At China Guardian’s evening sales in Beijing on Sunday, Claude Monet’s Bassin aux nympheas, les rosiers sold for RMB154.1m (around $24.1m, with fees) at the first-ever Impressionist and Modern art sale of the leading Chinese auction house.
The 1913 oil of Monet's beloved Giverny garden is now the most expensive Western work of art ever sold in mainland China, toppling the previous record set last November by Gerhard Richter’s Column at RMB80.5m ($12.65m, with fees).
The top five lots of China Guardian’s evening sale—including the Monet, a Picasso portrait and a Pissarro landscape—were all consigned by Lévy Gorvy gallery on behalf of its clients, according to the gallery's Rebecca Wei, reported by The Art Newspaper.
Christie's modern and contemporary art evening sales on Wednesday brought a total of HKD 1.5 billion ($192 million) with premiums. 73 of the 76 works on offer sell, achieving a 96-percent sell-through rate.
Works by Picasso and Basquiat brought top prices, notes ARTnews. Kusama's painting Pumpkin (LPASG) (2013) went for HK$62.5 million ($8 million), and her sculpture Pumpkin (2017) sold for HK$55.45 million ($7 million), record auction prices for the Japanese artist.
Notable interest also went to Picasso's partner, the now 100-year-old Françoise Gilot, whose abstract Living Forest (1977) sold for $1.3 million.
Of the 13 artist records smashed were emerging artists including Amoako Boafo, whose Hands Up (2018) sparked a bidding battle across continents with an Asia-based bidder prevailing at HKD 26.7 million ($3.4 million), an artist record. Avery Singer's Untitled (Tuesday), from 2017, also snagged an artist record at HKD 35 million ($4.5 million).
Jacky Ho, Christie’s Asia Pacific head of modern and contemporary art evening sale, said in a statement that the “heated participation” in the sales indicated a “tremendous display of market confidence in Asia.”