Christie’s made up for the surprise withdrawal of a Picasso by achieving records for Kazimir Malevich and Constantin Brancusi in New York. The sale reached $415.9 million, its second highest in the Impressionist and Modern art category. The top lot was Malevich’s “Suprematist Composition” from 1916. Its $85.8 million with fees, a record for the artist, beat an estimate of $70 million at hammer prices.
Dealers noted the Christie’s auction could well have achieved more and been a record. Two Picassos owned by casino mogul Steve Wynn were withdrawn after one, “Le Marin” worth $70 million, was damaged before the sale.
The Brancusi was a brass head, “La jeune fille sophistiquee (Portrait de Nancy Cunard)” from 1932 that made $71 million, beating a record of $57.4 million, on a guarantor sale.
Founder Louise Blouin