Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction took place this evening and realised £19,063,350 / $31,778,604 / €22,513,816 selling 88% by lot and 86% by value. The top price was paid for Night Playground by Peter Doig (b.1959), 1997/98, an exemplary large scale painting described by the artist as one of his own favourites. It was offered at auction for the first time and realised £3,009,250 / $5,016,420 / €3,553,924, the second highest price for the artist at auction (estimate: £1.5 million to £2 million). A particularly rare urban view, the painting shows night falling on a city playground and portrays the contrast between nature and the man-made. At this evening’s auction, 4 works of art sold for over £1 million / 11 for over $1 million, and buyers (by lot / by origin) were 65% UK and Europe, 29% Americas and 6% Asia.
Francis Outred, International Director and Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s Europe: ‘We are delighted with the results of our sales tonight which continued the trend of strong sold rates seen in the first 6 months of this year at our international auctions. This evening, an active market saw 86% of lots find buyers in a sale that achieved strong prices – in particular, the outstanding result for Peter Doig’s ‘Night Playground’, which made the second highest price ever achieved for the artist at just over £3 million. What was most interesting was that 80% of works sold within or above their pre-sale estimates, and that we welcomed bids from a significant number of new collectors.’
Further highlights of the sale:
1025 Farben (1025 Colours) by Gerhard Richter (b.1932) realised £1,385,250 / $2,309,212 / €1,635,980, and was offered at auction for the first time having been in the ownership of the present European owner since 1974, the year in which it was painted. From a series considered to coincide with the most fruitful period in the artist’s career, the work sold this evening is from the last and most accomplished group of colour charts which he painted.
Country Nurse, 2003, by Richard Prince (b.1949), one of the largest works created for the artist’s celebrated and highly coveted Nurse series, sold for £1,721,250 / $2,869,324 / €2,032,796. For the Nurse series, Prince mined his own extensive collection of trashy romance novels from the 1950s and 1960s, lifting the protagonists and titles from their lurid covers and immersing them in layers of pigment. An exploration of female stereotypes, the series was subject to great attention in 2003 when Prince photographed Kate Moss for W magazine in front of one of his pictures while she was wearing a suggestive nurse’s outfit.
The auction offered 3 works by Jeff Koons (b. 1955) which represented three distinctive moments from the artist’s career, and all of which were offered at auction for the first time. Moustache, 2003, from the artist’s Popeye series sold this evening for £1,105,250 / $1,842,452 / €1,305,300. Flowers, 1986, from the artist’s Statuary series which also included his masterpiece, Rabbit, sold for £337,250 / $562,196 / €398,292; and Walrus (Blue), executed in 1999, sold for £361,250 / $602,204 / €426,636.
Untitled, by Cy Twombly (b.1928) realised £802,850 / $1,338,351 / €948,166, exceeding its pre-sale estimate of £500,000 to £700,000. This important work was executed in 1961, a watershed year in the artist’s career during which he created a number of masterpieces including the Ferragosto series which was recently united in an exhibition dedicated to the artist at Tate Modern last year.
· Rosso Gilera 60 1232 Rosso Guzzi 60 1305 by Alighiero Boetti (1940-1994) sold for £713,250 / $1,188,988 / €842,348 against a pre-sale estimate of £280,000 to £350,000 setting a record price for the artist at auction. Further artist records were established by Transiente by Julie Mehretu (b.1970) which realized £229,250 / $382,160 / €270,744; and Golden Independent Heart, 2004, a 4.5 metre tall, rotating heart made of plastic cutlery by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos (b.1971) whose work has never before been offered at an international auction and which sold for £163,250 / $272,138 / €192,798 (estimate: £80,000 to £120,000).
Fundación Telefónica presents the personal project of one of the greatest creators of the XX century, made of more than 300 painted pictures coming from his personal albums. The show includes images from private collections and from the artist himself on which Richter has worked since 1989 until the present. Gerhard Richter is considered one of the most influential artists of our time without ever having limited himself to one single style. His varied production includes sculptures and paintings that range from landscapes to colourist abstractions and monochromatic greys. Dragging the photos over wet paint, Richter creates new images.
