million, a record for the Russian avant-garde artist. It was estimated at $70 million. (Prices include Christie’s commission; estimates don’t.)
The Malevich work became a repeat auction champion. In 2008, the canvas sold for $60 million at Sotheby’s, an artist’s record until it resold on Tuesday.