This Picasso Painting Just Set a World Record for Art at Auction: $179 Million

This undated photo provided by Christie's, courtesy of the Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, shows Pablo Picasso's "Women of Algiers (Version O)," which is being offered for sale at Christie's in New York on May 11, 2015, as part of New York City's spring art auctions. The 1955 masterpiece, estimated to bring more than $140 million, is poised to become the most expensive artwork sold at auction. (2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Christie's via AP)

A Picasso painting became the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction on Monday, going for more than $179 million.

Christie’s said “Women of Algiers (Version O)” sold for $179,365,000. That figure, which the Associated Press reports to include the auction house’s premium, surpasses a Francis Bacon work called “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” that held the top spot, also selling at Christie’s for $142.4 million in 2013.

Picasso painted the work as part of a 15-painting series…(read more)

[TIME]


Picasso, Munch, Van Gogh, Giacometti, Oh My: Poised to Set Records at NYC Auctions

Spring Art Auctions Preview

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s spring art auctions get underway Tuesday with exceptional pieces by Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Vincent Van Gogh and others whose work continues to fuel a robust market for impressionist, modern and contemporary art.

Picasso’s “Women of Algiers (Version O),” estimated to bring over $140 million, is poised to become the most expensive artwork sold at auction, while Giacometti’s “Pointing Man” could set an auction record for a sculpture if bidding soars to an expected $130 million.

Both are being offered at Christie’s on May 11.

Experts say the once unimaginable prices are fueled by established and wealthy new buyers and the desire by collectors to own the best works.

“I don’t really see an end to it, unless interest rates drop sharply, which I don’t see happening in the near future,” said Manhattan dealer Richard Feigen. “Buyers will flock in from the Far East, the Gulf and Europe.”

In 2012, Edvard Munch‘s “The Scream” fetched nearly $120 million only to be bested a year later when Francis Bacon’s triptych “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” sold for $142.4 million.

Now Picasso’s 1955 “Women of Algiers” could potentially eclipse that stratospheric price tag. The vibrantly colorful work featuring a scantily attired female amid smaller nudes is part of a 15-work series that Picasso created in 1954-1955. It has appeared in several major museum retrospectives of the artist.

Giacometti’s 1947 “Pointing Man,” a life-size bronze of an elongated figure with extended arms, has been in the same private collection for 45 years. Giacometti, who died in 1966, made six casts of the work; four are in museums, the others are in private hands and a foundation collection.

His “Walking Man I” holds the auction record for a sculpture. It sold in 2010 for $104.3 million. Read the rest of this entry »


Picasso Painting ‘Les Femmes d’Alger’ Poised for Record Sale Unveiled in Hong Kong

picasso-HK

Picasso masterpiece “Les Femmes d’Alger” went on show for the first time in Hong Kong Wednesday ahead of an auction where it is tipped to smash the world record price for a painting.

The 1955 piece depicts women in a harem and is the final work in a 15-painting series which pays homage to the 19th century artist Delacroix, who Picasso admired.

“It’s one of the great Picassos, period, and it’s one of the last great Picassos that has been in private hands. In terms of Picasso’s quality, it’s at the absolutely top end. It’s an extremely important piece.”

— Derek Gillman, chairman of Christie’s impressionist and modern art department

It is billed to fetch an estimated $140 million when it goes on sale at Christie’s in New York in May — but the auction house says the price could well go higher.

The current world record for any painting sold at auction is for Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud“, which sold for $142 million in 2013, also at Christie’s in New York.

“There aren’t that many museums that can afford works at that level… Increasingly, works that might in the past have gone into museum collections have gone into private collections.”

“It’s one of the great Picassos, period, and it’s one of the last great Picassos that has been in private hands,” Derek Gillman, chairman of Christie’s impressionist and modern art department, told AFP.

“In terms of Picasso’s quality, it’s at the absolutely top end. It’s an extremely important piece,” he said.

The painting was unveiled as part of a preview at Christie’s in Hong Kong ahead of the New York sale and it will also go on show in London later this month.

The piece is inspired by a Delacroix painting of a similar name.

It is also a stylistic tribute to Picasso’s friend and great rival, Henri Matisse, who died five weeks before Picasso began the series. Read the rest of this entry »


Francis Bacon Work Could Fetch $80M

Three Studies For A Portrait Of John Edwards by Francis Bacon, which is expected to fetch around 80 million US dollars. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Three Studies For A Portrait Of John Edwards by Francis Bacon, which is expected to fetch around 80 million US dollars. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA

NEW YORK (AP) — A triptych by Francis Bacon of his longtime companion is poised to sell for about $80 million at Christie’s as the spring art auction season revs up with sales of postwar and contemporary works.

A provocative image by Andy Warhol of the 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, race riots and a seminal painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat of a regal warrior figure are among other big-ticket items coming up for sale Tuesday evening.

Andy Warhol's 1964 "Race Riot," in four parts painted with acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen. (AP Photo/Christie's)

Andy Warhol’s 1964 Race Riot, in four parts painted with acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen.                   (AP Photo/Christie’s)

Bacon’s “Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards” was executed in 1984 and comes on the market a year after Christie’s sold his 1969 “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” for $142.4 million, setting a world record for the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction. Read the rest of this entry »


Francis Bacon Painting Sells For Record $142 Million At Christie’s Auction

A member of Christie’s staff walks towards Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucien Freud” on Oct. 14, 2013 in London, England. (credit: Getty Images)

A member of Christie’s staff walks towards Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucien Freud” on Oct. 14, 2013 in London. (credit: Getty Images)

Bidder Not Revealed

CBS NewYork/AP There’s a new record-setting piece of art. A 1969 painting by Francis Bacon set a world record for most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.

“Three Studies of Lucian Freud” was purchased for $142.4 million at Christie’s postwar and contemporary art sale on Tuesday night. The triptych depicts Bacon’s artist friend.

The work sold after “six minutes of fierce bidding in the room and on the phone,” Christie’s said in a statement. The price includes the buyer’s premium. Christie’s did not say who bought the painting.

Read the rest of this entry »