Christie’s was propelled to its biggest auction ever by selling $745 million worth of art, fueled by Barnett Newman and Francis Bacon paintings and billionaires from around the world who competed for the masterpieces.
A sculpture of an inflatable dolphin by Jeff Koons sold for $5 million. A 1971 Sigmar Polke painting depicting purple monkeys, an alligator and a penis was snapped up for $4.5 million. An abstract painting by Joan Mitchell fetched $1.5 million.
An abstract painting by Clyfford Still sold for a record $61.7 million last night, headlining Sotheby’s biggest New York contemporary art sale in three years, while protesters outside chanted “Shame on you!”
Take in the numbers: $84.2 million for Barnett Newman’s “Black Fire I”; $66.2 million for a purple and orange Mark Rothko canvas, and $30.1 million for Andy Warhol’s self-portraits in a spiky fright wig.