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Women Shattered Artist Records at Christie’s $98 Million 21st Century Evening Sale

It was no accident that women dominated Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale yesterday (May 15), which brought in more than $98 million.

“Christie’s is thrilled to have achieved a fantastic result in the first-ever evening sale that was majority female,” said Isabella Lauria, head of the sale, in a statement that implied that the auction house intentionally selected lots that presented “the full richness and diversity of Contemporary Art.”

Women created more than half of the 26 lots in the evening auction, which resulted in nine new artist records. Five were set by women, including narrative painter Danielle McKinney and sculptor/painter Rebecca Ackroyd, whose auction debuts fetched $201,000 and $56,000 respectively.

A bronze work by Simone Leigh, the first black woman to be awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, sold for $2.7 million, while works by photographer Diane Arbus sold for $1 million and and Robin F. Williams pieces brought in $428,000.

New artist records were additionally set by Vojtech Kovarik, El Anatsui, Peter Saul and William Eggleston works.