Art What! Visual Art

Art What!: Visit Shen, the first T. Rex skeleton ever to be offered at an auction in Asia, amongst other highlights worth over US$187m at Christie’s preview in Singapore

Welcoming collectors and connoisseurs to the preview are representatives from Christie’s management teams in Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, as well as specialists from a range of categories, including: Francis Belin, President, Christie’s Asia Pacific (4th left); Kim Chuan Mok, Managing Director, Christie’s Singapore (3rd left); Charmie Hamami, Deputy Chairman, Asia Pacific & Managing Director, Christie’s Indonesia (2nd left); and Prapavadee Sophonpanich, Vice President & General Manager, Christie’s Thailand (1st left); Cristian Albu, Co-Head of 20th and 21st Century Art Department, Christie’s Asia Pacific (5th left); Georgina Hilton, Head of Classic Art, Christie’s Asia Pacific (5th right); Carmen Shek Cerne, Head of Sale, Chinese Contemporary Ink, Christie’s Asia Pacific (1st right); Vickie Sek, Chairman of Jewellery, Christie’s Asia Pacific (4th right); Alexandre Bigler, Head of Watches, Christie’s Asia Pacific (2nd right); and Winsy Tsang, Head of Handbags & Accessories, Christie’s Asia Pacific (3rd left).

This weekend, you can get a chance to get up close and personal with one of history’s greatest predators at the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. An historic moment, this will be the first time a T. rex skeleton has ever been offered at auction in Asia. The lot will highlight the 20th/21st Century Art Evening Sale during Christie’s Hong Kong Autumn Auction Week, and the estimate is available on request.

Shen the T. rex has been researched by the leading academic palaeontologists Dr. David A. Burnham, Professor of Palaeontology and Theropod specialist, and Dr. John R. Nudds, Professor of Palaeontology, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester. James Hyslop, Head of Science & Natural History, Christie’s, added, “From its surging, bloodthirsty stance, to its remarkable preservation, this is one of the most scientifically studied T. rex skeletons to come to auction. After the unforgettable, record-breaking sale of STAN at Christie’s New York in 2020, it is a thrill and an immense privilege for us to be trusted with the sale of another wonderous T. rex skeleton.”

The skeleton will be physically on view at the Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall in Singapore, before being displayed and auctioned at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, offering an incredible opportunity for collectors, science enthusiasts, and dinosaur fans alike to view and learn about this iconic prehistoric predator. Christie’s are dedicated to sharing monumental moments such as this as widely as possible, as part of their commitment to fostering education and appreciation for art and cultural treasures.

Francis Belin, President, Christie’s Asia Pacific, commented: “It is an honour to be entrusted with the first auction in Asia of a T. rex skeleton – a groundbreaking moment for the market in the region. This is a world-class specimen for museums and institutions, and its auction in Hong Kong in November offers an unprecedented opportunity for APAC collectors to own an exceptional piece of our global natural history. Shen the T. rex significantly diversifies our Hong Kong Autumn Auction sale offerings this year, following in the footsteps of two outstanding dinosaur skeletons auctioned at Christie’s in New York – STAN the T. rex, which sold for a record-breaking US$31.8 million in 2020, and most recently this May, The Raptor, which sold for US$12.4 million. We have witnessed a growing demand in the region for objects of historical significance, and we sincerely look forward to engaging museums, institutions, collectors and the general public around the world for this remarkable opportunity.”

JOAN MITCHELL (1925 – 1992)
oil on canvas
278 x 199 cm. (109 1/2 x 78 3/8 in.)
Painted in 1966 – 1967

In addition, Christie’s has also unveiled Joan Mitchell’s magnificent, iconic masterpiece Untitled with an estimate in the region of HK$85,000,000 / US$10,900,000, marking the revered female Abstract Expressionist artist’s auction debut at Christie’s Asia. The auction market leader for Joan Mitchell’s work, the sale continues Christie’s track record of presenting the most exceptional Western artists to the Asia region. An artist of global importance and esteem, Untitled comes to auction amidst a major international retrospective of Joan Mitchell’s work. Breathtaking, joyous, and monumental, this is a museum-quality piece by one of the most important female artists of the 20th century. It will be on display at The Arts House from 29th to 30th October 2022.

Elaine Holt, Deputy Chairman and International Director, Christie’s Asia Pacific, remarked, “A painting of uninhibited exuberance, Untitled is a symphony of colour and dynamic line – a seminal masterpiece and a creative pinnacle in Joan Mitchell’s oeuvre. Held within its vibrant brushwork and suggestions of thriving natural forms is a legacy that encompasses, not only Abstract Expressionism, but the power and values of modernist icons – van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne. Successful throughout her career, an exception to the norm for a female artist at the time, Mitchell is a leading vision in the Western art historical canon. It is a great privilege to be presenting her work for the first time at Christie’s Asia, for our discerning clients throughout the region and beyond.”

A work of new-found joy and optimism: Untitled, kaleidoscopic in colour and fervent in gesture, is representative of a clear shift in style and sentiment for Mitchell. The painting is preceded by the artist’s dark and turbulent ‘Black Painting’ series from the early 1960s, which she created during a period of personal, emotional challenge. In Untitled, angst gives way to optimism, and the painting embodies a palpable sense of energy and freedom, radiating with life. Painted at a pivotal moment in Mitchell’s biography: The artist moved to the French countryside in 1967, to an estate in Vétheuil, near Giverny – the home of Monet for 43 years, and the site of his famed garden and lily pond. The colour, light and bucolic idyll of Vétheuil’s landscape had a profound impact on Mitchell’s work. Conceived in Paris in 1966-67, shortly before Mitchell’s move to the country, Untitled’s vibrant colours and animated linearity sing of the natural world, visualising the essence of what cannot be verbalised – nature’s wild and unabashed complexity.

acrylic on canvas
180.3 x 149.9 cm.(71 x 59 in.)
Painted in 1994

The diverse array of masterpieces and exquisite luxury items at the global autumn auction highlights preview also includes works from Zao Wou-ki, Yoshitomo Nara, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Georg Baselitz, George Condo, Zeng Fan-zhi and Marc Chagall, alongside a superlative selection of works by legendary Southeast Asian artists including Georgette Chen, Cheong Soo Pieng, Mai Trung Thu, and many more. Also on view are exquisite Chinese paintings by Wu Guanzhong, Xu Beihong and Lin Fengmian; exceptionally rare jewels including An Exceptional Jadeite Cabochon, White Sapphire And Diamond Necklace, By Etcetera and The Fortune Pink, an 18.18 carat fancy vivid pink diamond; horological treasures from The Champion Collection and The Triazza Collection, and a variety of most coveted limited edition of Hermès handbags.

The Christie’s Public Preview runs at The Arts House At The Old Parliament (29 – 30 October 2022) and Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall (28 – 30 October 2022). Admission is free. To register to visit the T-Rex, visit their website here

Christie’s 20th/21st Century Art Evening Sale takes place on 30 November 2022 in Hong Kong, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. More information available here

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