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

View of Timbuktu, Heinrich Barth (1858)

Militant Who Destroyed Cultural Sites Pleads Guilty in War-Crimes Trial

  • August 23, 2016 22:25

A Malian Islamist militant who led the 2012 destruction of cultural heritage sites and ancient ...

Read More

Snøhetta expansion of SFMOMA.  © Henrik Kam, courtesy of SFMOMA.

Digging Into the SFMOMA Deal with the Fisher Family

  • August 23, 2016 00:00

San Francisco Chronicle's Charles Desmarais reports on the Fisher Collection of contemporary art ...

Read More

Detail of Lucas Cranach the Elder's Eve (circa 1530).  Image: Norton Simon Museum

Judge Rules For Norton Simon Museum To Keep Cranach Paintings

  • August 18, 2016 16:30

A U.S. District Court judge ruled this week that Pasadena’s Norton Simon Museum legally owns ...

Read More

Freud and Bacon photographed by Harry Diamond

Sebastian Smee's The Art of Rivalry Covers Riveting Relationships of Modern Masters

  • August 15, 2016 20:53

The Boston Globe's Pulitzer Prize winning art critic Sebastian Smee has penned a spellbinding ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire