An auction to remember

More in my “loving New York” series.

On Wednesday evening, I went to the Christies Impressionist and Modern Sale. I visited in the morning to see the works. A sale like this, with works of such astounding quality is very rare. It was like visiting a museum that was doing a “best of” showcase.

The highlights of the sale were four works by Klimt. I have to say I loved them all.

Adele Bloch-Bauer II Houses at Unterach on the Attersee

They are phenomenal works of art. The Adele is masterful, but Birch Forest and Apple Tree just spoke to me.

Birch Forest Apple Tree I

They just make me want to smile. The paintings were behind glass, but I happened to be there at a moment when they opened them up for the press and it was astounding to see them directly. Gorgeous.

L'homme à la hacheThe other work that set record prices was a Gauguin. I have a special affinity for Paul Gauguin. When I was 14, I was dragged through the Smithsonian for 4 hours to see the most comprehensive retrospective of Gauguin’s work. Every major piece was there. While I felt it was somewhat torturous back then, I am really glad my mother forced us through the experience.

The other paintings that really drew me was a Toulouse-Lautrec that was an early work – a charming image of people lounging in the golden country side with a black dog by their side (very unlike some of his later works) and a wonderful wonderful Leger (unfortunately I can’t find an image for the awe inspirting work). Actually, there were so many amazing paintings… I was very lucky to see them.Partie de campagne

The evening sale was a zoo. There were hordes of people and two overflow rooms. The sale set a record of $491 million (including buyer’s premium) and the star of the show, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II, sold for a whopping $87.9 million. Amazing. What a great experience.

Read more about the sale here. See all the prices here.