Auctions: Rosy cheeks, rosy prices

The top lot of the sale was Femme au chapeau, 1938, by Pablo Picasso that sold for $11,281,560.

Kees van Dongen 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Kees van Dongen 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Christie's London evening auction of Impressionist & Modern Art including The Art of the Surreal realized £105,372,000 ($207,372,096), the second highest total for an art auction in Europe. Twenty-nine lots sold for over £1 million while 45 lots went for over $1 million. The top lot of the sale was Femme au chapeau, 1938, by Pablo Picasso that sold for £5,732,500 ($11,281,560). Buyer activity was (by lot) 83% Europe including the United Kingdom, 15% Americas and 2% Asia. The sale started strongly with nine works sold to raise funds for The Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Philanthropic Foundation that realized a total of £11,683,000 ($22,992,144). Highlights included L'Ouled Naïl, 1910, by Kees van Dongen, a depiction of a beautiful dancer from Algeria that sold for a record £5,620,000 ($11,060,160) at double its estimate. Alexej von Jawlensky's Girl With Rosy Cheeks, of 1911 sold for £2,932,500 ($5,771,106). The late Wohls, a London couple, had been great benefactors of Jerusalem. German and Austrian art was led by eight works by Egon Schiele, which totaled £11.6m., sold to benefit the Neue Galerie in New York. SOTHEBY'S NEW stand-alone week of Contemporary Art sales in London this month will be the first time that Sotheby's holds its flagship Contemporary Art auctions during a stand-alone week of Contemporary Art events, which will include an extended public exhibition devoted solely to the best international Postwar and Contemporary Art. An evening sale of around 70 lots on Wednesday, February 27, will be followed by morning and afternoon sessions of classic and cutting-edge Contemporary Art on Thursday, February 28. One of the highlights of the evening auction will be Francis Bacon's outstanding Study of a Nude with Figure in a Mirror. Executed in 1969 at the height of his career, it is estimated at £18 million-£25m. THE BRITISH Friends of the Art Museums of Israel will host its annual auction at Phillips de Pury & Company in London on February 26. BFAMI supports the Israel Museum, the Tel Aviv Museum and other museums throughout the country. This year's auction theme is Chain Reaction, and curator Cathy Wills has put together a collection of contemporary works by artists who show an interest in experimental processes, an awareness of digital media and an appreciation of light, space and movement. Fifty-four works will be auctioned, many having been donated by galleries, international contemporary artists and private donors. Highlights of the sale will include works by Yinka Shonibare (Turner Prize nominee, 2004), Keith Tyson (Turner Prize winner, 2002), Zadok Ben David, Alex Katz, Ori Gersht, Marc Quinn (fourth plinth commission, Trafalgar Square, 2004), Martin Creed (Turner Prize winner, 2001), Conrad Shawcross and Anish Kapoor (Turner Prize winner, 1991) and the Korean artist Lee Ufan. Israeli artists who donated works include Zadok Ben David, Ori Gersht, Ben Kadishman, Shimon Mizrahy and Dana Zemel. The lots will be exhibited from Thursday, February 21, until Tuesday, February 26. For further information, see the catalogue on-line at or contact Cathy Wills at For information about the auction, contact Caroline Samuels at 07870 637630 or