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  • BACON AND LICHTENSTEIN THE TOP LOTS AT SOTHEBY’S

    Francis Bacon's Figure Writing, Reflected in a mirror painted in 1976. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: SOLD FOR $44,882,500

    Roy Lichtenstein, Sleeping Girl dating from 1964. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: SOLD FOR $44,882,500

    Masterpieces by Francis Bacon and Roy Lichtenstein headed Sotheby’s contemporary art evening sale in New York last night.  Bacon’s Figure Writing Reflected in Mirror and Lichtenstein’s Sleeping Girl from 1976 and 1964 respectively sold for $44,882,500 each.  It was a new world record for Lichtenstein. A further highlight was Double Elvis [Ferus Type] by Andy Warhol which sold for $37,042,500.

    There was a record for Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei when one ton of his porcelain seeds sold for $782,500.

    The auction saw a number of strong prices for the American master Cy Twombly who died last year. Untitled (New York City) from 1966 made $17,442,500, a new record for the artist at auction. Lichtenstein’s Sailboats III made $11,842,500, Ring, a striking 1981 self-portrait by Jean-Michel Basquiat made $7,642,500 and Arshile Gorky’s Khorkom sold for $2,770,500.

    The auction total was $266,591,000, within the $216/304 million pre-sale estimate.  Altogether 81 per cent of the lots on offer were sold.  With five bidders in pursuit of the Bacon and six chasing Lichtenstein Sotheby’s reported a “remarkable” depth of bidding between $30-40 million.  Worldwide Head of Contemporary Art Tobias Meyer said:  “The top end of the market performed beautifully this evening due to a global demand for masterpieces that is almost unparalleled”.

    See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for April 5, March 16 and February 27, 2012.

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