Basquiat Record Rounds Out Blockbuster Auction Series

  • "Untitled" of 1981 by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for $16 million at Phillips de Pury.

    "Untitled" of 1981 by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for $16 million at Phillips de Pury.

May has so-far ushered in a record-smashing season of auctions. Led by the stunning $120 million sale of Edvard Munch's "Scream," the highest price ever paid for art at auction, a multitude of artist price records have fallen. Nearly $1.5 billion of art was sold in 2 weeks at three New York auction houses: Christie's, Sotheby's and Phillips de Pury.

The latest headliner is Jean Michel Basquiat's ‘Untitled” (1981), from the collection of Robert Lehman, which doubled its low estimate to fetch $16 million at a $87 million Phillips sale.

Also last week, Christie's achieved the highest amount ever in the category of post-war and contemporary art with a $388 million evening sale. A Mark Rothko brought $87 million, among 14 auction records in the sale, and the most expensive post-war artwork to date. The sale also boasted the priciest collection of post-war and contemporary art at auction with the Pincus collection bringing $175 million.

Sotheby's sale was bolstered by Roy Lichtenstein's Pop art icon "Sleeping Girl," which set a new
auction record for the artist at $44.9 million.

Buyers were choosy though. Lesser works, or less "important" works, by blue-chip artists such as Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter, Willem de Kooning, and others, went near their low estimates or failed to sell.

This week begins the series of American art auctions in New York.

More News Feed Headlines

“Meidum Geese”

Is Egypt's Equivalent of the Mona Lisa a Fake?

  • April 07, 2015 22:02

Francesco Tiradritti, a professor at the Kore University of Enna who serves as director of the ...

Read More

Louvre

France Says Au Revoir to Rare Rembrandts

  • April 07, 2015 22:02

Two portraits by Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn may leave France as the cash-strapped state and ...

Read More

"Adam" and "Eve" by Lucas Cranach the Elder

Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Denied in Cranach Case

  • April 06, 2015 12:33

The Norton Simon Museum will face continued legal action over ownership of a pair of 16th-century ...

Read More

“Utah Highlands,” a painting by Thomas Hart Benton

School's Thomas Hart Benton Painting Heads to Museum

  • April 05, 2015 20:41

A painting by Thomas Hart Benton that was hidden in storage by a suburban Kansas City school will ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

ArtfixDaily Artwire