Andy Warhol auction: 'White Marilyn' and 'Race Riot' sell for more than $100m

'White Marilyn' sold for $41m on Tuesday - 'Lemon Marilyn' is shown above

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The Independent Culture

Two paintings from Andy Warhol’s “Death and Disaster” series have sold for more than $100 million at auction in New York.

The iconic “White Marilyn”, completed in 1962 shortly after the Hollywood star’s death, sold for $41 million at Christies after far exceeding its $12-18 million estimate.

“Race Riot" fetched $62.9 million, again surpassing its $45 million estimate. The 1964 four-panel piece depicts violent unrest in Birmingham, Alabama and was created in response to an article Warhol read in Life magazine.

Christie’s sold 68 pieces at Tuesday’s auction and raised $745 million - a world record for sales totals at a single auction.

Brett Gorvy, Christie's head of post-war art, told BBC News: "We've actually made history tonight, it was a momentous evening."

Andy Warhol's 'Race Riot, 1964' sold for .9m in New York

Other major artworks auctioned included Barnett Newman’s “Black Fire I” from 1961, which beat his last record of $43.8 million, and Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards”, sold for $80.8 million.

Bacon’s panels attracted a bidding surge after opening at $50 million. The 1984 artwork came onto the market a year after Christie’s sold his “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” for a world auction record of $142.4 million.


Mark Rothko’s abstract oil painting “Untitled” took $66.2 million, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s ground-breaking 1981 painting of a regal warrior reached $34.9 million and Jeff Koons’ sculpture “Jim Beam JB Turner Train” sold for $33.8 million.

Koons’ “Balloon Dog (Orange)” sold for $58.4 million last spring to set a world auction record for a living artist.

Later today, more Warhol paintings will be auctioned at Sotheby’s. The 1986 collection of six silk-screen self-portraits in different colours shows Warhol in his famous “fright wig” and is estimated at $25-35 million.