06/03/19

AUCTION RESULTS: Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Auction 5th March

Sotheby’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale, March 2019. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale, March 2019. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Kickstarting London’s week of contemporary art auctions last night, Sotheby’s salesroom was bursting at the seams for its spring’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction, featuring some of the 20th century’s most important works. Among them, some leading British artists.

The much hyped early Lucian Freud portrait, ‘Head of a Boy’, small in size but big on impact, sold for £5,779,100. Executed when Freud was in his mid 30s, the portrait belonged to the late Irish art collector the Hon. Garech Browne, a relative of Freud’s first wife. There is a certain feminine quality to the sitter, with his long eyelashes and larger than normal lips.

Jenny Saville continued to see great auction success, with her vast painting ‘Juncture’ (1994) realising £5,442,200. A charcoal sketch by the artist ‘Untitled’ (1990) also appeared and achieved £100,000 over the estimate, proving that Saville remains one of the leading contemporary artists. The early drawing features a low vantage point and exaggerated proportions as is still characteristic of the artists’s work.

More female British artists stood out at the auction: Bridget Riley’s ‘Midi’ (1983), with its pastel, summery colours and hypnotic quality, was a highlight along with Tracey Emin’s tapestry ‘I Think It’s In My Head’ (2002), which lifts the form of ‘craft’ to the status of high art.

 
 
Tracey Emin,  I Think It’s In My Head,  2002. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Tracey Emin, I Think It’s In My Head, 2002. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Bridget Riley,  Midi,  1983. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Bridget Riley, Midi, 1983. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.