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Christie's: Post War & Contemporary Day Sale (NY) Session II Auction Analysis

  • Christie's New York
  • Christie's New York
May 18, 2015

Session II, the last part of grand Post War & Contemporary Sale at Christie’s New York, happened on May 14. These three parts of auction (Day Sale Session I & II and Evening Sale) gathered mind-blowing $670,770,000. Eighty percent of lots were sold on the last day of Post War & Contemporary Sale at Session II, and Joan Mitchell’s Magnolia had, by far, the highest hammer price.

The Story About the Artwork: Joan Mitchell’s Magnolia (1978)

Joan Mitchell’s Magnolia is a diptych, painted while the artist was living in Vétheuil, France. She cleverly used white color simply by leaving the canvas blank, and it is thought that this painting revived Mitchell’s work, resulting with a growth of an era of bold experimentation in Mitchell’s art. She has moved to Vétheuil in the late 1960s, and that gave her more space to paint and explore. Huge diptych Magnolia is one of the result, as she has composed a grand painting over two large scale canvases (195 x 260.4 cm), with inspiration found in the landscape of the French countryside.

Please, scroll down to find out more about most interesting lots that were auctioned at Session II.

  • Christie's New York

The Overview of Christie's: Post War & Contemporary Day Sale (NY) Session II

Out of 217 lots, 174 were sold at Session II of Post War & Contemporary Day Sale (NY), or 80.2 percent. Total of $54,571,000 was netted, which means that the average hammer price for a lot was $313,626. The best result was $3,100,000 – that much money was spent on Joan Mitchell’s Magnolia. There were 11 more lots with hammer price at $1 million or more (3 of 11 are Andy Warhol’s works), and excellent 47.7 percent of sold lots had their hammer prices over high estimates (83 lots). Around one third of sold lots changed hands for prices that were in range of estimated values, and 20.1 percent of lots were sold under low estimate.

When it comes to the difference between high estimate and hammer price, the most successful lot – by far – was Frank Stella’s Untitled, with hammer price that was more than 8 times higher than its high estimate. Mel Bochner’s Counting Exercise: Circles, Alexander Calder’s Black Looped Around The White, Bruce Conner’s Room and Jim Dine’s French Pants all did very good and all had between +200 and +300 percent difference.

Christie's New York
Joan Mitchell – Magnolia, 1978 (Lot 553). Estimated at $1,200,000 – $1,800,000. Sold for $3,100,000.
Christie's New York
Jean Dubuffet – Vue De Paris, Le Petit Commerce, 1944 (Lot 425). Estimated at $1,500,000 – $2,000,000. Sold for $1,800,000.
Christie's New York
Andy Warhol – Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn), 1967 (Lot 542). Estimated at $1,500,000 – $2,000,000. Sold for $1,800,000.Warhol’s first Marilyn Monroe series in 1962 represented a dynamic shift in the artist’s style and career. In 1967, Warhol returned to the Monroe image once again, this time creating a series of stunning screenprints. Here is presented in a complete set of ten prints.
Christie's New York
Alexander Calder – Ten Black, 1967 (Lot 524). Estimated at $700,000 – $900,000. Sold for $1,800,000.
Christie's New York
Alexander Calder – Black Looped Around the White, 1963 (Lot 616). Estimated at $25,000 – $35,000. Sold for $130,000.
Christie's New York
Frank Stella – Untitled, 1964 (Lot 436). Estimated at $60,000 – $80,000. Sold for $570,000. This lot was convincingly the best in difference between hammer price and high estimate, with +612.5 percent
Christie's New York
Jim Dine – French Pants, 1961 (Lot 446). Estimated at $25,000 – $35,000. Sold for $110,000.
Christie's New York
Bruce Conner – Room, 1960 (Lot 441). Estimated at $30,000 – $40,000. Sold for $130,000.
  • Christie's New York

Christie's: Post War & Contemporary Day Sale (NY) Session II in Details

In these two tables, you will find details for all lots that were auctioned at Session II of Post War & Contemporary Day Sale (NY) at Christie’s, as well as the summarry of this auction.

