Entertainment & Arts

Bacon and Warhol works snapped up at £108m art auction

Francis Bacon's Crouching Nude and Andy Warhol's Debbie Harry
Image caption Francis Bacon's Crouching Nude and Andy Warhol's Debbie Harry were among works sold

A contemporary art auction has made £108.8m - a London record for such a sale, auction house Sotheby's has said.

The top lot was Francis Bacon's Crouching Nude, which made £8.3m, while there were artist records for Germans Sigmar Polke and Georg Baselitz.

An Andy Warhol electric pink acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas of Blondie singer Deborah Harry went for £3.7m.

The previous London contemporary art auction record of £95m was achieved at Sotheby's in 2008.

The second most expensive lot was an early untitled painting by celebrated New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat which went for £5.4m.

Some 34 works from the Duerckheim private collection of post-war German art sold for a total £60.4m.

'Remarkable' collection

The Duerckheim Collection, which belonged to German industrialist Christian Duerckheim, is considered to be the most significant German art of the 1960s and 1970s to come to market.

Among Duerckheim lots were Gerhard Richter's 1024 Farben, from 1974, which sold for £4.3m while his Madchen im Liegestuhl sold for £4.1m.

Image caption Mouth by Gilbert and George, from Dave Stewart's collection, fetched £145,000

Richter's photorealistic work Schwestern, from 1967, was bought for £2.5m by a German collector who has announced he will lend the painting to the Kunstmuseum Bonn.

Sotheby's chairman of contemporary art Cheyenne Westphal, said Wednesday night was the night "German art went global".

"The strong results of the remarkable Duerckheim Collection represent a triumph for German art and reflect the extraordinary works offered," she added.

The record-breaking works by Polke and Baselitz were also part of the collection.

Polke's Dschungel - or Jungle - fetched £5.8m, smashing his previous record of £2.7m, while Baselitz's Spekulatius achieved £3.2m.

Early Damien Hirst spot painting Dantrolene (Being God for Dave) - owned by Eurythmic Dave Stewart - went for £1.1m.

Hirst's 1992 Acridine went for £601,000 and Mouth, by Gilbert and George, sold for £145,000. Both were also owned by Stewart.

All sale prices include the buyer's premium.

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