A Basquiat Painting of a Warrior Just Fetched $41.8 Million at Christie’s Hong Kong, Setting a Record for Western Art in Asia

A painting of a warrior from 1982 by Jean-Michel Basquiat was sold at Christie’s for $ 41.8 million Hong Kong set a new record for a work of Western art in Asia on Tuesday.

The live streaming single lot sales were conducted from the Hong Kong sales room ahead of the 20th century London house marathon sale and surrealist art. The paintings hammered within estimate at HKD 280 million ($ 36 million). The buyer’s premium increased the total to HKD 323.6 million ($ 41.8 million).

At a time when Asian buyers’ appetites for Western blue-chip trophies are growing, sales surpassed the previous record for a Western artwork sold in Asia made by an abstract painting by Gerhard Richter, at HKD 214 million ($ 27.7 million). at Sotheby’s last October. Last year, Christie’s saw a wide network of Asian buyers bidding for 20th century works and set a new world record for American artist George Condo in Hong Kong in July.

The buyers competed for the Basquiat, which was backed by a third party guarantee, through three specialists who operated the phones from New York and Hong Kong. The winning offer came after six minutes from Jacky Ho, the house’s evening sales manager in Hong Kong.

Basquiat, who was of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent, played an important role on the New York scene in the 1980s. The work sold at Christie’s dates back to 1982, Basquiat’s most sought-after year, and shows a full-length warrior figure with sword in hand. It was last sold at Sotheby’s London in 2012 for $ 8.7 million. Before that, it had an active decade in the market, having traded hands three times in seven years; On the way, the price rose by around 450 percent. This final sale represents a $ 30 million gain on the seller’s 2012 investment.

“Collectors are increasingly making connections between traditional artists and Western art history,” Christie’s co-director, post-war and contemporary art, Cristian Albu, told Artnet News prior to the sale. “I think it’s so important to expand on this idea of ​​building the collection and understanding that Sanyu also took inspiration from Matisse, or that Zao Wou-Ki took inspiration from Soulages and the artists in Paris in the 1950s and 1960s leaves.”

The Hong Kong market is showing signs of recovery from the effects of the pandemic. China overtook the US and became the largest auction market in the world in 2020 Art Basel Art Market Report, The largest market sector in terms of value is the post-war period and the present. Christie’s December 2nd sale in Hong Kong and New York broke 17 records for modern and contemporary artists marks the best result of the house in Asia still.

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