Gerhard Richter’s Kerze (Candle) just set an artist record at Christie’s postwar and contemporary evening sale in London. This is the artist who, just about a week ago, said the art market is “impossible to understand and it’s daft.” (Mr. Richter has never exactly been known as Mr. Sunshine.) The work sold for £10,457,250 ($16.6 million), more than £1 million above its high estimate of £9 million.
Kerze (Candle) is composed of oil on canvas and was painted in 1982. It was listed as “property from an important private Scandinavian collection.” When asked recently at a press conference about what gives him the strength to continue creating, Mr. Richter replied, “I don’t know.” In the same interview, when asked what changed in the art market in the last few years, he said: “It became worse.” Congrats on your record, Mr. Richter!