The money certainly wasn’t abstract as bidders chased after Abstract paintings last night at Sotheby’s including a stupendous $61.7m paid for a Clyfford Still work titled, “1949-A-No. 1.” A second, smaller painting of his also from the 1940’s sold for $31.4m. The city of Denver sold Still’s work, which rarely comes to market, to benefit a museum in his name. Total take for the Postwar and Contemporary Art auction came to $315.8m.
All major works, particularly the abstracts, far exceeded their estimates. Gerhard Richter’s “Abstrakes Bild” sold for $20.8, another went for $14m, nearly triple its estimate. A triptych by Francis Bacon fetched $19.6. A total of 62 lots were offered, eleven failed to find buyers.