Two Andy Warhol works of art — including a portrait of Marilyn Monroe — sold Tuesday for more than $100 million combined at a Christie’s New York auction, a sale of postwar and contemporary art that brought in a hefty total of $744.9 million.
Warhol’s 1962 portrait “White Marilyn,” which was created after the actress’ death, sold for $41 million, exceeding estimates that it would sell for $12 million to $18 million.
Even more impressive was the performance of the artist’s “Race Riot, 1964,” which depicts civil-rights protests in Alabama. The four-panel piece sold for $62.9 million, after having been expected to sell for $45 million.
The New York Times reported that the buyer of “Race Riot” (1964) was dealer Larry Gagosian.
The two Warhol works weren’t the only big-ticket items Tuesday evening. The biggest seller was an abstract painting by Barnett Newman titled “Black Fire I” that sold for $84.1 million.
An untitled painting by Mark Rothko from 1952 sold for $66.2 million, and an Alexander Calder mobile titled “Poisson volant,” or “Flying Fish,” went for 25.9 million.
A 1984 triptych by Francis Bacon titled “Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards” sold for $80.8 million. Last year Christie’s broke auction records with the $142.4 million sale of Bacon’s 1969 triptych, “Three Studies of Lucian Freud.”
Among the collectors who were present for the auction Tuesday were some prominent Los Angeles names, including Eli Broad and Bill Bell, according to the New York Times report. Many of the evening’s buyers were from Asia, the report said.
The Christie’s sale on Tuesday saw the auction house’s highest total for a single night in its history, not accounting for inflation.
Ng, David. “Andy Warhol Paintings Take in More Than $100 Million at Auction.” LA Times. 14 May 2014. Web. 14 May 2014.
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