Andy Warhol Self Portrait Auctions for a Record $32.6 Million

A new auction record for a self portrait by Andy Warhol was set when the artist’s iconic and rare Self Portrait from 1986 sold for $32,562,500, more than double the pre-sale high estimate $15 million, at Sotheby’s Evening Sale of Contemporary Art, in new York

The monumental canvas, measuring 108 x 108 in., was sought-after by at least six different bidders before selling to a client bidding over the telephone. The work was executed in 1986 just prior to Warhol’s unexpected death the following year and comes from his final series of Self Portraits – widely acknowledged as the most important of his career.

Mark Rothko’s radiantly beautiful and monumental masterpiece Untitled from 1961 brought $31,442,500, also above the high estimate (est. $18/25 million). As with many of his paintings of the late 1950s and early 1960s, Rothko adopts a monumental scale (93 x 80 in.) for his compositions to achieve a powerful sense of harmony and order. Red was a color that fascinated Rothko from his earliest works and was the focus of his greatest and most monumental paintings of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Jackson Pollock’s rare and exuberant Number 12A, 1948: Yellow, Gray, Black, dating from his most creative and transformative period, sold for $8,762,500 (est. $4/6 million). Number 12A, 1948 was one of three works illustrated in the infamous August 8, 1949 Life magazine article titled “Jackson Pollock – Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?” that proclaimed Pollock’s early and eternal role as a leading figure in American art.

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