$38.7 Million Twombly and Record-Smashing $31.8 Million T. Rex Named 'Stan' Lead Christie's 20th Century Evening Sale; Matthew Wong Painting Brings Record $4.5 Million in Contemporary Sale

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • October 07, 2020

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A male Tyrannosaurs rex. From the Hell Creek Formation. Late Cretaceous (circa 67 million years ago). Approx. 190 bones surviving and mounted on custom frame with additional cast elements. A separate display for the original skull and teeth. Size: 37 x 13 x 6 ft (1128 x 396 x 183 cm). Sold for $31,847,500 in the 20th Century Evening Sale on 6 October at Christie’s in New York.
Christie's Images Ltd.

On October 6th, Christie's opened 20th Century Week with an Evening Sale of 20th Century Art, live streamed from New York. The sale achieved $340,851,500, selling 84% by lot and 96% by value.

Some 280,000 people tuned into the spectacle through the Christie’s website and social media channels, including Youtube, Facebook and WeChat.

Top top lots were Cy Twombly's Untitled [Bolsena], 1969, which realized $38.7 million, followed by STAN, one of the largest and most complete T. rex skeletons ever found, which achieved $31.8 million, eclipsing its presale estimate of $6-8 million and setting a new world auction record for any dinosaur skeleton or fossil ever sold at auction.

Christie's Images Ltd.

The sale also saw exceptional results for Mark Rothko's Untitled, 1967, which sold for $31.3 million and Pablo Picasso's Femme dans un fauteuil, 19 June 1942, which sold for $29.6 million.

The Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on October 7th brought 36,484,250 (inc. buyer's premium) with strong prices for Ruth Asawa, Philip Guston, Barbara Kruger, Yayoi Kusama, Ed Ruscha and Matthew Wong, whose painting Shangri-La (2017) smashed a high estimate of $700,000 to sell for $4.47 million. 

Notably, Asawa's Untitled (S.753, Hanging Ten Interlocking Double Trumpets) doubled its estimate when it achieved $1,050,000, as did Kruger’s Untitled (Don't Shoot) which sold for $675,000.

Matthew Wong, Shangri La (2017).
Christie's Images Ltd.

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