Basquiat’s painting fetches $14.9 million at Christie’s inaugural sale in Shanghai | Auctions News | THE VALUE

Christie’s Shanghai-London 20th/21st Century: Evening Sales was held on March 1. Of the 105 lots on offer, 95 of them were sold and achieved a total sale of £249 million (about US$334 million).

The series of three sales began in Shanghai and grossed a total of 222 million RMB (about $35.1 million). The work of the most expensive American artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat, has been auctioned on the continent for the first time. His 1982 painting, The Dukewas sold for 94.1 million RMB (approximately $14.9 million) and became the most expensive lot in the sale.

The total hammer price of the three special auctions was higher than the sum of the low lot estimates, and the results were favorable.

At this auction, 19 of the 20 lots offered were sold, establishing an exceptional sale rate of 95%. Alongside Basquiat’s painting, three lots also sold for over RMB 10 million.

Both 20th/21st Century: London Evening Sales results are available here.

Batch 8 Jean-Michel Basquiat Il Duce (The Chief), Acrylic, oil on canvas

Created in 1982
152.4 x 152.4cm

  • Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zürich (acquired directly from the artist)
  • Private collection, United States
  • Acquired from above by current owner in 2017

Estimate: RMB 80,000,000 – 120,000,000

Hammer price: 80,000,000 RMB

Sold: 94,160,000 RMB (about US$14.9 million)

Christie’s Jewelery Specialist, Caroline Liang, works as an auctioneer in Shanghai

Shanghai-based auctioneer Caroline Liang (a jewelry specialist) started the auction at RMB60 million. After four offers, the hammer fell to 80 million RMB. The winning bid was from Evelyn Lin, Co-Head of the 20th and 21st Century Art Department, Christie’s Asia Pacific; for his client with paddle number 8288. In the end, the painting was sold for 94.1 million RMB (approximately US$14.9 million), with a buying commission.

Among famous Western artists, Basquiat is the most expensive in Asia. warrior was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong for HK$323.6 million (about US$41.7 million) last year, and remains the most expensive Western artwork in Asia.

Basquiat’s influence in Asia does not stop there. In November 2021, Basquiat’s largest solo exhibition in mainland China, shinetook place in Shanghai.

Less than six months later, this international auction house presents a new offer – allowing Basquiat’s works to be auctioned in mainland China for the first time. The leader and warrior were both painted in 1982 – at the height of Basquiat’s creative development.

Warrior by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1982) | Sold: 323.6 million Hong Kong dollars (about US$41.7 million) dollars | Christie’s Hong Kong, March 2021

Photo: ©️ William Coupon

This current painting was inspired by Basquiat’s two trips to Italy in 1981 and 1982. During these years he held his first solo exhibition in Modena at the invitation of Italian art dealer Emilio Mazzoli. While in Italy, he immersed himself in Renaissance art – with Old Masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Botticelli – and developed a keen interest in it.

From the radiant surface of this large canvas, the face of a powerful and authoritative figure looms. Rendered in black stick, his bold lines contrast sharply with the golden background. His square jaw is matched by his square forehead, topped with a crew cut of close-cropped hair and thick-rimmed glasses enclosing a pair of fiery eyes.

Batch 13 Zao Wou-ki Evening at the Palace Hotel (Palace Hotel by night), Oil on canvas

Created in 2004
130 x 195cm

  • Private collection, Europe (acquired directly from the artist)

Estimate: 11,000,000 – 18,000,000 RMB

Hammer price: 20,000,000 RMB

Sold: 24,360,000 RMB (about US$3.8 million)

Zao Wou-ki

The second most expensive lot was Chinese Abstract Master, Zao Wou-Ki’s masterpiece Night at the Palace Hotel. The bidding started at 10 million RMB. After more than 10 auctions, the hammer fell to RMB 20 million, double its low estimate. The winning bid was made by a customer with paddle number 8749. In the end, the painting was sold for 24.3 million RMB (approximately US$3.8 million), with a buyer’s premium.

In the summer of 2004, Zao Wou-ki came to Biarritz, a seaside town in southwestern France, where, while planning and preparing for an exhibition at Espace Bellevue, he stayed at the legendary century-old Palace hotel. . The city, located on the Atlantic coast, is known for its magnificent beaches and surf spots.

The Hotel du Palais faces the Atlantic coast, making it a pleasure to visit thanks to the warmth and romance of the coast in summer. Back in his studio in Paris, Zao Wou-ki exhibited photos he had taken by the sea on a bookcase and finished this painting in September of the same year. Contrary to his habit of naming the works after their date of completion, he inscribed Evening at the Hôtel du PalaisSeptember 2004 on the back side; the finished work was shown in Biarritz in 2005 at the Retrospective Zao Wou-ki, 1948-2005 in homage to the city.

