NEW YORK: Two of New York’s leading auction houses combined for the art world’s richest sales week ever, with works going under the hammer for a breathtaking total of more than one billion dollars.

Christie’s reaped in more than $638 million dollars at its blockbuster contemporary art auction on Wednesday.

Its staggering haul included a record $58.4 million for a Jackson Pollock drip painting, which shattered all previous records for the highest price for any work at an art auction.

“We are thrilled to announce an unprecedented overall total of $638.6 million for this week’s Post-War and Contemporary Art sale series,” said Brett Gorvy, an official at Christie’s.

Sotheby’s, meanwhile, had stellar overall sales of $377.4 million, including the sale of the work “Domplatz, Mailand” (Cathedral Square, Milan) by German painter Gerhard Richter for $37.1 million — a record for a living artist.

The other sensation for Sotheby’s was a work by US painter Barnet Newman, one of the leading figures of abstract expressionism, whose “Onement VI” fetched $43.84 million — the most ever for one of his paintings.

Gorvy said the record prices “reflect a new era in the art market, wherein seasoned collectors and new bidders compete at the highest level within a global market.”

Pollock’s “Number 19, 1948,” executed in his iconic drip-paint style with a shimmering mixture of silver, black, white, red and green, had been expected to sell for between $25 million and $35 million.

But it shot up to set a new auction high for the artist.

The previous top auction price for a Pollock had been $40.4 million last year, although his paintings are said to have sold for far more in unconfirmed private deals.

Meanwhile one-time graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat also set a record, sailing past Christie’s $25 million to $35 million pre-sale estimate to $48.8 million.

It was the highest auction price ever for the young artist, who died in 1988 of a heroin overdose in New York, aged just 27.

More From This Section

Rani Mukherjee and Aditya Chopra tie the knot in Italy

Bollywood actor Rani Mukherjee has tied the knot with Aditya Chopra, son of late iconic filmmaker Yash Chopra.

Justin Bieber visits controversial Japan war shrine

Justin Bieber courted controversy once again, posting a picture of a Japanese war shrine after an apparent visit.

Captain America stays strong atop US box office

The latest big-screen blockbuster took in $26.6 million over the weekend.

Fashion week: Lucky number seven

The latest Fashion Week manages to sift between designers who know their job and those who are a waste of time.


Comments are closed.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Poll
From The Newspaper
Tweets