A slew of auction records for artists with serious Frieze week buzz, plus a Peter Doig that went for £9.6 million ($14.8 million), helped Christie’s climb to a total haul of £35.5 million ($54.8 million) during its Contemporary Art Evening Sale in London tonight. Then it proceeded to best that number with a 61-lot Italian sale, which brought in £43.2 million ($66.6 million). Its total for the evening was £78.7 million ($121.5 million), just edging out its bitter rival, Sotheby’s, which pulled in $118.8 million last night.
Among the artists who set new personal highs were Jonas Wood, Gerald Laing, Nicole Eisenman, Albert Oehlen, Charline von Heyl, Toby Ziegler, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, whose work hammered at £370,000. That’s £446,500 ($681,000) with premium, nearly five times the high estimate.
Wood has a much-ballyhooed solo exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery’s London flagship on Britannia Street, and perhaps this hype thrust the price of his Untitled (M.V. landscape), from 2008, upward to £450,000 ($694,000), topping the personal record for the artist’s work that had been set earlier this year.
The sale’s centerpiece, Peter Doig’s Cabin Essence, (1993–94), wasn’t assigned low and high estimates, but the bidding started at £6 million. The sale price was £9.6 million ($14.82)—far from the $26 million paid for Swamped (1990), the artist’s record that was set in New York this May, but still nothing to sniff at.
Gerald Laing’s Commemoration (1965) went for £1.2 million ($1.8 million), more than double the high estimate. A solid Gerhard Richter sold at £2.6 million ($4.1 million). Beasley Street (2007) by Nicole Eisenman, who recently received a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” went for £182,500 ($278,678), a new record.
Albert Oehlen reached £1,142,500 ($1,744,598) to secure his record, and Charline von Heyl reached £110,500 ($168,734) for hers.
The London sale conclude tomorrow with the Contemporary Art Day sales at Christie’s.