Francis Bacon, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol and Ed Ruscha Power $210.5 Million Sale with Two Artist Records
T his May’s Contemporary Evening Auction was powered by towering figures of contemporary art, with Francis Bacon’s triumphant finale to his “Pope” paintings realizing $46.3 million. Also leading the sale were: Cy Twombly’s Untitled ($38 million), Andy Warhol’s Elvis ($21.6 million), Ed Ruscha’s Cold Beer Beautiful Girls ($18.8 million) and Georg Baselitz’s Dresdner Frauen – Besuch aus Prag [Women of Dresden – Visit from Prague] ($11.2 million, a new artist record). Additionally, the evening’s final lot, Sean Scully’s Song ($2 million), earned the artist a new auction record.
After four days of consecutive auctions, the Contemporary Evening Auctoin tipped Sotheby’s weeklong series over 1 billion US dollars.
Top 10 Lots from the Contemporary Evening Auction
Led by Francis Bacon’s iconic Study of Red Pope 1962, 2nd Version 1971 and Cy Twombly’s gripping Untitled from 1969, Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Auction in May comprises works by many of the most celebrated Post-War and Contemporary artists. Curated to include works by artists who eschewed Abstract Expressionism and the European-centered modernist structure that preceded it, the sale offers masterpieces by Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, Sigmar Polke, David Hockney, Philip Guston and Ellsworth Kelly. The Contemporary Evening includes the most significant grouping of works by Georg Baselitz in private hands from the Collection of Hardie Beloff, which together succinctly articulate the very best of the German artist’s inimitable oeuvre. The appearance of the Beloff Collection at auction constitutes the first time that this remarkable group of works in its entirety has been seen publicly. Rebound from the Collection of Susanne & Franklin Konigsberg is an incomparable embodiment of Ellsworth Kelly’s profound impact on twentieth-century art. The sale also includes definitive works by Helen Frankenthaler, Alex Katz, Sturtevant and David Hammons.
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