No Vacations: Next After Basel Are Christie’s Summer Sales in London

Christie's is going ahead with a week of big sales in London this year, with some top lots and landmark selling exhibitions.

Bruce Nauman, Double Poke in the Eye II, 1985. © Bruce Nauman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London 2024

After skipping the June slot last year, Christie's this summer is going ahead with a week of big sales in London, with Modern, Contemporary and landmark selling exhibitions. Kicking off the week is an online auction of works on paper by Marc Chagall, Marc Chagall – A Dialogue of Self and Soul, celebrating his endless exploration into spirituality in his art (June 12-26), followed by another online auction launching today (June 17) of Pablo Picasso’s irresistible ceramics that ends July 1.

Sign Up For Our Daily Newsletter

By clicking submit, you agree to our <a href="">terms of service</a> and acknowledge we may use your information to send you emails, product samples, and promotions on this website and other properties. You can opt out anytime.

See all of our newsletters
Marc Chagall, Couverture Jaquette, 1960. Courtesy of Christie's

On June 27, the auction house will host its marquee Post-War to Present Evening Sale with some unmissable top lots such as Andy Warhol’s Brillo Soap Pads Box (estimate £200,000-300,000) and a museum quality neon by Bruce Nauman, Double Poke in the Eye II (1985), coming from a prestigious European collection and conceived by the artist for the annual benefit gala for the New Museum, New York in 1985.

SEE ALSO: Observer’s Guide to 2024’s Must-Visit July Art Fairs

Following the large Tate Britain survey and the consequent rising prices, major attention is also on an impressive two-meter work by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, 5am, Cadiz (2009), which has an estimate of £600,000-800,000 but most likely will achieve seven figures. Another spectacular piece is the neon sculpture New Religion (Violet) from 2021 (estimate £30,000-50,000) by Sarah Lucas, who also just had a major show at Tate Britain a few months ago.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, 5am, Cadiz, 2009. Courtesy of Christie's

Despite the general market slowdown, collectors know this might be the right moment to look for a bargain—especially if they still have a budget after Art Basel and all the May art fairs in New York. For this reason, among the lots by emerging names (mostly women) that we can expect to exceed the estimates, we find an abstract work by the auction star Jadé Fadojutimi,  She’s Distressed, from 2019 (and fresh to market as acquired by her first gallery, Gisela Capitain the same year) with an estimate of £200,000-300,000,  as well as works by Marina Perez Simão, Emma Webster, Donna Huanca or Arghavan Khosravi and Claire Tabouret—which all come with quite conservative estimates, compared to their current prices and visibility.

If we look at some recent market revival stars, we will probably also see Miriam Cahn going over the estimate of £ 40,000-60,000 for a fresh work acquired by the current owner of her main gallery in 2017. The same is true for Paula Rego’s Untitled (estimate £80,000-120,000) and an acrylic on canvas with an estimate of £45,000-65,000 by Anna Maria Maiolino, who just received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at this year’s Venice Biennale and started to work with Hauser & Wirth last November.

The evening sale will present another part of the De La Cruz collection, following its successful white glove auction debut in May in New York, and with a strategic distribution of the rest of this rich estate across sales and locations.

Also as a continuation of the May sales, another exceptional single-owner grouping of works, Mettere al Mondo il Mondo: A Collecting Journey in the World of Alighiero Boetti, including a monumental tapestry Oggi ventesimo giorno dell’ottavo mese dell’anno millenovecento ottantotto (1988, estimate £350,000-550,000), a true masterpiece by Italian artist Alighiero Boetti, which we can expect to do very well following the recent market for works by the artist and his tapestries in particular. 

Alighiero Boetti, Oggi ventesimo giorno dell’ottavo mese dell’anno millenovecento ottantotto, 1988. Courtesy of Christie's

The evening auction will also include a series of artist-donated works sold to benefit the pioneering not-for-profit Studio Voltaire, now in its 30th year, that champions both emerging and established artists. Among the works up for auction are pieces by sought-after ultracontemporary names including Florian Krewer, Sophia Loeb, Paulina Olowska and Pam Evelyn (the last of whom both joined Pace Gallery in the past year).

And as NFTs try to claw their way back to relevance with the crypto market reemerging, as part of the Post-War to Present sale, Christie’s will offer the “Bright Moments 2021-2024 Complete Works collection (estimate: £200,000-300,000), a group of 216 art NFTs that includes pieces by Tyler Hobbs, Mario Klingemann, Emily Xie, Claire Silver and other top generative and A.I. artists working in this space today, all created for digital art organization Bright Moments.

Marc Quinn, Light into Life (The Evolution of Form), 2024. © Marc Quinn studio.

The Christie’s Summer Sales run in tandem with the much anticipated Vivienne Westwood’s The Personal Collection sale, including THE BIG PICTURE – Vivienne’s Playing Cards, a project by The Vivienne Foundation, with auctions on June 25 and online (exhibition open to the public June 14-24) to benefit charitable causes.

At the same time, the auction house’s Private Sales department is also presenting two major selling exhibitions: Dream Big, featuring large-scale sculptures by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Marc Quinn, Richard Serra and Magdalena Abakanowicz, among others, and a landmark selling exhibition to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Impressionism, open in London (until June 26), New York (until June 28) and online (until July 31).

Christie’s Asia Pacific Headquarters at The Henderson. Courtesy of Christie's

Next? July with Big Openings in Hong Kong

Despite the rumors the auction house would be downsizing its London operations, Christie’s clearly still believes in the power of its Kings Street location based on its summer auction calendar. Phillips will host its Modern & Contemporary Art: Evening & Day Sales in London, one after the other, on June 27. Sotheby’s will also run their summer sales of Modern and Contemporary Art between June 25 and June 26, with a big Evening Sale on June 25.  The sales will continue until July 2, with their major Old Masters auctions.

Meanwhile, both Christie’s and Sotheby's are preparing to open their new mega venues in Hong Kong, which could require some readjustments in the calendar. Sotheby’s new location will open in July, with sales slated for September 17-19 after auctions held during Art Basel Hong Kong. Christie’s 50,000-square-foot Hong Kong headquarters will open a week later. Still, that auction house has already scored some satisfaction during the auctions held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in late May, which achieved a combined sale total of HK$2.3 billion ($297 million), with 42 percent of lots exceeding high estimates. Philips was the first to have a permanent home in Hong Kong, with its brand-new location close to the M+ museum, which opened in March of 2023.

No Vacations: Next After Basel Are Christie’s Summer Sales in London