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Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, including the first part of the Peter Norton Collection, achieved $247,597,000 (£153,510,140/ €178,269,840) demonstrating the continuing appeal of this category among collectors worldwide. Thirty-three works sold for over the $1 million mark and 16 new world auction records were established for artists including Roy Lichtenstein, Paul McCarthy, Charles Ray, Louise Bourgeois, among others.
The top lot of the sale was Roy Lichtenstein’s, I Can See the Whole Room…and There’s Nobody in It!, which set a new auction record of $43,202,500 (₤26,785,550/€31,105,800). Painted in 1961, it is one of the earliest and most important of Lichtenstein’s Pop Art pictures, formerly in the collection of the pioneering collectors Emily and Burton Tremaine. The previous record for a Lichtenstein work was for Ohhh … Alright…, 1964, sold at Christie’s New York in November 2010 for $42.6 million.
“This is an extremely strong sale result, with great depth of bidding across multiple genres and periods, from the great giants of Pop Art to the strongest artists of the 1990s and the 2000s,” said Brett Gorvy, Chairman and International Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s. “The world’s top ten collectors were present in the saleroom tonight, and a global community of collectors was bidding aggressively on works by the pre-eminent artists in this category – from Lichtenstein to Bourgeois, Ligon to McCarthy, Gursky to Ray. We are delighted to report more than a dozen new records for many well-deserving artists, and a new top price for any photograph sold at auction.”