Works by artists with East End associations such as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, Willem de Kooning, Robert Gober, Joan Mitchell, and Richard Prince were part of the stars of Christie’s record-breaking $745 million Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale on Tuesday night.
East Hampton’s Larry Gagosian won Warhol's "Race Riot," (see E-catalogue here) for $62.9 million, a final price that includes the buyer’s premium (beginning at 25 percent that scales downward as the hammer price increases). The acrylic paint and silkscreen ink on linen piece was executed in 1964. Mr. Gagosian also acquired Christopher Wool’s “If You,” an enamel painting on aluminum from 1992 for $23.7 million.
A white version of Warhol’s iconic “Marilyn” series of silkscreens of Marilyn Monroe sold for $41 million, way over its high estimate of $18 million. For the more budget conscious collector, a Brillo Box sold near its high estimate at $1.7 million. There was also a silkscreen of John Lennon that sold for $2.8 million.
Mitchell, who painted in East Hampton when she was married to Barney Rosset, sold two works, one of which set a record price for her work. An untitled abstract oil painting from 1960 sold for $11.9 million over an estimate of $6 million to $9 million.
Two Pollock works in the sale were sold within their estimates. “Number 5” from 1951, also known as “Elegant Lady” sold for $11.3 million. “Vertical Composition I,” a small oil on canvas from 1950 was sold for $3.5 million. A more colorful and exciting de Kooning work from 1977 went for $21.1 million over its high estimate of $12 million.
“The Prisoner” by Lichtenstein sold for $5 million. The sale broke a record for Mr. Gober, who has a place in Peconic. His “Silent Sink” sold for $4.2 million.
Mr. Prince’s “Cowboy” photograph from 1994 went for $1.7 million. An earlier sale took its title "If I Live, I'll See You Tuesday," from one of his joke paintings in the sale. The painting ended up selling for $4.6 million. The artist had several works in this sale, all meeting or exceeding expectations. His "Nurse of Greenmeadow" painting sold for $8.5 million.