Here Are the 15 Most Expensive Artworks Sold at Auction Around the World in April 2022

Sotheby's Hong Kong sales made up the majority of the top lots in April.

Picasso's Dora Maar went under the hammer at Sotheby's Hong Kong Modern evening sale on April 27, 2022, hosted by auctioneer Ian McGinlay. Courtesy of Sotheby's.
Picasso's Dora Maar went under hammer at Sotheby's Hong Kong Modern evening sale on April 27, 2022, hosted by auctioneer Ian McGinlay. Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Just before the start of the multi-billion dollar auction bonanza in New York this month, the top lots of April 2022 were mostly achieved at Sotheby’s Hong Kong sales, which set records despite market uncertainty. The modern and contemporary auctions brought in a respectable $164.2 million, within the expected range, with a number of lots exceeding the HK$100 million litmus test.

As Artnet News’s Vivienne Chow reported after the sales, almost half the bidders participated online, and a good portion of phone bidders called in to Sotheby’s specialists in London and New York, although Asian collectors accounted for the majority of buyers (about 73 percent according to Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s chair of Modern and contemporary sales in Asia).

A portrait of Dora Maar by Pablo Picasso—the first painting of Maar to be offered in Asia—was among the star lots, surpassing its presale estimate to bring in HK$169.4 million ($21.6 million) to become the second most expensive Picasso work sold in Asia.

Another star lot, also by a Western artist, was Louise Bourgeois’s Spider IV, a nearly seven-foot-tall, wall-mounted work that boasts a nearly 80-inch wingspan. Meant to whet the appetite for Western art in Asia, the sculpture sold for HK$129.2 million ($16.5 million), just within its presale estimate of $15 to $20 million, making it the most expensive sculpture ever sold at auction in Asia.

Below, see the full list of the top 15 most expensive lots sold in April 2022.

1. Zhang Daqian, Landscape after Wang Ximeng (1947)

Zhang Daqian, <i>Landscape after Wang Ximeng</i> (1947). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Zhang Daqian, Landscape after Wang Ximeng (1947). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Estimate: Undisclosed

Final Price: HK$370,495,000 ($47,217,266)

Where & When: Sotheby’s Hong Kong, April 30, 2022

 

2. Pablo Picasso, Dora Maar (1939)

Pablo Picasso, <i>Dora Maar </i>(1939). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Pablo Picasso, Dora Maar (1939). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Estimate: Undisclosed

Final Price: HK$169,420,000 ($21,590,967)

Where & When: Sotheby’s Hong Kong, April 27, 2022

 

3. Louise Bourgeois, Spider IV (1997)

Louise Bourgeois, <i>Spider IV</i> (1997). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Louise Bourgeois, Spider IV (1997). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Estimate: HK$120 million to HK$150 million ($15,292,858 to $19,116,072)

Final Price: HK$129,205,000 ($16,465,947)

Where & When: Sotheby’s Hong Kong, April 27, 2022

 

4. Yoshitomo Nara, Oddly Cozy (2013)

Yoshitomo Nara, <i>Oddly Cozy</i> (2013). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Yoshitomo Nara, Oddly Cozy (2013). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Estimate: HK$80 million to HK$120 million ($10,195,234 to $15,292,858)

Final Price: HK$111,970,000 ($14,269,511)

Where & When: Sotheby’s Hong Kong, April 27, 2022

 

5. Wu Guanzhong, Plum Blossoms (1973)

Wu Guanzhong, <i>Plum Blossoms </i>(1973). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Wu Guanzhong, Plum Blossoms (1973). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Estimate: HK$90 million to HK$120 million ($11,469,644 to $15,292,858)

Final Price: HK$103,927,000 ($13,244,507)

Where & When: Sotheby’s Hong Kong, April 27, 2022

 

6. Chen Yifei, Banquet (1991)

Chen Yifei, <i>Banquet</i> (1991). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Chen Yifei, Banquet (1991). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Estimate: Undisclosed

Final Price: HK$54,520,000 ($6,948,055)

