Dec. 2, 2021

WORLD RECORDS OF THE SALES OF POLISH ARTISTS’ WORKS

The Tuesday “Post-War and Contemporary Art" auction was full of spectacular records! It was in DESA Unicum, that a world record for the sales of works by Polish artists in the history of the market was set at a single auction. The total auction turnover was nearly 32 million PLN, meaning it was the best auction in the history of the Polish art market in terms of its turnover!

 

Indisputably, the painting “Two Married Woman" by Andrzej Wróblewski turned out to be the most important painting at the auction seeing that it broke a double record. This iconic post-war Polish work of art is currently the most expensive-sold painting in Poland. At the same time, it is the most expensive sold artwork on the Polish market. The painting broke records in both categories, which previously were also set by DESA Unicum. All three records were established only in the last twelve months. The work was sold for the record price of 13,44 million PLN.

The breaking of the record for a painting price is the more impressive, as it happened twice during one auction! The second most expensive sold painting in the history of the Polish art market was   "Detail 407817 - 434714" for the "1965/1 - ∞" series by Roman Opałka – it was sold for 8,64 million PLN. The work is part of a conceptual cycle that the artist started in 1965 and continued to develop until his death in 2011. He covered canvases with rows of consecutive numbers, aiming to depict the passing of time. Each next painting was accompanied by a photograph of the artist's face showing the signs of ageing, as well as his voice recording. Today, it remains artist's work sold for the highest price in the world.  

This is not the end! The Tuesday's auction established new price records for works by a number of the most recognized artists creating after the Second World War. 
The "Okeanida of Delos" by Jan Dobkowski – painter and graphic designer best known for being representative of the pop-art trend in Poland – sold for 204,000 PLN making it the most expensive-sold work of that artist
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Moreover, the work "24.X.71" by Stanisław Fijałkowski sold for 480,000 PLN, establishing a record for this artist's work. It acts as a preview of the "Highways" series – the project he has worked on for the longest time. It comes as no surprise, as over the years the artist has secured for himself a fine position on the Polish artistic scene of the 20th century. It is recognised by both the admirers of the avant-garde trend, as well as those interested in the postmodern multidimensionality of art.   

Alfred Lenica's great work "Spots in Heaven and Earth", earlier known as “Painting I" from the “Obrazy samorzutne" series, attracted much interest. It is considered to be one of his rarest and most valued compositions. In his extensive artistic output, not many works were created using this specific technique. They come from a period of “thaw", when Lenica extensively experimented with the modern techniques of informel painting associated with Jackson Pollock, Robert Matt, Óscar Domínguez, or Max Ernst. At that time, Lenica worked out his very own “painting language" that brought him international acclaim. The work reached the sum of 408,000 PLN, establishing a record for the artist's work 

In turn, Teresa Tyszkiewicz's painting “Gesture" was sold for 192,000 PLN. The artist believed in the paradigm of the avant-garde and the constant border-crossings in art. Her artistic practice was accompanied by an incredibly insightful theoretic reflection. It was gathered and written down by the artist in tens of essays touching on the problem of contemporary painting. One can find her inspirations in the wide range of her interests, such as philosophy, Buddhism, or quantum physics – but most of all in her willingness to pursue all that is new. As true progress she saw taking action unfettered by aesthetic categories, as well as theoretical contemplation of the power of the painting gesture. She also considered ambiguities and understatements as symptomatic phenomena of post-war art.  

Also, Edward Dwurnik's “Baikal" reached a record sum for the artist – 504,000PLN. Dwurnik has gained great popularity thanks to his extraordinary acumen and the ability to capture human vices and emotions. Through the many years of his work, he created countless pieces of art that belonged to cycles. They focused on broad topics, mainly concerning Poland. Even though he never took a political side, his works often reflect the important themes concerning the situation at home and beyond its borders. This is the case in the “Baikal" painting from the series “Way to the East".