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Silvery $105.4 Million Warhol Car Crash leads Sotheby’s Nov. 2013 Contemporary Art sale in New York

November 13, 2013
Lot 16. ANDY WARHOL 1928 - 1987 SILVER CAR CRASH (DOUBLE DISASTER) left: signed twice and dated 63 on the overlap right: signed and dated 63 on the overlap silkscreen ink and silver spray paint on canvas, in two parts overall: 105 x 164 1/8 in. 267.4 x 417.1 cm. Executed in Summer 1963. Estimate: In the region of $60 million.

Lot 16. ANDY WARHOL, 1928 – 1987, SILVER CAR CRASH (DOUBLE DISASTER)
left: signed twice and dated 63 on the overlap
right: signed and dated 63 on the overlap
silkscreen ink and silver spray paint on canvas, in two parts, overall: 105 x 164 1/8 in. 267.4 x 417.1 cm.
Executed in Summer 1963.
Estimate: In the region of $60 million. (click on image to enlarge). This lot sold for $94 million ($105,445,000 with the buyer’s premium).

Sotheby’s November 13, 2013 evening sale of Post War and Contemporary art in New York has no chance of besting Christie’s record setting $691.5 million sale of the previous evening, but it did bring in $380,642,000 led by Warhol’s Silver Car Crash, which sold for more than $105.4 million ($94 million hammer price plus buyer’s premium), a new auction record for the artist.

The evening got off to a solid start, with strong results for Lot 2 Untitled by Rudolph Stingle, which hammered at $1.1 million ($1,325,000 with the buyer’s premium) against a $500,000-700,000 estimate, followed by Lot 3 Mark Bradford’s Mithra, estimated at $600,000-800,000, which pulled down $2.2 million ($2,629,000 with the buyer’s premium), a new auction record for the artist.  [Complete sale results]. The first lot to test the eight figure range was Jean Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (Yellow Tar and Feathers), carrying an estimate of $15-20 million, hammered at $23 Million ($25,925,000 with the buyer’s premium). The first of the Steven Cohen (SAC) pictures, Brice Marden’s The Attended, drew $9.6 million ($10,917,000 with the buyer’s premium), against a $7-10 million estimate. The New York Times has more about what Cohen sold.

The major lot of the evening, the Warhol car crash, estimated at $60 million, opened at $50 million then jumped to $60 million, stalled briefly before progressing at $1 million increments to a hammer price of $94 million ($105,445,000 with the buyer’s premium).

The Dia Foundation off loaded a sizable number of works including Lot 20. Cy Twombly’s incredibly important Poems to the Sea, a glorious collection of 24 works on paper, estimated at $6-8 million.  Bidding was brisk and quickly broke through the $8 million high estimate with 7 buyers vying for the work – it finally hammered for $19.2 million ($21,669,000 with the buyer’s premium). Let’s hope this doesn’t disappear into a private collection and not be seen again. It’s one of the most consequential works of Twombly’s career.

The giant Richter (below), the second work being sold by Steven Cohen, crept along but managed to surpass its $20 million high estimate and hammer for $23.5 million ($26,485,000 with the buyer’s premium). The next Cohen lot, Joan Mitchell’s Atlantic Side, from 1960-61, with a $5-7 million estimate, pulled down $6 million ($6,885 with the buyer’s premium). Then came the Cohen-owned Warhol Liz #1 (Early Colored Liz), estimated at $20-30 million, that hammered for $18 million ($20,325,000 with the buyer’s premium).

The Barnett Newman (bel0w) went slightly above its $18 million low estimate to dealer David Zwirner for a hammer price of $18,250,000 ($20,605,000 with the buyer’s premium). The de Kooning Untitled V (below), which carried an irrevocable bid and a $25-35 million estimate, sold below estimate for a hammer price of $22 million ($24,805,000 with the buyer’s premium).

The Twombly sculpture Untitled (The Mathematical Dream of Ashurbanipal) (below), estimated at $2-3 million, sold just below its low estimate for a hammer price of $1.9 million ($2,285,000 with the buyer’s premium).

The withdrawal of the last work with a seven figure estimate, the Clyfford Still 1960-F meant there would be no more uber-$$$ dramatic moments and the crowd steadily departed to make their dinner reservations.  Auctioneer Tobias Meyer sped up the pace to get the auction to its conclusion.

Lot 20. CY TWOMBLY, 1928 - 2011, POEMS TO THE SEA (i), (vii) and (xxiv) signed and dated Sperlonga July 1959 on the reverse oil-based house paint, pencil and wax crayon on paper, in twenty-four parts each: dimensions variable: 12 x 12 1/8 in. to 13 5/8 x 12 1/8 in. 30.3 x 31 cm. to 34.6 x 31 cm. Estimate: $6-8 million

Lot 20. CY TWOMBLY, 1928 – 2011, POEMS TO THE SEA
(i), (vii) and (xxiv) signed and dated Sperlonga July 1959 on the reverse
oil-based house paint, pencil and wax crayon on paper, in twenty-four parts
each: dimensions variable: 12 x 12 1/8 in. to 13 5/8 x 12 1/8 in. 30.3 x 31 cm. to 34.6 x 31 cm.
Estimate: $6-8 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $19.2 million ($21,669,000 with the buyer’s premium).

