Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ October 2 Post War and Contemporary Art auction featured Untitled (Pastel), 1991, by Joan Mitchell, the largest and only double sheet drawing from her last important body of work. Selling for $1,212,500, the drawing set a global record for the artist, being the highest price realized for a work on paper by Joan Mitchell ever sold at auction.
Untitled (Pastel), 1991, has been in possession of a single owner since 1995, when it was purchased from Robert Miller Gallery in New York. Bidding on the work took place in Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ Chicago saleroom, online and over the phone. With over ten phone bidders competing for the drawing, it eventually sold to New York art dealer and consultant Anthony Grant. Strong phone bidding caused the Mitchell to surpass presale expectations, selling for over double its presale estimate of $400,000 – $600,000.
“Beyond its aesthetic merits, Mitchell is having something of a market moment,” said Zack Wirsum, Senior Specialist Post War and Contemporary Art at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. “It’s incredible that she was able to achieve the same aggressive energy as she did in her paintings with a delicate media like pastel.”