IMPRESSIONIST AND MODERN ART - A LOMBARD ODIER AND CHRISTIE’S EVENT
Lombard Odier and Christie’s hosted their first joint event in London on 22 June, on the eve of a much-anticipated ‘Impressionist and Modern Art’ sale at the world-famous auction house.
Over 700 guests, invited by both organisations, were treated to a preview of works featured in a 23 June sale at Christie’s showrooms in the heart of London’s Mayfair. Among the paintings, drawings and sculpture on display were works by Monet, Cézanne, Picasso, van Gogh, Dalí, Degas, Gauguin, Magritte, Chagall, Sisley and Rodin. The sale comprised some 50 pieces in total, spanning almost a century, and movements as diverse as Impressionism and Surrealism.
Also on display were works from a 25 June sale at Christie’s entitled ‘Modern British and Irish Art’, featuring works by Lowry, Spencer and Hepworth, the latter currently the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at London’s Tate Britain gallery.
Lombard Odier Managing Partner Frédéric Rochat and Christie’s chief executive Patricia Barbizet and European chairman Charles Cator welcomed guests, who mingled with bankers and experts in the field of art and investment in four dedicated rooms, enjoying live music, Taittinger champagne, cocktails, canapés and a Mexican-style buffet.
“One of the most rewarding parts of my job is looking at art with people,” said Christie’s Mr Cator.
“You can look at a piece of art for years, but they’ll see something you haven’t thought of, or have a different perspective on it, and that’s the fascinating thing.”
Guest favourites among the artworks included the Monet centrepiece Les Iris Mauves, the scene of at least one ‘selfie’ with a famous actor in attendance; Degas Scène de ballet and a fantastic dreamscape from Chagall entitled Bouquet près de la fenêtre.
Estimated prices started at around GBP 300,000, and the sale raised GBP 71.5 million in total, with bidders from 32 different countries. Many works exceeded their estimated prices, including the Monet, which sold for GBP 10.8 million, versus a GBP 6 million to GBP 9 million estimate.
The event comes at an exciting time for the booming global art market. In May, a Picasso painting, ‘Les femmes d’Algers’, sold by Christie’s in New York became the most expensive ever sold at auction, raising USD 179 million including fees. Global art sales in 2014 topped USD 60billion, according to a report from the European Fine Art Fair, their highest ever recorded level.