Christie’s Shanghai opens Autumn sales with two auctions.

Art Radar takes a look at the results of two contemporary art auctions, both held on 22 October 2016, which inaugurate the Christie’s Shanghai Autumn sales.

Christies Auction (January 2016). Image courtesy Christies Asia.

Christies Auction, January 2016. Image courtesy Christies Asia.

Christies Shanghai: selling less three years on

In September 2013 Art Radar reported Christie’s decision to hold auction sales in mainland China, the first international auction house to do so. On 26 September 2013 they held their first contemporary art auction in which 39 out of 40 lots were sold for a total of RMB154 million (USD25 million). Art Radar takes a look at the results of two contemporary art auctions in 2016 – First Open| Shanghai and 20th Century & Contemporary Art – which together had a total sale of RMB71,451,600, significantly less than Christie’s Shanghai founding auctions.

Christies Shanghai, First Open Auction, October 2016. Image courtesy Christies Asia.

Christies Shanghai, First Open Auction, October 2016. Image courtesy Christies Asia.

Catering to the diverse tastes of local collectors

First Open| Shanghai and 20th Century & Contemporary Art are described in the press releases as “cross-category”, which refers to the fact that a range of works from artists of European, North American and Asian Descent were on sale. Rebecca Wei, President of Christie’s Asia, said in a statement release before the events:

As a world-leading art business, Christie’s is proud of its remarkable 250-year legacy in fine-art auctions. Christie’s is dedicated to its role as a cultural ambassador, facilitating cultural exchanges between the East and the West. The upcoming Shanghai autumn auctions and its series of events bear testament to our commitment to the China market, and our continued innovation.

Wang Yin, 'Flowers', 2006, acrylic on canvas, 177 x 237 in. Image courtesy Christies Asia.

Wang Yin, ‘Flowers’, 2006, acrylic on canvas, 177 x 237 in. Image courtesy Christies Asia.

First Open, Shanghai: results

The First Open | Shanghai sale was held at the Peninsula Hotel. Launched 11 years ago in New York, the First Open sale concept was introduced to mainland China in 2015 as +86 | First Open, showcasing the talents of emerging Chinese artists. This season, however, First Open | Shanghai offered collectors a curated selection of more than 80 artworks by Asian and Western contemporary artists, as well as a group of Asian contemporary designers.

Zheng Zaidong, 'Golden Screen', 2013. Screen, 345 x 172 x 2 cm. Image courtesy Christies Asia.

Zheng Zaidong, ‘Golden Screen’, 2013, screen, 345 x 172 x 2 cm. Image from artnet.

The sale total for this auction was RMB14,187,600. Chinese painter Wang Yin’s Flowers (2006) achieved the highest bid selling for RMB960,000 (USD143,451). Floating (2016) by Chinese designer (and creative director of luxury brand Shang Xia) Jiang Qiong’er achieved the next best price at RMB600,000 (USD89,657) along with Chinese painter Lu Wei’s Landscape (2008) and Zheng Zaidong’s Golden Screen (2013).

Max Ernst, 'Ohne Titel', 1960, oil on canvas (with Spritztechnik), 73 x 60 cm. Image courtesy Christies Asia.

Max Ernst, ‘Ohne Titel’, 1960. Oil on canvas (with Spritztechnik), 73 x 60 cm. Image courtesy Christies Asia.

20th Century & Contemporary Art: results

The evening auction of 20th Century & Contemporary Art also presented art from both East and West, spanning Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Chinese Contemporary Ink, Impressionist and Modern Art, and Post-War and Contemporary Art. Highlights included Ohne titel by Max Ernst (1891-1976), Emile by Bernard Buffet (1928-1999), Still Life Red Apples by Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), L’Aube Bleu by Chu Teh-Chun (1920-2014), Old Pine by Li Huayi (b. 1948) and Untitled 06-1 by Zeng Fanzhi (b. 1964).

Works by Western contemporary artists Max Ernst (1891-1976), Fernando Botero (b. 1932), Yves Klein (1928-1962), Ruth Asawa (1926-2013), Olafur Eliasson (b. 1967) and KAWS (b. 1974) were offered for the first time in a Christie’s auction in mainland China. The sale total was RMB57,264,000 with Max Ernst’s Ohne Titel (1960) achieving RMB5,760,000 (USD860,705).

Estimates do not include Buyer’s Premium. Prices achieved include the hammer price plus Buyer’s Premium. RMB to USD figures are based on daily exchange rates: please check websites, where applicable, for up-to-date USD prices.

Rebecca Close

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Related Topics: Auctions, Chinese artists, Japanese artists, Korean artists, Singaporean artists, auctions, market trends, globalisation of art, connecting Asia to itself, events in Shanghai, round up

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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