Glenn Brown's Ornamental Despair up 18% on estimate

A 1994 painting by Glenn Brown titled Ornamental Despair (Painting for Ian Curtis) Copied from the Stars Like Dust. 1986 by Chris Foss starred at Sotheby's last night (October 17). 

The work made an 18% increase on its £2m-3m ($3.2m-4.8m) estimate, selling for £3.5m ($5.7m) at the Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London.

Brown Foss Ornamental Despair
Ornamental Despair was appropriated by Brown from a painting by Chris Foss

The painting depicts a spaceship passing a meteorite, a scene appropriated from a painting by science fiction artist Chris Foss.

The painting features the vibrant colours and eerie atmosphere for which Brown is best known.

The Tragic Conversion of Salvador Dali holds the record for the highest price paid for Brown's work, realising £5.2m ($8m) at Sotheby's London last year.

Andreas Gursky's Paris Montparnasse (1993), a large scale photograph of Jean Duibuisson's Mouchotte Building, made £1.4m ($2.3m) - towards the high end of its £1m-1.5m estimate.

Gursky Montparnasse Sotheby's
Paris, Montparnasse is one of Gursky's most iconic masterpieces

The piece is among the first digitally manipulated prints made by Gursky - a technique that he has made use of throughout much of his career.

His Rhein II made $4.3m at Christie's in 2011 - making it the world's most valuable photograph.

Red Joy (1984) by Jean Michael Basquiat was another highlight of the sale, selling for £1.4m ($2.2m).

The painting plays on notions of black identity in white culture.

Basquiat's work regularly achieves strong figures at auction, with Dustheads holding the artist's record. It realised $48.8m at Christie's New York in May of this year.

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