The large volumes of money being spent in the Contemporary art market continued at Sotheby’s last night as the auctioneers posted their highest ever total for a single sale.
This was down in no small part to Andy Warhol's Car Crash
(Double Disaster) which outstripped its $60-80m estimate and
sold for $94m (£61.5m).
One of four Car Crash works of this scale and the only
one remaining in private hands, the work had provenance to Charles
Saatchi and the Gagosian Gallery but had been acquired by the
vendor from the Swiss dealer Thomas Ammann in 1989.
The double panel silkscreen and spray paint on canvas from 1963
had 15 images of a fatal car crash to one side and a simple void to
the other. It was knocked down to an anonymous phone buyer.
The price significantly exceeded the previous record for the
artist - the $64m (£32m) seen for Green Car Crash (Green
Burning Car I), another of the 1963 series but a smaller
single-panel work, which sold at Christie's New York in May 2007.
The sum was also the fourth highest for any work of art sold at
While Sotheby's also set six other artists' records, including
for Cy Twombly at $19.2m (£12.5m), their overall hammer total for
the 61-lot sale of $333.5m (£218m) was roughly mid-way between
presale predictions of $280.7m-394.1m.