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World-record price for Emilio Vedova established at Dorotheum's Contemporary art auction
Emilio Vedova (1919-2006) Tensione, N 4 V, 1959, oil on canvas, 145.5 x 196 cm, realized price €792,500.

VIENNA.- Dorotheum's 'Contemporary Art' auction on 30 May 2017 started with a bang. Emilio Vedova's large-scale 'tensione' (English: 'suspense') sold for €792,500, over five times its estimate, setting a world record for a work by this leading representative of Informalism. The historic 1959 work stems from 'formless', non-geometric, non-naturalistic art's heyday.

Art Informel perfomed well overall all at the auction. The 1950 impasto painting 'Komposition' by Nicolas de Staël sold for €405,600. The Jean Fautrier painting 'Vegetaux' (1957) sold for €295,800.

Other top prices at the auction included €515,400 for Josef Albers's 'Study for Homage to the Square: Earthen I' (1955), €28,600 for Lucio Fontana's ceramic sculpture 'Crocifisso', and €344,600 for Sigmar Polke's untitled work on paper from 1998.

Austrian artists whose works were among the auction's best performers included Erwin Wurm, Otto Muehl and Maria Lassnig.

Works of modern art sell for far above estimate
The evening’s most outstanding performer at the ‘Modern Art’ auction on 30 May 2017 was a work by the Italian sculptor Marino Marini. Marini was known for his depictions of horse and rider, a motif through which the artist strove to ‘give form to human passion’. The peculiarly slumped rider, titled ‘Piccolo Miracolo’ (English: ‘Small Miracle’), sold for a miraculous €405,600. The event was marked by soaring prices, top results and an excellent sell-through rate.

The thriving market for Austrian art did not disappoint; paintings by Carl Moll (‘Landing Stage at Heustadlwasser/Prater’, €247,000), Alfons Walde (‘In Tirol’, €198,200) and Albin Egger-Lienz (‘Resting Shepherd’, €186,000) all achieved prices that were far above their estimate.

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