Piet Mondrian's Composition No. III sets new artist record

Piet Mondrian's Composition No. III (Composition with Red, Blue, Yellow and Black) has made $50.6m.

The sale represents a new auction record for the artist and took place at Christie's impressionist and modern art auction in New York on May 14.

Mondrian painting Christies
Mondrian is a key figure in the development of modernism

It exceeded an estimate of $25m by 102.2% and beat the previous record for a Mondrian, which has stood at $27.6m since 2009, by 83.3%.

Brooke Lampley, Christie's head of impressionist and modern art in the Americas, commented: "This sale marks a record setting week for the global auction market, with the highest total ever achieved in one week for the Impressionist & Modern category, at $695,478,000 thus far…

"This culminated in 44% of the works selling over their estimate, including tremendous results for Mondrian, Léger, Modigliani, Soutine and Kandinsky.

Christie's has had a phenomenal few days. It became the first auction house to achieve in excess of $1bn in a single week, selling Picasso's La Femme d'Alger for the world record sum of $179.3m and setting other records for Alberto Giacometti and Lucian Freud.

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