Christie’s New York Demonstrates International Enthusiasm for Asian Art

Christie’s New York demonstrates international enthusiasm for all categories of Asian art
NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s concluded its Fall Asian Art Week with a combined total of $43,480,025 (£26,522,815 / €33,914,420 / HK$336,970,194) achieved over four days of six sales, September 16-19.

Jonathan Stone, Chairman, Asian Art, said: “The results of September New York Asia Week demonstrate the market’s appetite for top-quality works of art with strong provenance. The continuing international demand for Chinese art was underscored by good sale through rates across all media and epochs. We now look forward to the Asia+ / First Open sale of international contemporary art, the sale of Important Chinese Snuff Bottles and the Pavilion Sale of Chinese works of art in Hong Kong on October 5th and 7th.”

William Robinson, International Head of World Art, commented: “The sales of South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art and of Indian and Southeast Asian Art achieved their highest sold percentage by lot for a number of years, indicating an increased buyer confidence across all sectors of the market. It was exciting to see known buyers in the classical sale expanding their interests into categories that had not been of interest to them before. The modern and contemporary sale was notable in that all the top 10 lots were acquired by private buyers, either for institutions or for their own homes.”

RESULTS OF ASIAN ART WEEK SALES | September 2014

FINE CHINESE PAINTINGS TOTAL: $5,242,025 80% BY LOT | 93% BY VALUE

Xia Gui (Active Ca. 1195-1230) Fisherman Returning to Shore in a Storm. Oval fan, mounted and framed, ink and light color on silk

TOP LOT: Lot 2 Xia Gui (Active Ca. 1195-1230), Fisherman Returning to Shore in a Storm. Oval fan, mounted and framed, ink and light color on silk. Signed by the artist. One illegible seal; 9 x 10 in. (23 x 25.4 cm.). Estimate: $40,000-50,000 Price realized: $497,000. Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd 2014.

Provenance: Lot 1, 31 May 1990, Important Classical Chinese Paintings, Christie’s New York.

Notes: Born in Qiantang, Zhejiang province, Xia Gui is considered a master of pure landscape painting. Xia Gui and Ma Yuan (ca. 1160-1225), both academic master painters who served in the Southern Song court, formed the Ma-Xia idiom that defined the Southern Song landscape painting style. Unlike Ma Yuan, who often used landscapes as a tool for conveying poetic or human sentiments, Xia Gui’s focus was on capturing true landscape, and he created a sense of infinite depth on a two dimensional surface, with minimal human presence. Developing Li Tang’s ax-cut strokes to their most advanced and nuanced form, Xia Gui carved entire mountaintops from empty space with a single, sculptural turn of the brush. Many of Xia Gui’s intimate works, such as album leaves and fans, survive today in museum collections.

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