Lot 30. WILLEM DE KOONING 1904-1997 UNTITLED V signed on the reverse oil on canvas 70 x 80 in. 177.8 x 203.2 cm. Executed in 1975.  Estimate: $25-35 million.

Lot 30. WILLEM DE KOONING, 1904-1997, UNTITLED V
signed on the reverse
oil on canvas: 70 x 80 in. 177.8 x 203.2 cm.
Executed in 1975.
Estimate: $25-35 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $22 million ($24,805,00 with the buyer’s premium).

Lot 26. ANDY WARHOL, 1928 - 1987, LIZ #1 (EARLY COLORED LIZ) signed on the stretcher acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas: 40 x 40 in. 101.6 x 101.6 cm. Executed in October - November 1963. Estimate: $20-30 million.

Lot 26. ANDY WARHOL, 1928 – 1987, LIZ #1 (EARLY COLORED LIZ)
signed on the stretcher
acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas: 40 x 40 in. 101.6 x 101.6 cm.
Executed in October – November 1963.
Estimate: $20-30 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $18 million ($20,325,000 with the buyer’s premium).

Lot 18. BARNETT NEWMAN, 1905 - 1970, BY TWOS signed with initials; signed, titled and dated 1949 on the reverse oil on canvas 66 1/4 x 16 in. 168.3 x 40.6 cm. Estimate: $18-25 million.

Lot 18. BARNETT NEWMAN, 1905 – 1970, BY TWOS
signed with initials; signed, titled and dated 1949 on the reverse
oil on canvas
66 1/4 x 16 in. 168.3 x 40.6 cm.
Estimate: $18-25 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $18,250,000 ($20,605,000 with the buyer’s premium).

Lot 10. JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT, 1960 - 1988, UNTITLED (YELLOW TAR AND FEATHERS) acrylic, oilstick, crayon, paper collage and feathers on joined wood panels: 96 1/2 x 90 1/4 in. 245.1 x 229.2 cm. Executed in 1982. Estimate: $15-20 million.

Lot 10. JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT, 1960 – 1988, UNTITLED (YELLOW TAR AND FEATHERS)
acrylic, oilstick, crayon, paper collage and feathers on joined wood panels: 96 1/2 x 90 1/4 in. 245.1 x 229.2 cm.
Executed in 1982.
Estimate: $15-20 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $23 million ($25,925,000 with the buyer’s premium).

Lot 22. GERHARD RICHTER, B.1932 A.B. COURBET signed, dated 1986 and numbered 616 on the reverse oil on canvas: 118 1/8 x 98 3/8 in. 300 x 250 cm. Estimate: $15-20 million.

Lot 22. GERHARD RICHTER, B.1932
A.B. COURBET
signed, dated 1986 and numbered 616 on the reverse
oil on canvas: 118 1/8 x 98 3/8 in. 300 x 250 cm.
Estimate: $15-20 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $23.5 million ($26,485,000 with the buyer’s premium).

Lot 33. CY TWOMBLY, 1928 - 2011, UNTITLED (THE MATHEMATICAL DREAM OF ASHURBANIPAL) initialed CT, numbered 2/3 and inscribed Gerbrüder Jäger, Pfäffikon SZ bronze: 41 1/2 x 20 3/4 x 20 3/4 in. 105.5 x 52.7 x 52.7 cm. Executed in 2009, this work is number two from an edition of three. Estimate: $2-3 million.

Lot 33. CY TWOMBLY, 1928 – 2011, UNTITLED (THE MATHEMATICAL DREAM OF ASHURBANIPAL)
initialed CT, numbered 2/3 and inscribed Gerbrüder Jäger, Pfäffikon SZ
bronze: 41 1/2 x 20 3/4 x 20 3/4 in. 105.5 x 52.7 x 52.7 cm.
Executed in 2009, this work is number two from an edition of three.
Estimate: $2-3 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $1.9 million ($2,285,000 with the buyer’s premium).

Lot 44. CLYFFORD STILL, 1904 - 1980, 1960-F signed Clyfford, titled and dated 1960-F on the reverse oil on canvas: 112 x 144 1/2 in. 285.5 x 367 cm. Estimate: $15-20 million.

Lot 44. CLYFFORD STILL, 1904 – 1980, 1960-F
signed Clyfford, titled and dated 1960-F on the reverse
oil on canvas: 112 x 144 1/2 in. 285.5 x 367 cm.
Estimate: $15-20 million. (click on image to enlarge). This lot was withdrawn from the sale.

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