Market Overview

Sotheby's December 2017 Contemporary Art Sales In Paris Total $51.1 Million (€43.1 Million)


THREE NEW WORLD AUCTION RECORDS SET FOR: Hans Hartung, Germaine Richier, Wifredo Lam


PARIS, Dec. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Sotheby's (NYSE: BID) December sales of Contemporary Art in Paris concluded yesterday with a total of $51.1 million (€43.1 million), bringing the annual total for the category in France to $88.7 million (€78.7 million), a 41% increase in USD and 38.8% increase in EUR compared to 2016.

Philipp Herzog von Württemberg, Sotheby's European Chairman, fields bids during the Company's recent sales of Contemporary Art in Paris that totaled $51.1 million.

Over the past year, Sotheby's has established landmark prices for leading French artists of the second half of the 20th century, with four world auction records: for Pierre Soulages (€6.1 million), Simon Hantaï (€4.4 million), Germaine Richier (€3 million) and Hans Hartung (€2.7 million). 

Stefano Moreni, Head of Sotheby's Paris Contemporary Art Department, said: "These results are testament to Paris' key position within the art market and Sotheby's great expertise. We were able to present truly remarkable works throughout the year and this week, we saw a great depth of bidding, especially for works by Germaine Richier and Wifredo Lam which set auction records."

One of Hans Hartung's 1950s masterpieces, T1956-13, 1956 achieved €2,691,500, four times the pre-sale estimate and double the previous auction record for the artist set in 2015.

The collection of Alain & Candice Fraiberger attracted connoisseurs from around the world, many of whom recognised the importance of Wifredo Lam's, A trois centimètres de la Terre, 1962,  which was executed at the peak of his career and fetched €4,441,200 – a world record for the artist.

Germaine Richier's La Tauromachie from 1953 was pursued by 11 bidders who drove the final price to €3,086,400, double the previous world auction record for the artist set in 2013. 

Highly sought after by international collectors, Zao Wou-Ki was represented in the sale by 1.9.60, 1960, which tripled its estimate and realised €3,142,850 (lot 58).

*Estimates do not include the buyer's premium, and prices consist of the hammer price and the buyer's premium

Images are available on request

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