Auctions February 2013

Despite warnings of 'triple dip recession', the growth of the International art market does not appear to be faltering. The top sales this February were the Impressionist & Modern and Post-War and Contemporary sectors.

Christie's Impressionist & Modern Sale in London, realised £136,462,100 and sold 89% by lot and 94% by value. The top price was paid for lot 16, Jeanne Hébuterne (au chapeau), 1919, by Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920) which sold for £26,921,250, while Berthe Morisot's portrait set a new record price for a female artist at auction, and in total 32 works of art sold for over £1 million.

Sotheby's Impressionist Sale achieved a total of £121,075,400, establishing the second-highest total for a Sotheby's Evening Sale in this category in London. In total, 18 lots sold for over £1 million and the top price of the evening was achieved for Pablo Picasso’s 1932 painting Femme assise près d'une fenêtre, sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for £28,601,250.

Christie's Post war & Contemporary Art Sale on 13 February, realised a total of £81,668,850, selling 96% by value and achieving the highest total for a February Evening Auction of Post-War & Contemporary Art at Christie's London.

The top price of the evening was paid for Jean-Michel Basquiat's Museum Security (Broadway Meltdown), which sold for £9,337,250 (illustrated).

Francis Outred, International Director and Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Christie's Europe: "Five world records were achieved, including for Peter Doig and Pierre Soulages, the new and the old masters in our field, alongside the consistent growth of the market for Basquiat, Bacon, Hockney and Richter."

Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Auction resulted in a total of £74.4 million. Proven contemporary masters performed well, with Francis Bacon's Three Studies for a Self-Portrait (illustrated) leading the sale at £13.7 million.

Standout auction records were also realised for a younger generation of artists, including Adrian Ghenie and Hurvin Anderson.