Total number of lots:217
Number of sold lots:174
Sold lots [%]:80.2
Total [$]:54571000
Number of sold lots over high estimate:83
Over high estimate (Total) [%]:38.2
Over high estimate (Sold) [%]:47.7
Number of sold lots in range of estimated values:56
In range of estimated values (Sold) [%]:32.2
Number of sold lots under low estimate:35
Under low estimate (Sold) [%]:20.1
Results were under estimate spread of [%]:29.4
Max Hammer [$]:3100000
Average Hammer [$]:313626
Median Hammer [$]:155000
Median Hammer Average Hammer Difference [%]:-50.6
Lot No.Artist NameArtwork NameLow Estimate $High Estimate $Hammer Price $Hammer High Estimate Difference [%]Hammer Low Estimate Difference [%]
401Hans HofmannLandscape600008000070000-12.516.7
402Adolph GottliebRed Ground100000150000380000153.3280
403Arshile GorkyStill Life100000150000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
404Norman BluhmUntitled350004500040000-11.114.3
405Robert MotherwellOpen No 140: Charcoal On Cream4000060000750002587.5
406Sam FrancisUntitled120000180000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
407Richard Pousette-DartFountain8000010000070000-30-12.5
408Jean DubuffetArabe Et Désert500007000048000-31.4-4
409Adolph GottliebUntitled150002000050000150233.3
410Hans HofmannUntitled100000150000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
411Larry RiversWebster Flowers90000120000110000-8.322.2
412Joseph CornellUntitled (Fanny Ward)4000060000135000125237.5
413Robert MotherwellUntitled500007000060000-14.320
414William BaziotesBeach Shadow80000120000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
415Alexander CalderSix White Dots And Yellow On Black And Red550000750000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
416George RickeyUn Iii10000015000022000046.7120
417Eduardo ChillidaPlaque #3120000180000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
418Harry BertoiaSounding Sculpture100001500030000100200
419Jim DineIn The Woods1800025000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
420Isamu NoguchiChinese Sleeves #2600008000045000-43.8-25
421Andy WarholCars (Eight Buicks)140000160000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
421 AMel RamosMixed Nuts: The Lost Painting Of 1965 #35250000350000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
422Roy LichtensteinDesk Explosion500000700000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
423Andy WarholGun500000700000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
424Andy WarholFlowers20000030000034000013.370
425Jean DubuffetVue De Paris, Le Petit Commerce150000020000001800000-1020
426Arshile GorkyHead300000400000240000-40-20
427Jean DubuffetMaquette For Personnage Au Chapeau250000350000220000-37.1-12
428Arshile GorkyUntitled80000120000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
429Claes OldenburgModel (Ghost) Toaster 2/2350000550000280000-49.1-20
430Alexander CalderUntitled200000300000640000113.3220
431Jackson PollockWoman700009000010000011.142.9
432Kazuo ShiragaKaneyoshi15000002000000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
433Andy WarholFlowers500000700000130000085.7160
434Frank StellaPoint Of Pines4000006000007200002080
435Frank StellaUntitled3000004000001000000150233.3
436Frank StellaUntitled6000080000570000612.5850
437Donald JuddUntitled80000120000240000100200
438Claes OldenburgSlice Of Birthday Cake150000200000110000-45-26.7
439Roy LichtensteinSunrise25000035000045000028.680
440Lee BontecouUntitled500007000011000057.1120
441Bruce ConnerRoom3000040000130000225333.3
442Robert RauschenbergDrawing Room300000400000320000-206.7
443Robert RauschenbergTrap120000180000170000-5.641.7
444Jim DineShoe10000015000022000046.7120
445Roy LichtensteinLandscape With Setting Sun8000012000014000016.775
446Jim DineFrench Pants2500035000110000214.3340
