While much of the art world's attention this month is focused on Art Basel and the major upcoming Impressionist and Modern sales, last week's sales of Russian art in London brought impressive results across genres and periods.
Alexander Yakovlev's Titi and Naranghe, Daughters of Chief Eki Bondo (1926) was the week's most expensive lot, selling at Sotheby's on June 7 for £2,505,250 ($3,621,840), or more than three times the pre-auction estimate of £700,000–900,000.
Auction houses generally err on the side of aggressive pricing with their pre-sale estimates. It is a rare day that we find a work seriously under-valued when compared with the track records of similar works by an artist. But such appears to be the case with a work by Zhang Xiaogang, The Big Family No. 6 (1997), which will be auctioned at this Saturday's sale of Asian Contemporary Art and Chinese 20th Century Art at Christie's Hong Kong.
Less than two years has passed since the bestselling author Michael Crichton lost his unfortunate battle with throat cancer. Famous worldwide for his science fiction and medical thrillers, Crichton's love of modern and contemporary art was less well known—but not that less well known, as attested in the auction catalogue by LACMA's Michael Govan and Steven Spielberg. This evening Christie's will auction 31 lots from his collection, including works by such masters as Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and his long-time friend, Jasper Johns.
2012, aluminum, wood, sublimation print on polyester and concrete, 71 3/4 by 122 1/2 by 135 inches overall. Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New Yor