The US art season wrapped up with a record breaking sales total of $412 million for Christie’s. Christie’s is an international company that provides art auctions and private sales around the globe. The record set this past year was the most successful sale of post-war and contemporary art in history according to Christie’s, with 11 artists breaking records as well.
Jeff Koons sculpture of Tulip earned a record of $33.7 million. The piece was held at New York’s Rockefeller Center plaza and became the second highest figure paid for a living artist, after Gerhard Ritcher in 1994. Tulip was created between 1995-2004 and is one of five versions of the work. Franz Kline and Jean-Michel Basquiat also set new records. Kline’s piece of work sold for $40.4 million which broke his previous record of $9.3 million. Basquiat, who started out as a graffiti artist, his untitled work from 1981 sold for $26.4 million that beat his previous record of $20.1 million from June this same year. The artist dies of a heroin overdose in 1988 at the age of 27.
“Clearly there’s and enormous amount of energy in the post- war and contemporary market. It’s highly likely that we’ll see a continuation of records broken.”
Records were broken all around with Christie’s rival auction house Sotheby earning their most successful auction in it’s history of $375 million. The Chrisitie’s sale also include the Andy Warhol Statue of Liberty piece, which sold for $43.7 million.