Where & When: Sotheby’s Hong Kong, April 27, 2022

 

7. Banksy, Love is in the Air (2006)

Banksy, <i>Love is in the Air</i> (2006). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Banksy, Love is in the Air (2006). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Estimate: HK$40 million to HK$60 million ($5,097,619 to $7,646,429)

Final Price: HK$51,073,000 ($6,508,768) 

Where & When: Sotheby’s Hong Kong, April 27, 2022

 

8. Henri Matisse, Nymphe et faune rouge (1939)

Henri Matisse, <i>Nymphe et faune rouge</i> (1939). Courtesy of Christie's Images, Ltd.

Henri Matisse, Nymphe et faune rouge (1939). Courtesy of Christie’s Images, Ltd.

Estimate: €1,800,000 to €2,200,000 ($1,955,034 to $2,389,486)

Final Price: €5,185,500 ($5,632,128)

Where & When: Christie’s Paris, April 13, 2022

 

9. Tyeb Mehta, Untitled (Bull on Rickshaw) (1999)

Tyeb Mehta, <i>Untitled (Bull on Rickshaw) </i>(1999). Courtesy of Saffron Art.

Tyeb Mehta, Untitled (Bull on Rickshaw) (1999). Courtesy of Saffron Art.

Estimate: $4 million to $5 million

Final Price: $5,596,000

Where & When: Saffronart, New York, April 6, 2022

 

10. Circe Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond, Chalcedony, and Diamond Ring

Circe Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond, Chalcedony, and Diamond Ring. Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Circe Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond, Chalcedony, and Diamond Ring. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Estimate: HK$35 million to HK$45 million ($4,460,474 to $5,734,895)

Final Price: HK$41,515,000 ($5,290,759)

Where & When: Sotheby’s Hong Kong, April 29, 2022

 

11. Takashi Murakami, 69 Arhats Beneath the Bodhi Tree (2013)

 Takashi Murakami, <i>69 Arhats Beneath the Bodhi Tree</i> (2013). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Takashi Murakami, 69 Arhats Beneath the Bodhi Tree (2013). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Estimate: HK$23 million to HK$30 million ($2,931,131 to $3,823,215)

Final Price: HK$38,490,000 ($4,905,184)

Where & When: Sotheby’s Hong Kong, April 27, 2022

 

12. Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (1997)

Gerhard Richter, <i>Abstrakes Bild</i> (1997). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (1997). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Estimate: HK$35 million to HK$45 million ($4,460,417 to $5,734,822)

Final Price: HK$36,675,000 ($4,673,879)

Where & When: Sotheby’s Hong Kong, April 27, 2022

 

13. Pablo Picasso, Nus masculins (Les trois âges de l’homme) (1942)

Pablo Picasso, <i>Nus masculins (Les trois âges de l'homme)</i> (1942). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Pablo Picasso, Nus masculins (Les trois âges de l’homme) (1942). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Estimate: €2.5 million to €3.2 million ($2,710,027 to $3,468,835)

Final Price: 4,136,800 ($4,484,336)

Where & When: Sotheby’s Paris, April 21, 2022

 

14. Chu Teh-Chun, Vent debout (1989)

Chu Teh-Chun, <i>Vent debout</i> (1989). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Chu Teh-Chun, Vent debout (1989). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Estimate: HK$20 million to HK$30 million  ($2,548,809 to $3,823,215)

Final Price: HK$34,255,000 ($4,365,474)

Where & When: Sotheby’s Hong Kong, April 27, 2022

 

15. Henri Matisse, Océanie, le ciel (1946)

 Henri Matisse, <i>Océanie, le ciel </i>(1946). Courtesy of Christie's Images, Ltd.

Henri Matisse, Océanie, le ciel (1946). Courtesy of Christie’s Images, Ltd.

Estimate: €1.2 million to €1.8 million ($1,303,356 to $1,955,034)

Final Price: €4,002,000 ($4,346,693)

Where & When: Christie’s Paris, April 13, 2022


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