London gallery Parasol Unit’s 10th anniversary fund-raising auction at Sotheby’s raised more than GBP 2 million and set new records for some artists.
A total of 31 works donated by leading contemporary artists, including Chris Ofili, Antony Gormley, Michaël Borremans and Luc Tuymans, realised GBP 2,092,250 in the auction, Towards Tomorrow, on 18 October 2014. The enthusiasm in the auction room was reflected in the fact that more than half the lots on offer exceeded their high estimate with 100% of the works sold.
Parasol Unit Founder and Director Ziba Ardalan said she was “absolutely delighted with this wonderful result which has surpassed our wildest dreams.” The gallery originally hoped to raise about GBP1 million from the sale to enable it to continue its work.
The sale was led by The Skirt, 2005 (estGBP 150,000-250,000), by the Belgian painter and filmmaker Michaël Borremans, which sold for GBP 926,500, breaking the previous record for the artist which stood at GBP 396,600. It was fitting that a record for the artist should fall during the auction, the gallery said, as it was at Parasol unit that Borreman’s staged his first London exhibition in 2005, the same year he painted The Skirt.
It was an afternoon for Belgian painters, as the hammer fell on a triptych by the influential Antwerp-based painter Luc Tuymans at GBP 290,500. The Barrel (Tryptych), 2013, a work of oil on copper, was donated by the artist for the auction
There were also new records for the Scottish artist Charles Avery and the Swiss sculptor Hans Josephsohn. Avery’s drawing, Feeding the Gulls, sold for GBP 11,250, part of his continuing project to describe a fictional island, while Josephsohn’s figurative brass bust, donated by Iwan and Manuela Wirth, achieved GBP 37,500, easily exceeding the pre-sale estimate of GBP 20,000-GBP30,000.
Parasol Unit also collaborated with Paddle8.com, who auctioned half of the donated works online, raising an additional GBP 126,700. The proceeds raised from both auctions as well as a private sale of GBP 160,000 totals GBP 2.37 million which will go towards Parasol Unit’s ambitious exhibition and education programme.
Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, founded in December 2004, is a registered educational charity and a not-for-profit institution, organising four exhibitions a year. Other artists who donated works include Adel Abdessemed, Cecilia Edefalk, Fiona Banner, Antony Gormley, Mona Hatoum, Isaac Julien, Idris Kahn, Y Z Kami, Robert Mangold, Chris Ofili, Yinka Shonibare, MBE, and Luc Tuymans.