By Culturekiosque Staff
PARIS, 9 JUNE 2013 The top lot of Sothebys sale of
Contemporary Art in Paris on Thursday, and a record price in France for
the artist was Jean-Michel Basquiat's monumental Crown Hotel (Mona
Lisa Black Background) from The Collection of the Comtesse Viviane de
Witt, which sold for â‚¬5,697,500 / $7,436,320 / £4,848,931 (est.
â‚¬5-7m/$6.6-9.2m). Mounted on a crisscross stretcher, it is a classic work
by the artist and cites two icons of western art Mona Lisa and
Olympia. Three further artist records in France were achieved for
works by Willem de Kooning, Jean-Michel Othoniel and Zao Wou-Ki, and the
highlight of the works featured in the sale from the Collection of Alex
& Elisabeth Lewyt was Nicolas de Staëls monumental Flowers on a
Salmon-Pink Table (1953), which sold for â‚¬1,441,500 / $1,881,431/
£1,226,807 (est. â‚¬800,000-1,200,000 /$1,050,000-1,570,000. The sale, which
closed to a round of applause, was 96.6% sold by lot and 99.8% sold by
value, with five works selling for over â‚¬1million and a high average lot
value of â‚¬772,271/ $1,007,960/ £657,251.
Further to the Basquiat, an exceptional work from The Collection of
Comtesse Viviane de Witte by Willem de Kooning, Five Women
(1952), fetched â‚¬901.500/ $1,176,629/ £767,233 (est. â‚¬400,000-600,000/
$515,000-770,000). The large-scale drawing exemplifies the artists
reputation as the 'greatest draughtsman of the 20th century'.
Among the four works by Alexander Calder from the Collection was his
monochrome, nine-part work titled Nine Snowflakes, which
sold for â‚¬721,500/$941,695/ £614,042 (est. â‚¬600,000-800,000/
$770,000-1,030,000), in addition to a work with a more typically vibrant
colour scheme titled Standing mobile, Low Three Feathers, which
fetched â‚¬625,500/ $816,396/ £532,340 (est.
An important, large-format work by Anselm Kiefer titled
Johannisnacht or Midsummer Night (1987-91) - a title that pays
tribute to the cycle of the seasons - fetched â‚¬541,500/$706,760/ £460,851
(est. â‚¬250,000-350,000/ $329,000-460,000). The work is executed in
Kiefer's favoured natural materials of lead, earth and foliage
Viviane de Witt is married to Jérôme de Witt a descendant of
Napoleon's brother Jérôme, King of Westphalia and became one of France's
first female auctioneers in 1978, swiftly making her mark on the country's
male-dominated auction world.
Exhibition Review: Basquiat at the Fondation Beyeler