Christie’s Spring 2022 Marquee Week held its final evening sales on Thursday, May 12 with three blockbuster auctions: The Collection of Anne H. Bass achieved $363.1 Million, The 20th Century Evening Sale achieved $468.2 Million, and The Raptor sold for $12.4 Million. The night achieved $843.7 million in all, bringing the week running total to $1.26 Billion.
The most significant American collection to come to market this season, The Collection of Anne H. Bass was 100% sold, and 149% sold above the low estimate. Two of the 12 lots established new records, including Edgar Degas’s Petite danseuse de quatorze ans which soared over its high estimate of $30 million to sell for $41.6 million, breaking a record for the artist for the first time in almost 15 years ago. Monet’s Parlement, the top lot of the sale, sold for $75.9 Million.
Max Carter, Head of Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s, said, "The Anne H. Bass collection represented the pinnacle of the artists it contained, the pinnacle of taste, the pinnacle of modern collecting. We were beyond honored to work on the estate's behalf and gratified that these works and her example inspired collectors around the world just as they have inspired us."
The 20th Century Evening Sale sold 98% by lot and 99% by value. Notably, The Sugar Shack by Ernie Barnes set a new record, selling for $15.2 Million, 76 times its high estimate. In Barnes’ first appearance in an evening sale, the work had competition from 22 bidders. It sold to a buyer in the room after more than ten and a half minutes of bidding. (The buyer of the iconic painting, an image used for the cover of Marvin Gaye’s album from 1976, was reportedly Texas-based hedge fund manager Bill Perkins, according to Bloomberg.)
Another artist record was established by Emanuel Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware, which sold for $45 Million. The work had hung in the White House for multiple presidencies. Thirteen works in the sale achieved more than $10 Million. The top lot of the sale was Number 31, an iconic drip painting by Jackson Pollock, that sold for $54.2 Million.
Emily Kaplan, Co-Head of the 20th Century Evening Sale, commented, “We were so pleased to see such phenomenal performances by an incredibly diverse group of 20th century artists in our sale this evening. We featured works by nine female artists representing a range of artistic periods, two of whom set records – Grace Hartigan and Howardena Pindell. We were also thrilled by the outstanding performance by Ernie Barnes. The Sugar Shack soared past its high estimate of $200,000 to sell for $15.2 million, nearly twenty eight times his previous auction record.”
Vanessa Fusco, Co-Head of the 20th Century Evening Sale, added, “We were thrilled with the outcome of the 20th Century Evening Sale this season, with exceptional performances by masterpieces from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The sale of Tête de femme (Fernande) by Picasso established a new record for the artist in the medium, and Leutze's Washington Crossing the Delaware set a record as well, selling for more than double its high estimate. The sale was a rousing success.”