Christie’s contemporary art auction set records for 12 artists last night including Lucian Freud, Jeff Koons, and Richard Prince.
Andy Warhol’s 1963 Andy Warhol portrait failed to meet its presale predictions, netting a paltry $23.5 (under its predicted sale price of $25 million) and a $17 million profit for its seller Hugh Grant (the auction house, of course, took its commission), who paid $3.6 million for it in 2001 at Sotheby’s.
According to Bloomberg, “Christie’s top lot last night was a sultry 1955 blue-and- orange canvas by Mark Rothko, ‘Untitled,’ which sold for $34.2 million, above the $30 million high estimate…Richard Prince’s drippy red ‘Piney Woods Nurse’ (2002), from his series of masked nurses ripped from the pages of pulp fiction, sold for $6.1 million, almost triple the $2.2 million high estimate. Prince’s works have been selling all week and, not coincidentally, he has a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum…Freud achieved a record for a 1992 painting of his daughter entwined with her husband. Estimated to sell for up to $20 million, it made $19.4 million. Lucian is a grandson of Sigmund Freud…Jeff Koons’s ‘Diamond (Blue),’ a 7-foot-tall stainless- steel sculpture resembling a faceted stone in a setting, sold for $11.8 million. It was a record for the artist even though the price didn’t reach the $12 million-$20 million presale estimate.”