LONDON - On the strength of terrific works by Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon and Gerhard Richter the Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London totaled £130.4 million ($204.7 million).
ANDY WARHOL’S ONE DOLLAR BILL (SILVER CERTIFICATE) SOLD FOR £20.9 MILLION. (US$ 30.7 MILLION).
Buyers were drawn to a group of dollar-themed works from a superb private collection, led by several museum-worthy Andy Warhols. Leading the group at £20.9 million (US$ 30.7 million) was One Dollar Bill (Silver Certificate), from 1962 – a pivotal year for Warhol. Together, works from the collection realised a total £34.3 million (US$ 53.9 million).
FRANCIS BACON’S THREE STUDIES FOR SELF-PORTRAIT SOLD FOR £14.7MILLION. (US$ 23.1 MILLION).
Two exceptional self-portraits by Francis Bacon were among the strong performers in London tonight: a 1975 Self-Portrait, which brought £15.3 million (US$ 22.4 million) and Three Studies for Self-Portrait from 1980 that realised £14.7 million ($23.1 million).
GERHARD RICHTER’S A B, BRICK TOWER SOLD FOR £14.1 MILLION (US$ 20.8 MILLION).
An abstract canvas by Gerhard Richter from 1987 also inspired strong bidding, selling for £14.1 million (US$ 20.8 million). A B, Brick Tower is one of fourteen so-called London Paintings, created by Richter in response to a visit he made to the city in 1987. The works were shown the following year at Anthony d’Offay, Richter’s first show at a London gallery.
FRANK AUERBACH’S HEAD OF GERDA BOEHM SOLD FOR £2.2 MILLION (US$ 3.5 MILLION).
Additional excitement was generated when several works far exceeded their estimates. A lively bidding war broke out in the saleroom over Frank Auerbach’s Head of Gerda Boehm, a charcoal on paper from 1961 that sold for £2.2 million (US$3.5 million) over its £250,000 to £350,000 estimate. The work has a notable provenance; it belonged to the poet Stephen Spender, who was an early collector of Auerbach. And Lucien Freud’s charming, small-scale still life of four eggs – a gift from the artist to the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire – brought £989,000 (US$1.6 million), ten times its estimate.