Warhol's Munch-style self portrait tops Christie's Shanghai at $1.9m

Christie's second auction in Shanghai has been topped by an Andy Warhol print in the style of Edvard Munch, titled Self-Portrait with Skeleton Arm and Madonna.

The work is Warhol's re-imagining of Edvard Munch's Self-portrait with Skeleton Arm, one of his most famous works

Selling on April 26, the piece hails from a popular series in Warhol's late oeuvre, warranting the final bid of $1.9m.  

The auction offered a selection of Western and Asian art, catering for the varied tastes of China's emerging collector market. Christie's is testing the water with staples such as Picasso and Warhol, before a wider range of sales are held incorporating a larger range of artists.

Selling in second place was Picasso's Tete de Femme, a classic female portrait from the 1960s, which made $1.7m.

Christie's had all bases covered, with five tops lots from Asia and five tops lots from the West. Zao Wou-Ki's led Chinese art

Representing Asian art in the sale were two of the top-selling Chinese artists, Zao Wou-Ki and Zeng Fanzhi, who have both achieved record prices in recent months. Zao Wou-Ki's 31082001-09092002, an abstract work, made $1.6m, while Zeng Fanzhi's Untitled 07-5 achieved $1.4m.

The record for Zao Wou-Ki's work was set at Sotheby's first sale in mainland China, in December 2013, while Zeng Fanzhi holds the record for any piece of Asian contemporary art, following a $23m sale in October 2013.

Sales at the auction did not meet the heights seen in Christie's first auction in Shanghai, where 39 lots made $25m in September 2013. On April 26, bidders seemed more reluctant, with $20m raised for 61 lots.

With international auction houses only recently allowed to hold sales in China, it will take Christie's some time to find the perfect mix of lots and valuation to meet collector demand.

However, with 63% of bidders originating from China, the auctions offer promising signs for those looking to capitalise on the booming Chinese market.

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