Auction prices all shook up
NEW YORK: Christie’s has held the biggest art auction in history, selling $853 million (R9.6 billion) worth of contemporary and post-war art, led by a pair of Andy Warhol works featuring multiple images of Elvis Presley and Marlon Brando.
The impressive haul beat Christie’s high pre-sale estimate of $836m. It was the fourth successive time since May last year that the auction house’s post-war and contemporary sale broke the record for the highest-total of a single sale.
A bidding war drove Warhol’s Triple Elvis (Ferus Type) to $81.9m, while Four Marlons fetched $69.6m to lead the sale of 80 works on Wednesday in a packed saleroom where only five works failed to find buyers.
“This is a market driven by global collectors who are looking for the best of the best,” said Brett Gorvy, international head of post-war and contemporary art. “More than about records, it’s about five, six or seven buyers competing to spend $50m or $60m on an object.”
A new record was set for Cy Twombly, when an untitled 1970 work soared beyond the $35m to $55m estimate to $69.6m, more than tripling the old record.
Records were also set for Ed Ruscha, Martin Kippenberger and Cindy Sherman at the blockbuster sale, which capped two weeks of key auctions for powerhouses Christie’s and Sotheby’s. – Reuters
Christie’s employees stand near two Andy Warhol portraits, Triple Elvis, left, and Four Marlons.
A 1963 silkscreen ink and acrylic on canvas portrait of actress Elizabeth Taylor by Andy Warhol titled, Liz #3
(Early Colored Liz) was sold by Sotheby’s for $31.5 million.