447Tom WesselmannStudy For Still Life #404000060000150000150275
448Tom WesselmannStudy For Still Life #522500035000420002068
449Tom WesselmannStudy For Still Life #9600008000010500031.375
450John McCrackenUntitled8000012000022000083.3175
451Sol LeWittThree Part Drawing With Two Colors In Each Part (1970)800001200001500002587.5
452Sol LeWittGrid, Circles, Arcs From Two Opposite Corners And Two Adjacent Sides5000070000140000100180
453Sol LeWittCircles And Arcs From Four Sides400006000011000083.3175
455Sol LeWittVertical Lines Not Touching300004000085000112.5183.3
456Michelangelo PistolettoCane Che Sbadiglia60000080000010000002566.7
457Claes OldenburgUntitled10000015000085000-43.3-15
458Andy WarholJackie6000008000009200001553.3
459Robert RauschenbergUntitled (Foot Dissection)1800002500003300003283.3
460Robert RauschenbergUntitled (Insects)1800002500003300003283.3
461Robert RauschenbergUntitled600008000014000075133.3
462Robert RauschenbergUntitled (Faces And Mechanisms)180000250000200000-2011.1
463Robert RauschenbergUntitled (Female Head Under Glass)180000250000240000-433.3
464Robert RauschenbergUntitled (Elemental Sculpture)10000015000028000086.7180
465Jasper JohnsUntitled (Envelope)200000400000200000-500
466James RosenquistAspen, Colorado400000600000550000-8.337.5
467Jeff KoonsFlower Drawing (Orange)30000050000065000030116.7
468Andy WarholMale Torso (Buttocks)200000300000280000-6.740
469Carroll DunhamUntitled600008000075000-6.325
470Ashley BickertonDrawing For Good Painting150002000020000033.3
471Gilbert & GeorgePostcard Sculpture (Boots)250003500035000040
472Peter Fischli & David WeissBen Hur25000350005200048.6108
473Peter Fischli & David WeissUntitled (Equilibrium Series)25000350005200048.6108
474Jeff KoonsSnorkel Vest10000001500000800000-46.7-20
475Peter Fischli & David WeissWall100000150000100000-33.30
476Terry WintersUntitled150002500020000-2033.3
477Terry WintersUntitled1800025000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
478Carroll DunhamUntitled (11/20/90-11/21/90)400006000055000-8.337.5
479Carroll DunhamUntitled4000060000620003.355
480Elger EsserRuaud, France300004000020000-50-33.3
481Anselm KieferDes Malers Atelier30000040000065000062.5116.7
482Bernd & Hilla BecherFabrikhallen (Giebel)100000150000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
483Anselm KieferWurzel (Root)500000700000450000-35.7-10
484Peter Fischli & David WeissBrünhildes Fels (Brünhildes Rock)9000012000017500045.894.4
485Anselm KieferCh D Grabbe - Kleine Panserfaust Deutschland500007000035000-50-30
486Anselm Kiefer3 Photographs300004000025000-37.5-16.7
487Mel Bochner+ 1 Diagram (Row C)600008000040000-50-33.3
488Mel BochnerPrinciple Of Detachment180002500062000148244.4
489Mel BochnerCounting Exercise: Circles150002000080000300433.3
490John BaldessariChoosing (A Game For Two Players): Turnips200000300000150000-50-25
491Cy TwomblyTriumph Of Galatea100000150000380000153.3280
492Cy TwomblyUntitled10000015000026000073.3160
493Cy TwomblyUntitled (Modella)12000018000021000016.775
494James RosenquistMoon + Stars Seen At Noon From The Bottom Of A Well200003000085000183.3325
495Roy LichtensteinUntitled (Landscape)30000400006000050100
498Andy WarholJackie (Gold)500000700000125000078.6150
499Jim DineRed Lite Bulb10000015000019000026.790
500Roy LichtensteinStudy For Little Aviation250000350000290000-17.116
501Cy TwomblyOvid At Sea10000015000020000033.3100
502Andy WarholLilo Fink200000300000220000-26.710
503Jim DineBedroom Lite Over The Flesh Square8000012000060000-50-25
504Lucas SamarasUntitled10000015000028000086.7180
505Kenneth NolandA Warm Sound In A Gray Field120000018000001600000-11.133.3
506George SegalThe Dinner Table600000800000500000-37.5-16.7
507Allan D'ArcangeloThe Bride150000200000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
508Cy TwomblyUntitled400000600000350000-41.7-12.5
