Untitled Cy Twombly painting sets new artist record at Sotheby's

An untitled painting by Cy Twombly (1928-2011) has sold for $69.6m at Sotheby's New York, beating an estimate of $55m by 26.5% to set a new artist record.

The lot smashed the previous record for Twombly's work, set at £12.1m ($20m) at Sotheby's London earlier this year, by an impressive 248%.

Cy Twombly Untitled
Cy Twombly's untitled painting has set a new auction record

It's drawn from his Blackboard series, which he began in the mid 1960s, and displays his characteristic looping lines on a black background.

Francis Bacon's Seated Figure realised $44.9m.

Bacon is the world's most valuable artist, following the sale of Three Studies of Lucien Freud for $142.4m last year.

The sale realised a total of $852.8m, the highest in auction history.  

Brett Gorvy, chairman and international head of post-war and contemporary art, commented:  "This was a sale of extraordinary quality and range, with every major artist represented by at least one masterwork," said

"The landmark sale result achieved tonight is a reflection of both growing global enthusiasm and demand in this category and a virtuous cycle of confidence in the art market that brings a fresh supply of exciting, high-quality works into the market with each new season."

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