Business hummed along rather smoothly at Christie’s London postwar and contemporary art evening sale today, and while Pace’s Marc Glimcher apparently departed after 36 minutes (“I’m bored,” Journal globetrotter Kelly Crow reported him saying), we imagine dealer Iwan Wirth–whom The Observer‘s Dan Duray recently profiled–was paying close attention, since two of his younger artists, Thomas Houseago and Berlinde de Bruyckere, notched artist records, according to the Artnet price database.
Berlinde de Bruyckere’s K 36 (The Black Horse) (2003)–which looks a bit like its parenthetical name (see the photo above)–sold for about $514,000, beating its $473,000 high estimate. And then, six lots later, Mr. Houseago’s seven-and-a-half-foot tall Figure 2 (2008), a beastly figure made of metal, iron, hemp and graphite, came in at a sprightly $248,000, edging out its $237,000 estimate with the help of the buyer’s premium.
And as my colleague Michael H. Miller noted, Christopher Wool nabbed a $7.8 million record. Things are looking good, for the moment. Happily, Mr. Wirth does not need to worry about his collector’s flipping work in front of his eyes: the Houseago comes from the Herald Street gallery and the de Bruyckere was sold from Galleria Continua.