509Willem de KooningUntitled (The Commuter)700000900000125000038.978.6
510Alexander CalderRed And Yellow Antlers200000300000300000050
511Alexander CalderCurly Brass, Black And White Dots On Red1800002500003000002066.7
512Alexander CalderUntitled25000035000044000025.776
513Alexander CalderUntitled (Demi Cône)12500001800000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
514Josef AlbersStudy For Homage To The Square: Light Resonance400000600000550000-8.337.5
514 AJosef AlbersExpanding (Homage To The Square)300000400000320000-206.7
515Franz KlineUntitled300000400000240000-40-20
516John ChamberlainTonk #1200000300000260000-13.330
517Franz KlineStudy For High Street100000150000100000-33.30
518Franz KlineUntitled300000500000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
520Wayne ThiebaudJawbreaker Machine500000700000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
521Ruth AsawaUntitled, S 080 (Hanging Five-Lobed Continuous Form Within A Form)700000900000107500019.453.6
522Robert MotherwellThe Big A10000001500000850000-43.3-15
523Wayne ThiebaudHeart Ridge400000600000350000-41.7-12.5
524Alexander CalderTen Black7000009000001800000100157.1
525Andy WarholJudy Garland And Liza Minnelli400000600000480000-2020
526Andy WarholKellogg'S Corn Flakes Box5000007000007500007.150
527Richard DiebenkornUntitled500000700000680000-2.936
528Richard DiebenkornUntitled400000600000550000-8.337.5
529Richard DiebenkornUntitled500000700000500000-28.60
530Willem de KooningUntitled200000300000200000-33.30
531Alexander CalderAmerican Airlines #24500005500006000009.133.3
532Hans HofmannEvening Magic10000001500000880000-41.3-12
533Philip GustonThe Day600000800000600000-250
534John ChamberlainNo Schmoz Ka Pop700000900000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
535Willem de KooningUntitled400000600000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
536Adolph GottliebBurst #3140000018000001400000-22.20
537Alexander CalderUntitled25000035000058000065.7132
538John ChamberlainRosetuxedo10000001500000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
539Arnaldo PomodoroPagina Solare180002500055000120205.6
540Jean DubuffetLogologie, 4 Janvier 19678000012000070000-41.7-12.5
541CY TWOMBLYRoman Notes400000600000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
542ANDY WARHOLMarilyn Monroe150000020000001800000-1020
543Andy WarholLiza700000900000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
544Roy LichtensteinModern Sculpture With Intersecting Arcs80000120000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
545Roy LichtensteinBrushstroke I180000250000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
546Robert IndianaLove450000550000480000-12.76.7
547Mel RamosThe Green Lantern600000800000600000-250
548Wayne ThiebaudStudy For Freeway400000600000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
549Wayne ThiebaudPie Case150000200000150000-250
550Josef AlbersStudy For Homage To The Square: Darker Plays Lighter120000180000170000-5.641.7
551Josef AlbersHomage To The Square: Blue Sound200000300000180000-40-10
552Alex KatzLiz And Rose350000550000320000-41.8-8.6
553Joan MitchellMagnolia12000001800000310000072.2158.3
554Kazuo ShiragaKokuyou500000700000400000-42.9-20
555Helen FrankenthalerThe Road To Messina45000065000082000026.282.2
556Philip GustonUntitled (Book)300000500000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
557Robert MotherwellLes Caves Iv350000450000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
558Willem de KooningUntitled (Composition Red, Yellow, Blue)400000600000350000-41.7-12.5
559Richard DiebenkornCigar Box Lid #9300000500000240000-52-20
560Leon Polk SmithCross Roads Gray4000060000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
561George RickeySix Lines Contrapuntal7000010000070000-300
