Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art broke the record for the most expensive single auction in history, totaling over $744.9 million with premium in sales. From masters of minimalism to today’s rising stars, the auction presented works from a wide range of sought-after artists including Mark Rothko, Hans Hofmann, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol among others. The auction house’s sales surpassed its $691.6 million landmark from last November.
Barnett Newman “Black Fire I” sold for $84.2 million, setting a new auction record for the artist. It nearly doubled his previous auction high of $43.8 million from the sale of Onement VI (1953) at Sotheby’s New York in May 2013. However, the world record for the highest price fetched by artwork at auction remains with Bacon whose triptych, “Three Studies of Lucian Freud,” was sold last year by Christie’s for $142.4 million. “Black Fire I” had been on loan to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for nearly 30 years, and went to an anonymous bidder.
Joan Mitchell’s untitled colorful bouquet from 1960 sold for $11.9 million, the highest amount at auction for any work by a female artist. Among other artists whose work auctioned off Tuesday are Andy Warhol’s ‘Race Riot’, which sold for $62.885 million, Alexander Calder ($25.9 million), Joseph Cornell ($7.8 million), Robert Gober ($4.2 million), Robert Mangold ($965,000), Joan Mitchell ($11.9 million), Martin Puryear ($1.8 million), Lucas Samaras ($281,000), Salvatore Scarpitta ($1.4 million) and Frank Stella ($6.7 million).
In addition to works from several private collections, Christie auctioned off Jonathan Yeo’s Girl Reading (Malala Yousafzai) to benefit the Malala Fund, which invests in initiatives that empower and educate girls around the world.