Christie’s Nets $388.5 M. in Highest Contemporary Art Auction Ever, Led by Record $87 M. Rothko

Tonight auctioneer Christopher Burge hammered down an impressive $388.5 million total with premium during Christie’s post-war and contemporary auction, his last sale at the rostrum. It was the highest sum ever recorded for a contemporary art auction, and easily surpassed the sale’s $330 million high estimate.

The packed room was lively and saw a frenzy of bids for the key lots, led by a Mark Rothko work from 1961 that hammered at $77.5 million ($86.9 million with the buyer’s premium), a new world record for any contemporary work sold at auction, and a new record for the artist. Artist records were shattered throughout the evening with a total of 11 new artist highs by the end of the 59-lot sale. Read More