Photographer Andreas Gursky Unseats Cindy Sherman in Record Setting Sale

Andreas Gursky's Rhein II fetched an auction record of $4.3 million at Christie's New York.
Andreas Gursky's Rhein II fetched an auction record of $4.3 million at Christie's New York.

A digital photograph entitled “Rhein II” by German photographer Andreas Gursky sold for $4.3 million last week at Christie’s New York, setting a new record for the artist and the category.

The realized price far exceeded expectations, which had been between $2.5 to $3.5 million, but competition at the auction was fierce.

Gursky's “99Cent II Diptychon” was the previous record holder for most expensive photograph sold before being dethroned by Cindy Sherman’s “Untitled # 96” at a Christie’s auction last May.

“Rhein II” was taken in the artist’s hometown of Dusseldorf, which lies at the center of the lower Rhine.  The large format photograph depicts a spartan stretch of the river that has had all extraneous factors edited out, leaving behind bands of grey and green.  It is part of a set of six abstract landscapes that the artist produced centered on the Rhine river.

While some feel the price paid was exorbitant, Francis Outred, head of the postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s European office says, "In my opinion, this price will come to be seen as extremely reasonable."

Writes Florence Waters in the Telegraph, " could be a long time before a photograph comes along that will top Gursky’s print. This image is a vibrant, beautiful and memorable – I should say unforgettable - contemporary twist on Germany’s famed genre and favourite theme: the romantic landscape, and man’s relationship with nature."

(Report: Christine Bolli for ARTFIXdaily)

More News Feed Headlines

Monet’s 1914-17 “Waterlilies With Reflections of Tall Grass” sold at Sotheby's in 2013.

Art Dealer Claims Ownership of Monet Seized in Billion-Dollar 1MDB Scandal

  • October 20, 2016 15:00

The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to seize $1-billion of assets connected to Malaysia's ...

Read More

Still from supposed Islamic State video showing militants destroying artifacts in Iraq's Unesco World Heritage city of Hatra.

Italian Mafia Trades Arms-for-Art With ISIS in Libya

  • October 18, 2016 15:10

Domenico Quirico, a journalist from La Stampa newspaper, recently went undercover as an art ...

Read More

The Monet Cookbook: Recipes From Giverny, by Florence Gentner, with photographs by Francis Hammond (Prestel).

The Monet Cookbook Gives a Taste of Giverny Living

  • October 18, 2016 15:09

From Potato Pie to Strawberry Mousse, French impressionist Claude Monet “appreciated simple ...

Read More

Wildenstein Institute, Paris

French Prosecutors Urge Jail Time, Massive Fine for Art Dealer Wildenstein

  • October 13, 2016 14:41

In closing arguments, French prosecutors urged a 4-year prison sentence and a steep fine be paid ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar


ArtfixDaily Artwire