The contemporary art auction season opened during happy hour on Monday with a loud bang at Christie’s, as the bespoke and trendy, “If I Live I’ll See You Tuesday” sale made $134,630,000. Of the 35 lots offered, all but one sold for a skinny buy-in rate by lot of five percent and 99.5-by value. The tally resoundingly beat pre-sale expectations of $92,960,000-124,080,00, that is, before the post-sale add-ons of the individual buyer’s premium.
Twenty of the 34 works sold went for over $1 million and of those, eight exceeded $5 million and four hurdled the $10 million mark. More impressively, or so it would seem, 14 artist records were set, from newbie painter Alex Israel to the late Martin Kippenberger.