Phillips held its May Contemporary Art auction in New York, exactly one day after Christie’s auction, which registered record sales of half billion dollars. The boutique-scaled auction house, headquartered on Park Avenue and 57th Street, sold $78,618,000 of contemporary art, with 30 of the 37 lots offered finding buyers. That translates into a buy-in rate by lot of 19 percent and 12 percent by value. The total fell shy of last May’s $86.8 million sale with a similar buy-in rate by lot of 20 percent.
The evening’s top lot was also the cover lot, Andy Warhol’s rare “Four Marilyns” (1962), featuring the blonde-tressed screen siren in electric red lips and turquoise-colored eye shadow. It sold for $38,245,000 (est. $35-45 million). According to the artist’s catalogue raisonne, it is one of four compositions with the quartet of Marilyn headshots poached by Warhol from a movie studio publicity still from the 1952 black-and-white film “Niagra.” It last sold at auction at Sotheby’s New York in November 1998 for $2,312,500.
According to several reliable sources, the painting was recently acquired from New York dealer Robert Mnuchin and put up as the firm’s star lot, without a guarantee. It was bought tonight by Victoria Gelfand of Gagosian Gallery
adapted from http://www.blouinartinfo.com
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