563Jim DineMister Cadmium100000150000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
564Helen FrankenthalerMoonrise400000600000420000-305
565Richard DiebenkornUntitled #37400000600000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
566Alexander CalderUntitled (Maquette)150000200000100000-50-33.3
567Alexander CalderFriendly Girl800001200001500002587.5
568Robert MotherwellThe Balkan Lute500000700000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
569John ChamberlainMezzomangle200000300000300000050
570Alfred LeslieSam'S Crooked Collage150000200000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
571Joan MitchellUntitled600000800000600000-250
572Edward KienholzSleepy'S Hollow With Handle And Wheels6000080000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
573Sam FrancisBridges To The Past10000015000090000-40-10
574Robert RauschenbergRose Wrench200000300000220000-26.710
575Wayne ThiebaudPortrait Of Sterling Holloway200000300000150000-50-25
576Tom WesselmannBedroom Face With Two Flowers250000350000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
577John KacereKathy400006000055000-8.337.5
578John KacereBeth '72350005000045000-1028.6
579Tom WesselmannStudy For Bedroom Painting #21500002000002500002566.7
580Frank StellaThe Glider (Scrap #8, 2X)200000300000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
581ANDY WARHOLSelf-Portrait80000120000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
582Robert ArnesonAudio Visual600008000070000-12.516.7
583Philip GustonSleeper Iii150000200000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
584Alex KatzUlla150000200000150000-250
586Robert RauschenbergWolf Wood (Urban Bourbon Series)250000350000300000-14.320
587Alexander CalderBrooch250003500075000114.3200
588Victor VasarelyAthem7000010000090000-1028.6
589Willem de KooningUntitled600008000055000-31.3-8.3
590Sam FrancisUntitled600008000080000033.3
591Philip GustonUntitled300005000040000-2033.3
592David HockneyRoland Petit20000300003500016.775
593David HockneyWilliam Burroughs20000300003500016.775
594Milton ResnickUntitled20000300003800026.790
595Willem de KooningUntitled #84000060000720002080
596Alfred LeslieNoah'S Collage400006000045000-2512.5
597Norman BluhmUntitled180002500072000188300
598Jim DineHeart Drawing J250003500024000-31.4-4
599Sam FrancisUntitled150000200000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
600Norman BluhmAlpheus30000400005500037.583.3
601Alexander Calder500007000010000042.9100
602Alexander CalderRingmaster And Horse350004500030000-33.3-14.3
603Alexander CalderThe Lollypop Tree35000450008500088.9142.9
604Alexander CalderBlinkers30000400006800070126.7
605James BrooksCantanda700009000070000-22.20
606Robert RauschenbergHoarfrost (Keeper)4000060000650008.362.5
607Jules Olitski11Th Radical Love300005000030000-400
608Sam FrancisUntitled400006000050000-16.725
609Ronald BladenWhite And Black150002000013000-35-13.3
610Mark TobeyUntitled3000050000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
611Kenneth NolandTripex12000018000022000022.283.3
612George RickeyOpen Trapezoids Eccentric One Up One Down Iii80000120000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
613Jules OlitskiSalacion Touch - 3150002000016000-206.7
614Victor VasarelyNema80000120000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
615Alexander CalderLe Pyramide Orange4000060000160000166.7300
616Alexander CalderBlack Looped Around The White2500035000130000271.4420
617Alexander CalderSphères Et Voiles2500035000100000185.7300
618Alexander CalderUntitled35000450005500022.257.1
619Alexander CalderDanse Rituelle50000700008500021.470
620Alexander CalderLe Papillon40000600008500041.7112.5
621Alexander CalderRouge Et Bleu50000700009000028.680
TOTAL (Sold lots):3810400053930000545710001.243.2

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All images courtesy of Christie’s.