One of Gerhard Richter's Abstraktes Bild works was the headline lot of Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London on February 10.
The painting, one of Richter's personal favourites, realised ?�30.3m ($46.3m), an increase of 51.5% on a ?�20m ($30.5m) estimate. This represents a new world record for a work by the artist.
Francis Bacon's Two Studies for a Self Portrait was another highlight, selling for ?�14.7m ($22.4m).
The works were painted shortly after the suicide of his former lover Geoff Dyer in 1971 and are described by Sotheby's as "a double death mask of translucent and scumbled marks; air-like apparitions of an ephemeral spirit dissolving into the black ether of an enveloping void."
The auction realised total sales of ?�123.5m ($188.2m).
Alex Branczik, Sotheby's head of contemporary art in London, commented: "The enormous global appetite for Contemporary masterpieces played out tonight as bidding shot up in leaps of ?�2 million for Richter's landmark abstract.
"It is emblematic of the depth of the market that new benchmarks were set not only for rising star Jonas Wood, but also for the greats: Richter, Fontana, Bacon."
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