Warhol's Silver Car Crash raises artist record by 48% at Sotheby's

The record for the most valuable work by the world's best-selling artist - Andy Warhol - has been set by Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) at Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale, held in New York last night (November 13).

Silver Car Crash Warhol
Silver Car Crash made its auction debut last night, having been in the same collection since 1988. It has only appeared in public once previously.

The work sold for an outstanding $105.4m, topping the previous $71.1m record for Warhol's work - held by Green Car Crash (Burning Green Car 1) from the same series - by 48.2%.

Warhol became the world's best-selling artist in 2012, with his works totalling more in the year than any other artist.

The piece originates from the Death and Disaster series of 1963, which is considered Warhol's most significant artistic achievement, exploring some of his key themes, as well as being one of the most provocative and confrontational series created by any artist in the 1960s.

A pivotal work, Silver Car Crash is the only one of the four large format (8ft by 13ft) Car Crash works Warhol created that is not in a museum. The remaining three belong to the New York Museum of Modern Art, Basel's Kunstmuseum and Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung in Vienna.

See Wikicollecting's Top 10 Andy Warhol paintings.

Cy Twombly Poems of the Sea
Poems to the Sea is a suite of 24 drawings, recognised as one of Twombly's greatest achievements

The buyer of the work has yet to be identified, though the world's art collecting elite were present at the sale, including hedge fund manager Steven Cohen (who sold Gerhard Richter's AB Courbet for $26.5m), Warhol collector Jose Mugrabi (responsible for the sale of Coca-Cola (3) at Christie's on November 12), Peter Vergne, and actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Also seeing impressive results was Cy Twombly's Poems to the Sea, which achieved $21.6m to set a new world record for the artist. It was sold to benefit Peter Vergne's Dia Art Foundation.

Jean-Michel Basquiat's 1982 piece Yellow Tar and Feathers sold for $25.9m, ranking as one of the top five most valuable works by the artist. Willem de Kooning's Untitled V, a painting not seen in public since 1980, made $24.8m.

The auction made $380.6m in all - a Sotheby's auction record.

It has been a superb week for contemporary art, with Christie's setting the record for any piece of work sold at auction with Francis Bacon's $142m Three Studies of Lucian Freud, as well as the record for any living artist (Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog - $58.4m).

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Recent and related articles

·  Bust of a scholar up 124% on estimate at Sotheby's | 13 November 2013

·  Alexander Calder's Maripose makes $1.8m in New York | 13 November 2013

·  Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog raises living artist record by 57% at Christie's | 13 November 2013

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Images: Sotheby's

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