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

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 $62.9m in New York Andy Warhol's 'Race Riot, 1964' sold for $62.9m 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.

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