Batch 12 Kees van Dongen The Woman with a Necklace (La dame au collier), Oil on canvas

Created in 1908

  • Bernheim-Jeune Gallery, Paris, circa 1908
  • Druet Gallery, Paris
  • Helena Rubinstein, New York, Paris and London; his estate, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, April 20, 1966, lot 43
  • Private collection, London, by whom acquired at the above sale
  • Prince & Princess Mario Ruspoli, Paris, by October 1967
  • Lefevre Fine Art Ltd., London
  • Acquired from above by current owner in 2008

Estimate: RMB 19,500,000 – 32,000,000

Hammer price: 19,000,000 RMB

Sold: 23,160,000 RMB (about US$3.6 million)

Van Dongen was an important figure in Fauvist painting in Paris

The third most expensive lot was The lady with a necklace The painting. It fetched 23.1 million RMB (about US$3.6 million) and the winning bid was taken by the live audience from the London auction house with the pallet number 999.

In 1905, Van Dongen took part in the Autumn Fair Art exhibition with Matisse and others, and the two quickly became representatives of Fauvism. This Shanghai auction marks the first time Van Dongen’s work has been auctioned on the mainland.

Celebrating the heady atmosphere of Paris during the first decade of the 20th century, Van Dongen’s paintings revel in the depiction of beautiful women, often adorned in contemporary fashion, inviting the viewer to indulge in the vibrant and indulgent world of entertainment, fame and pleasure in which he immersed himself.

Executed in rich layers of visceral and visible dabs of paint, Van Dongen’s painterly and coloristic mastery is on display in Woman with a Necklace, the attention being immediately drawn to the very act of creating the painting, making each gesture brush, of each layer of paint visible on the surface of the canvas.

Batch 6 Marc Chagall Le bouquet de lilac (Le bouquet de lilac), Oil on canvas

Created in 1968

  • Maeght Gallery, Paris
  • Private collection, Japan, by whom acquired in the early 1970s
  • Acquired from above by current owner, after 2008

Estimate: RMB 13,000,000 – 20,000,000

Hammer price: 15,500,000 RMB

Sold: 18,960,000 RMB (about US$2.9 million)

Marc Chagall

Russian artist, Marc Chagall The bouquet of lilacs the artwork collected 18.96 million RMB (approximately US$2.9 million) – ranking fourth in this auction.

Born in modern Belarus, he moved to France at a young age. Due to his Jewish ancestry, he fled to the United States seeking asylum during World War II. After the war, he settled in the south of France.

Filled with heady romance and the scent of an exuberant blooming bouquet, Marc Chagall’s Le bouquet de lilac presents an expression of beauty and joy during the highly successful period of his mature career in the 1960s. All the senses are evoked by the abundant scent of blooming lilacs, the musical melody of the flautist at his center, the dazzling beauty of his smiling muse to his left, and the tactile bodies of his docile farm animals everywhere.

Ambient crescent moon light hovers above Chagall’s distinctive azure blue landscape, evoking beloved memories of his homeland in the Belarusian city of Vitebsk that melt in a dreamlike glow with an evocation of the bountiful surroundings of his current home in the vibrant artistic hub of southern France. Chagall’s sense of abundance is brought to life in this vibrant and colorful composition, enhanced by its rich impasto surface, with iconic motifs from his lifelong artistic repertoire re-enacting the whole experience of life upon which he draws. recalls.

Other flagship lots:

Three works by emerging Western artists – Joel Mesler, Edgar Plans and Emmanuel Taku – have all set auction records in Shanghai and repeatedly been hammered from their low estimates.

Batch 3 Joel Mesler Untitled (You Deserve Great Things), Pigment on Linen

Created in 2020



  • Rental Gallery, East Hampton
  • Private collection, New York

Estimate: 600,000 – 900,000 RMB

Hammer price: 4,500,000 RMB

Sold: 5,670,000 RMB (about 900,000 USD)

Batch 20 Edgar’s Plans Colors, Mixed techniques on panel

Created in 2020

122 x 162cm


  • Ting Ting Art Space, Taipei
  • Private collection, Asia (acquired from the above gallery by the current owner)

Estimate: 500,000 – 800,000 RMB

Hammer price: 3,500,000 RMB

Sold: 4,410,000 RMB (about 700,000 USD)

Lot 1 Emmanuel Taku Torn, Acrylic on canvas

Created in 2021

200 x 127cm


  • Acquired directly from the artist
  • Private collection, New York

Estimate: 200,000 – 300,000 RMB

Hammer price: 1,300,000 RMB

Sold: 1,638,000 RMB (about 260,000 USD)

Auction details:

Auction house: Christie’s Shanghai

Sale: 20th and 21st Century: Shanghai Evening Sale

Sale date: March 1, 2022

Number of batches: 20

Sold: 19

Unsold: 1

Sell ​​rate: 95%

Total sale: RMB222,030,200 (about $35.1 million)

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