Gerhard Richter's Wand (1994) achieves 16% increase on estimate

Gerhard Richter's Wand (1994) has sold for £17.4m ($28.7m) at Sotheby's contemporary art evening sale in London.

It exceeded its estimate of £15m ($25m) by 16% on January 12, becoming the third most valuable Richter painting to be sold at auction behind Abstraktes Bild (809-4) ($34.2m) and Domplatz, Mailand ($37.1m).

Gerhard Richter Wand Sotheby's
Wand is the third most valuable painting by Richter to sell at auction

The work is considered one of the artist's finest, and has featured in 21 recent exhibitions - with this being the first time it has been sold at auction.

Cheyenne Westphal, Sotheby's chairman of contemporary art in Europe, commented prior to the auction: "This is an incredible time for Richter. Recent exhibitions of his work, as well as the film by Corinna Belz, with all its fascinating detail about his working practice, have cemented his place as one of the greatest artists of our time."

A new record was set for Cy Twombly when an untitled work from his Rome period, dating to 1964, made £12.1m ($20m) against a £7m ($11.5m) estimate - an increase of 72.8%.

Cy Twombly Rome record
Cy Twombly's record breaking work was executed in Rome in 1964

The previous record for his work was $17.4m, set at Sotheby's New York in 2012.

The piece is one of the largest the artist ever produced, and has never been publicly exhibited.  

Another painting by Twombly will auction at Christie's London tomorrow with a £300,000-400,000 ($495,600-660,800) estimate.

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