A multi-million night on May 13 in New York at Christie’s, with $744.9 million for the 72 lots of Post-war and Contemporary art’s catalogue, reaching for the third time in a row the record for the highest auction total ever.
Top lot for the Abstract Expressionist masterpiece Fire I by Barnett Newman who beat his own record doubling the previous, sold for $ 84.1 million. Second place went to the triptych by Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards, who has met the pre-sales estimates surpassing $ 80 million. Third place for another great master of Expressionism, Mark Rothko with a 1952 work, sold for $ 66.2 million. Triumphed even the female counterpart of this movement, with a new record for Joan Mitchell, who with his $ 11.9 million also becomes the most expensive work by a female artist.
The auction began with a selection of works from the Bergman collection, a couple of collectors and philanthropists of Chicago, which totaled $ 65.6milioni, including the record for Joseph Cornell with a result of $ 7.7 million. From the same collection the record for a sculpture by Alexander Calder Poisson ruffles, , subject of a long battle that lasted six minutes among collectors in the room and on the phone until the gavel has not been beaten at $ 25.9 million.
The collection of Frances R. Dittmer has been driven from the $ 7.4 of a work of Cy Twombly, while from the collection of Anita Reiner the outstanding work of Basquiat of 1981 was sold for $ 34.8 million, followed by $ 33.7 million for the Jim Beam train by Jeff Koons.
In the Pop sphere, the beautiful work from Death and Disaster series of Andy Warhol took home a good result. Race Riot was sold for $ 62.8 million thanks to “shark” Gagosian, followed by White Marilyn of 1962, sold for $ 41 million after 10 minutes of contention.
Artist with a highly overheated market is Christopher Wool, who scored his second highest price with $ 23.6 million, another purchase of Gagosian.
In total, the evening sale has counted 10 artists’ records, 63 of the 68 lots sold more than one million, 4 of which over $ 50 million. Astonishing figures that show a greater flow of money that distinguishes the New York art market.