Under terms agreed through Joseph Friedman Ltd a selection of works art from the collection of Kay Saatchi was offered for sale at Christie’s, King Street, as part of the Post War and Contemporary auctions on 28-29 June 2011, following travelling exhibitions to Paris, Moscow, New York, and Los Angeles.
The sale total for these works was £4,389,000 ($7.1m), well above high estimate, with new world records set for the artists Ron Mueck and Paula Rego.
Mueck’s iconic Big Baby, number one in his catalogue raisonné, more than doubled the previous record for this artist to make £825,250 ($1.32m).
Paula Rego’s masterpiece, Looking Back, from the artist’s most sought-after period, realised £769,250 ($1.23m).
Among an outstanding group of five early works on paper by Lucian Freud executed in the 1940s, all of which sold well above high estimate, the artist’s Rabbit on a Chair trebled its estimate to make £1,049,250 ($1.67m).
Strong results were also recorded for prints by Freud and Rego, as well as ceramics by Picasso and other works by Man Ray, Andy Warhol, and leading contemporary artists, such as Martha Rosler and Jodie Carey.
The success of the sale confirms Kay Saatchi’s reputation as one of one of the leading patrons and collectors of her generation. Originally from the US, Kay Saatchi moved to London in the 1980s at the suggestion of her mentor, the legendary New York dealer Leo Castelli. Together with her former husband, Charles Saatchi, she played a key role in the emergence of the Young British Artists (YBA) in the 1990s. She continues to champion young artists today, notably as co-curator of ‘ANTICIPATION’, the annual exhibition showcasing work by some of London’s most talented art school graduates. Having recently moved to Los Angeles, Kay Saatchi will now be working to promote emerging artists on both sides of the Atlantic.
View images of the Kay Saatchi Collection on Tour
Highlights of the Kay Saatchi Sale (Christie’s)
- Kay Saatchi signs off in grand style, The Daily Telegraph, 14 March 2011
- Collector Charles Saatchi’s ex-wife sells off art, Reuters, 15 March 2011
- Kay Saatchi artworks to go up for auction, BBC News, 15 March 2011
- Saatchi Baby, Bloomberg, 23 March 2011
- Leading British Art Collector Charles Saatchi’s Ex-Wife Sells Off Art at Christie’s, Artdaily.org, 16 March 2011
- Course au trésors, French Vogue, June/July 2011
- Market Review, Apollo, June 2011
- "It’s a New Beginning": A Q&A With Trend-Spotting Art Maven Kay Saatchi on the Christie’s Sale of Her Collection and Her Move to L.A., ARTINFO.com, 8 June 2011
- Five centuries of masterpieces to be revealed, London Evening Standard, 13 June 2011
- Masterpieces by Picasso, Monet and Michelangelo up for auction in London, telegraph.co.uk, 13 June 2011
- Face Of The Day, The Daily Beast, 13 June 2011
- New auction heroes bring art bonanza to London, The Independent, 14 June 2011
- What’s New, Wall Street Journal, 14 June 2011
- Peek-a-boo — Mueck’s baby among Christie’s masterpieces, The Guardian, 14 June 2011
- Top Property, Metro, 14 June 2011
- Birth of a new breed — Auctioneer starget Medici-style collectors, Financial Times, 14 June 2011
- Mama, she’s making eyes at me, The Daily Telegraph, 14 June 2011
- ‘Magpie’ Art Collectors Scour London Auctions, Bloomberg, 15 June 2011
- Bacon, Doig, Freud Works Soar in $126 Million Christie’s Sale, Bloomberg, 28 June 2011
- Kay Saatchi Collection Fairs Well Under The Hammer, ArtLyst, 28 June 2011
- A Looming Francis Bacon and Kay Saatchi’s Art Lifted Christie’s to a Rousing $125.8 Million Contemporary Sale in London, Artinfo, 28 June 2011
- Things are looking up, The Art Newspaper, 28 June 2011
- Christie’s Contemporary Art Sale Signals Continued Strength in Market, The New York Times, 28 June 2011
- Gold, fine wine, art or under the bed: what’s the safest place for your cash?, The Guardian, 25 August 2011