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International: Sotheby's scores its highest total for contemporary art- £108.8 million


Published on Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Wednesday evening June 29th, seems to have been a mainly German and British affair at the auction houses in London, doubling the total sales for the same auction last summer.

Sotheby’s sold twenty-nine lots for £1 million each. The auction house reached its highest total for a contemporary art sale when it took £108.8 million.

Francis Bacon’s high status was reaffirmed as his stunning emerald Crouching Nude, one of a series of visceral portraits of his muse Henrietta Moraes, sold for £8.3 million. At Christie's auction in London on Tuesday, June 28th another Bacon painting, Study for a Portrait sold for £18 million - £7 million more than its original estimate.

Chirstie’s thirty-four lots came from the collection of Christian Graf Duerckheim-Ketelhodt, who passed away last year. He was a friend and champion of Georg Baselitz and an avid collector of Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter.

Interesting to note was Andy Warhol’s who fell far behind that for the Germans. Surprisingly, the famed pop image, Campbell Soup Can of 1963, went unsold.

Artwork by Americans Jeff Koons and Roy Lichtenstein also went unsold while work by graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat was snapped up for £5.4 million.

Has the contemporary art market regained its health?


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