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Sotheby's Contemporary Art Sale totals $12,277,564 led by an Abstract Richter
Gerhard Richter, Untitled, signed and dated 21.3.86. Oil on paper, 25½ by 39⅜ in. 64.7 by 100 cm. Est. $250/350,000. Sold for $842,500. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s first sale of Contemporary Art of the season brought a strong total of $12,277,564, well within the $9.736/13.759 million pre-sale estimate. Highlights of the sale were the 1986 Untitled by Gerhard Richter, which more than doubled the high estimate of $350,000 to realize $842,500 (pictured above), and Window Sketch by Frank Stella which surpassed its high estimate to sell for $578,500.

Erica Barrish, Vice President of Sotheby’s Fine Arts Department, says: “We are thrilled with the results of Friday’s sale with almost 90% of lots selling at or above their pre-sale estimate and with an amazing performance by abstract expressionists. There was great international participation and very active bidding throughout the day. With this sale of Untitled by Richter, Sotheby’s currently holds the top five sales of his works on paper globally, and this work was the second highest result for Richter on paper to date. We had a wonderful result for Mark Grotjahn’s Untitled (Blue Butterfly), and Wade Guyton’s Untitled performed strong, leading up to his October retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. We set a world record for Charline von Heyl with Blue Rider selling for $80,500, four times its high estimate.”

The sale included Mark Grotjahn’s elegant 2001 composition, Untitled (Blue Butterfly) which exceeded its high estimate and sold for $554,500 (pictured below). This piece is one of the earliest and most significant breakthroughs for the artist. Other works that achieved strong results include Albert Oehlen’s Untitled (1), a stunning monochromatic painting from his important black and white Computer Paintings, which fetched $434,500. A further highlight of the sale was Hiroshi Sugimoto’s 1992 Red Sea which brought $332,500.

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