Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Auction on 12 May totaled $189,969,000, well over the pre-sale estimate of $144 - 162 million. Five new artist records were set including Brice Marden, Mauirizio Cattelan, Richard Serra, Juan Muñoz and Richard Tuttle. Highlights of the sale were Andy Warhol's Self Portrait from 1986, which more than doubled the high estimate to sell for $32,562,500 and an Untitled Mark Rothko painting from 1961, which soared over the high estimate to sell for $31,442,500.
At least six bidders competed for Andy Warhol's Self Portrait, 1986, which sold for $32,562,500, setting a new world record for a Warhol self portrait at auction. The iconic and rare painting is from Warhol's final series of Self Portraits - widely acknowledged as the most important of his career.
Mark Rothko's radiantly beautiful and monumental masterpiece Untitled from 1961 sold for $31,442,500 following competition from five different bidders.
In addition to the Rothko, Abstract Expressionist works performed particularly well. Jackson Pollock's rare and exuberant Number 12A, 1948: Yellow, Gray, Black, dating from his most creative and transformative period, sold for $8,762,500 after intense competition.
Eight bidders took part in a prolonged bidding contest for an Untitled work by Maurizio Cattelan from 2001, which portrays the artist as a tunneling burglar. The sculpture eventually sold to applause for $7,922,500, well above the high estimate to set a new record for the artist at auction.