Zao Wou-Ki's Abstraction raises record by 204% in Beijing auction

Zao Wou-Ki's Abstraction set a record for the artist's work on Sunday (December 1) in Beijing, leading Sotheby's first major sale in mainland China.

Zao Wou-Ki Abstraction Sotheby's
The painting was destined to be a record setter due to its provenance, size, date and quality

The painting topped the previous record of $4.8m by an impressive 204.1%, making $14.6m. Estimated at $7.6m, the result is testament to the global demand for Zao Wou-Ki (1920-2013), with the market for his work stronger than ever following his death earlier this year.

A Chinese-French painter, Zao Wou-Ki's work bridges the gap between eastern and western styles and, having lived in Paris in the 1940s, is strongly influenced by the likes of Paul Klee, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

Abstraction, painted in 1958, hails from his "oracle bone" period, and is considered among Zao Wou-Ki's most accomplished masterpieces.

Zao Wou-Ki Abstract Landscape 27.08.91
Zao Wou-Ki's Abstract Landscape 27.08.91 also sold well, making $7.3m and a 647.3% increase on its $978,352 estimate

In total, the sale - made possible by Sotheby's partnership with the state-owned Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group - realised $37m with 79% of lots sold, marking success for the auction house and paving the way for future sales in China.

The auction was held at the culmination of Sotheby's Beijing Art Week, which saw three selling exhibitions, including European furniture, diamonds and modern masters of western art, such as Picasso and Rembrandt.

More major auction houses are looking to hold auctions in mainland China in order to capture the thriving and lucrative Chinese market. Christie's held its first auction in Shanghai in September, offering a range of collectibles to test the demand in the country.

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Recent and related articles

·  Georges Vantongerloo's Courbes painting to make $815,000 on December 10? | 30 November 2013

·  Zao Wou-Ki's Abstraction to lead Beijing Art Week at $7.3m with Sotheby's | 29 November 2013

·  Tyeb Mehta's Mahishasura to make $1.5m at Christie's first Mumbai auction? | 28 November 2013

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