New record for the work of Gerhard Richter

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
New record for the work of Gerhard Richter

Richter masterpiece sells for record £30.4 million - a new benchmark for any living European artist

New record for the work of Gerhard Richter

The Contemporary Art Evening Auction held on February 10, 2015 realised £123,515,250 / $188,200,186/ €166,461,924 - the highest ever total for a Sotheby’s sale of Contemporary Art in Europe (est. £88.6–125.5m / $135-191.2m / €119.4-169.1m).

The evening auction on February 10, 2015 was led by Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild which established a new record for the artist, selling for £30.4m / $46.3 / €41m (est. £14-20m), a new benchmark for any European living artist.

  • Created in 1986, and marking a radical departure for Richter, this exceptional work is one of the artist’s largest abstract paintings and one of his favourite works
  • When the same work was offered by Sotheby’s in 1999, it made $607,500 – then a record for an abstract piece by the artist. Subsequent to that, the work hung for many years in the Ludwig Museum in Cologne


                     Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild, 1986, Oil on canvas

In an evening that saw particularly strong global demand for British art, a rare self-portrait by Francis BaconTwo Studies for Self-Portrait, made £14.7m / $22.4m / €19.8m, a 4000% increase on the price the painting achieved the last time it appeared at auction (£353,500 at Sotheby’s London in December 1993).

Moments later, David Hockney’s Green Tide (1989) sold to a private Latin American collector for £2.2m / $3.3m / €2.9m (est. £1.2-1.8m). Bought by today’s consignor in 1990, the work had not been seen in public until now and made its auction debut this evening.

All Images: courtesy Sotheby's.

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