De Kooning's Untitled XXV sets new world record

Christie's set a new world record for the work of Willem de Kooning at auction on November 15.

The painting, Untitled XXV, realised $66.3m. That was well above its $40m estimate.

De Kooning record
De Kooning's Untitled XXV last appeared at auction in 2006

Its last appearance at auction was in 2006, when it sold for $27.1m - then a world record sum for a post-war work of art.  

De Kooning (1904-1997) was a leading light of the abstract expressionist movement and his work is in high demand today.

Sara Friedlander, head of post-war & contemporary art at Christie's New York, said: "There was tremendous confidence in the market this evening, with very strong bidding from a widely international audience, including registrants from 41 countries.

"The stand out moment was the two way bidding war that took place for de Kooning's momentous canvas, Untitled XXV from 1977…

"The success of this work is a benchmark for the current marketplace, which is exceedingly receptive to works of the highest quality across a range of prices."

The sale realised $276.9m, in contrast to the $331.8m Christie's pulled in in its November post-war and contemporary art sale last year.

As we noted with Sotheby's on Monday, collectors appear to be hanging on to their best pieces until the currency markets stabilise.

We have an excellent range of art and photography memorabilia for sale.

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