Marlon and others break records at Christie’s Auction
The hammers closed record breaking deals on Wednesday, 14th November at Christie’s auction house in New York City. In the evening’s category of Post-War Contemporary Art, works from artists such as Andy Warhol, Franz Kline, Roy Lichtenstein, Mark Rothko, and Jeff Koons rotated from display to behind closed doors as multi-million dollar deals were made between buyers around the world. On the exterior of Christie’s located in Rockefeller center were the shining mirror-polished stainless steel Tulips created by Jeff Koons. The transparent color coating of these five oversized tulips glazed in the night as nearly 850 people filled the auction hall.
On a silkscreen ink canvas, Andy Warhol’s Marlon portrays the actor on a raw earthy canvas that contrasts to some of the painter’s known works, which are primed and colored. Marlon Brando on the canvas is Johnny Strabler in the 1953 movie Wild One and can almost be heard saying, “Hey Johnny. What are you rebelling against? What’ve you got?” as buyers placed quick, competitive bids within minutes that reached millions. The collection of Donald L. Bryant got $21.1 million and the final realized price after Christie’s premium price was an astounding $23,714,500.
During the evening, eight auction records were broken at Christies, with 11 works sold for over $10 million, 16 for over $5 million and 56 for over $1 million. This historically expensive night for Christie’s Post War Contemporary Art category resulted in the evening’s high-price total of $412,253,100 (USD).
Deputy Chairman and International Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art for Christie’s, Brett Gorvy, said of the night’s auction, “We curated the sale around a rich variety of the highest quality works and most coveted artists in order to serve our broad international base of collectors in their quest to find the next iconic work, whether it is Pop Art, Abstract Expressionism, or cutting-edge contemporary.”
The world auction record for artist Franz Kline, was broken with the realized price of $40,402,500 for the artist’s Untitled abstract expressionist painting created in 1957. This untitled piece may best represent the radical will and triumphant drama of abstract expressionism that energized the vibe and verve of New York in the 1950s. Another one of Kline’s paintings titled, De Medici, 1956, named after the rich De Medici Green paint used by the artist, sold for the realized price of $11,058,500.
Throughout the entire auction, New York’s very own Lady Liberty graced the wall in another one of Warhol’s paintings present at the event. The piece is titled, Statue of Liberty, painted in 1962 during a time of rising tensions between America and the Soviet Union resulting in the Cuban Missile Crisis. At the high hammer price of 39 million dollars, the 24 silkscreen ink pictures of Lady Liberty portrayed on spray enamel and granite canvas by the artist, will make her way with torch in hand to another art collection lifting lamps besides priceless golden doors.
Photos: Shirin Borthwick
For more information on Christie’s visit the official website here.