Christie's Impressionist and modern art auction in New York on Tuesday brought $144.3 million, falling 23 percent short of the sale's $188 million low estimate. A bright spot was the record price of $32.6 million for a painting by Alberto Giacometti.
Eleven of 46 lots failed to sell, including top-billed works by Picasso, Leger and Modigliani.
The record-setting Giacometti attracted no bidders on the floor or the phones. The 1954 portrait of the artist's brother, Diego, sold for $32.6 million to an undisclosed guarantor.
Asian bidders won several of the sale's top lots over two days of auctions. China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, bought Picasso's 1965 “Tete de Femme au Chapeau.” He picked up a portrait of Picasso's children, Claude and Paloma, for $28.2 million the night before.