With paintings like Mark Rothko’s “No.10″ going for $82 million or Andy Warhol’s “Colored Mona Lisa” topping $56 million, it is no wonder Christie’s made history Wednesday by becoming the first auction house to cross the $1 billion mark in total art sales in one week.
The auction house has been on a roll. Monday's record-smashing sale total of $705.9 million (with fees) for 20th-century works was followed by strong prices on Wednesday for Post-War and contemporary art. In a $658 million evening sale, Mark Rothko's "No. 10" fetched $81.9 million, Andy Warhol's "Colored Mona Lisa" brought $56.2 million, Lucien Freud's "Benefits Supervisor Resting" got another $56.2 million and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s enamel spray, acrylic and oil stick on canvas called “The Field Next to the Other Road,” for $37.1 million.
Competitor auction house, Sotheby’s, had a good week too. On Tuesday it raised $379.7 million, with fees, from 63 lots of American-oriented contemporary pieces. At its auction last week, it proclaimed the result, $368 million, as the second highest modern and Impressionist sale in its history.
..... Devashree Goenka