Richter has initiated a fruitful dialogue between painting and photography that has resulted in his painted photographs, small-format images taken during his travels, walks or within his own home. Those images that do not fit within his personal album due to their lack of specificity or focus or for being duplicates are subsequently painted. The images that compose the Overpainted Photographs exhibition come from private collections and the artist’s own collection, and they reflect the intensity and perseverance with which Richter has worked on this project from 1989 to the present day.
Gerhard Richter (Dresden, Germany, 1932) was trained in the Dresden and Dusseldorf art academies and learned photography as a laboratory technician. At the end of the nineteen sixties, he worked together with artists such as Polke and Baselitz, forming what was called Capitalist Realism. Following his first exhibition in 1963, he has received prizes such as the Junger Westen, Arnold Bode and Oskar Kokoschka awards. Furthermore, in 1972 he represented Germany in the Venice Biennale and participated in the Kassel Documentas of 1977, 1982 and 1987. In 2001, the MoMA organised Richter’s first large retrospective Forty Years of Painting.
Telefonica Foundation (Fundación Telefónica)’s Art and Technology website. The Foundation, based in Madrid, Spain, creates exhibitions and manages collections related to media art, cyberculture, contemporary art and telecommunications. The site provides information about: temporary exhibitions, held at the Telefonica Museum and Temporary Exhibition Halls; virtuality and cyber art activities, which include installations, exhibitions, commentary, and competitions; and in-house productions of exhibitions, installations and projects. The site also provides information about its two collections: The Historical-Technological Collection, which traces the “evolution of telecommunications from its origins through to the late 1960’s”; and the art collections, of figurative art and Spanish contemporary art. www.fundacion.telefonica.com/
From May 21 to August 23, 2009, the Museum Kueppersmuehle (MKM) is showcasing one of the most important and influential artists of our time: Gerhard Richter. Entitled “Paintings from Private Collections”, this exhibition features some 80 paintings which originated in the years from 1963 to 2007, and comprises some of artist’s key works, drawn from the Böckman (Berlin), Burda (Baden-Baden) and Ströher (MKM / Darmstadt) collections. Among the paintings on loan from the Ströher Collection are early masterpieces such as “Family at the Seaside“ or “Cow“. In addition, Gerhard Richter is also making available to the exhibition works in his own possession.
The exhibition is presenting Richter’s groundbreaking oeuvre in all its complexity, including works rarely accessible to the general public. On view are canvases charting the artist’s major periods, ranging from his early photo-paintings to the largescale abstracts of recent years. Essentially Gerhard Richter’s primary interest is the medium of painting and the exploration of its possibilities and limitations, of determination and chance, and of the impact of colour. The presentation of his oeuvre in the rooms of the Küppersmühle Museum, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, was planned by Gerhard Richter himself using a model, and, in collaboration with museum director Walter Smerling, he has supervised the hanging. As a complement to the exhibition, the MKM’s collection room, boasting other key works by Richter from the Ströher Collection, will remain open to visitors.
The MKM / Centre for Modern and Contemporary Art
Experiencing art and art spaces, taking a break from everyday concerns to enjoy a striking architectural setting – the MKM is a forum for modern and contemporary art in all its diversity, located in a vital cultural context. Thanks to the Ströher Collection, an international exhibition schedule, and its compelling architecture, the MKM has been a centre of attraction on Duisburg’s Inner Harbour since its opening in April 1999. Sited at the hub of the pulsating megacity of the Ruhr Basin, the MKM enjoys fine transit connections with a dense rail and autobahn network, and with the Cologne/Bonn and Düsseldorf airports.
The Ströher Collection
The MKM harbours and presents key works of the Ströher Collection. Awaiting the viewer on two floors is a tour through several decades of outstanding achievements on the part of German artists of international renown, with an emphasis on painting.
Just opened up at Serpentine Gallery in London, German artist Gerhard Richter showcases his newest piece titled 4900 Colours: Version II. Comprised of 4900 brightly colored squares randomly arranged it features the Richter created concept labeled “controlled chance”. Painted on 100 aluminum panels, the work measures 69 square meters a piece and can be displayed as 49 separate pieces. The exhibition can be seen until November 16, 2008.