New York, Rockefeller Center

$301,683,630 /£184,026,630 /€211,178,100


New York, 11 May 2011 — Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale realized $301,683,630 (£184,026,630/€211,178,100), exhibiting a thriving and healthy market for art, in which buyers fiercely competed for works of utmost quality, provenance and beauty.  The auction’s sell through rates 95% sold by lot and 99% sold by value reaffirms Christie’s position as market leader for the category.

Brett Gorvy, Christie’s International Co-Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Deputy Chairman comments: “Tonight’s extraordinary results exemplify the market’s vigor for top-quality works of art. Christie’s remains the Warhol leader, with $90,988,000 in Warhol sales in this auction alone; including the establishment of a brilliant new world record for a portrait by the Pop master for his seminal 1963-1964 Self-Portrait, which achieved $38,442,500. A total of seven new world auction records were established,  including  those for Cindy Sherman, Cy Twombly and cutting-edge contemporary artist, Urs Fischer, whose Untitled (Lamp/Bear), realized $6,802,500 – six times the artist’s previous world auction record.  The sale results reflects Christie’s mission to distinguish itself in offering buyers major objects with fair estimates, underscored by a superior responsibility to the works of art themselves.”

Astounding prices were achieved for works by Andy Warhol, as all eight works of the artist’s works offered were sold for a combined total of $90,988,000. Most notably Christie’s established a new world auction record for a portrait by Warhol with the evening’s top lot, Self-Portrait 1963-1964, which realized $38,442,500. The work was finally sold after a riveting and unprecedented 16-minute competition between bidders in the room and on the phone. 

Significant prices were also achieved for, Mark Rothko, whose rediscovered Abstract Expressionist masterpiece from 1961, Untitled #17, realized $33,682,500 and another for Warhol whose 1986 Self Portrait, depicting himself in signature Fright Wig rendered in a shock of Pop Red against  a black background realized $27,522,500.

In total, seven world auction records were achieved including those for Cy Twombly, whose Untitled from 1967 realized $15,202,500; Urs Fischer for Untitled (Lamp/Bear) which achieved, $6,802,500;   Richard Diebenkorn, for Ocean Park #121,  from 1980 which brought in $7,698,500 and Anselm Kiefer, whose Dem Unbekannten Maler (To the Unknown Painter) from 1983 realized $3,554,500.

Two world additional world auction records were set for the same work. The sale of Cindy Sherman’s Untitled color coupler print from her 1981 Centerfold series was not only a world auction record for Sherman, but represents a new world auction record for any photograph. 

Overall, two lots sold over $30 million, four lots sold above $20 million, five lots sold above $10 million, 14 sold over $5 million and 52 sold over $1 million.

Buyers (by lot / by origin) were 61% American, 23% European, 3% Asian and 13% other.

Please find the Top Ten results sheet attached.


To download high-res images of the top ten lots, go to
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About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in the first half of 2016 that totalled £2.1 billion / $3 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

2016 marks Christie’s 250th anniversary. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Click HERE to view a short film about Christie’s and the 250th anniversary.

Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 12 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Mumbai. Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in growth markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.