East Wind over Weehawken (1934)
Sold for $40,485,000 (£24,695,850 / €29,554,050)
World auction record for the artist
Hopper's Blackwell's Island (1928) sold for $19,2 million last May
December 7, 2013, source: Christie's
"East Wind Over Weehawken" was created shortly after Edward Hopper’s fall 1933 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, at a pivotal moment in the artist’s career. With his studio based in New York City, Hopper would occasionally travel across the Hudson River to New Jersey in search of subject matter. He carried out eight preparatory sketches of the sleepy suburb of New York, along with extensive notes about color in the area, which all contributed to the finished streetscape. The perspective is as if one is looking through a car window, having come to an intersection in the residential neighborhood. The work, which sought to capture the realities of Depression-era America, is permeated by a sense of melancholy and loneliness, underscored by the gray sky and brooding colors of the buildings. This, combined with the sense of suspended narrative, is what differentiated Hopper from his Ashcan School contemporaries.
George Wesley Bellows’ "Evening Swell" was sold for $7,893,000 (£4,814,730 / €5,761,890). The work is a superb example of George Wesley Bellows’ large-scale depictions of the rugged Maine coast and an important and evocative painting that demonstrates the artist at the height of his abilities. The work exemplifies the theme of struggle, which is prevalent throughout Bellows’ oeuvre, whether in the boxing ring, on the city streets or, in this case, in savage nature.
Two related works by Georgia O’Keeffe realized strong prices. "Two Calla Lilies" fetched $1,865,000 and "Two Calla Lilies Together" went for $1,205,000. John Singer Sargent's "Mrs. Richard H. Derby" was sold for $1,805,000 to Michael Altman Fine Arts, who alos bought the Bellows (see above).
Elizabeth Sterling, Head of American Art, commented, “A saleroom filled with collectors eager to acquire rare museum-quality pieces led to a sale total of $76.8 million, the highest ever for an auction of American Art at Christie’s".