Rabbit sculpture sells for US$91m

Lawrence Kim
Мая 20, 2019

"Rabbit" was sold to Robert E. Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's father, setting a new record for the most expensive art piece by a living artist sold at auction, according to the Associated Press.

A Jeff Koons sculpture sold for $91.1 million at Christie's in NY on Wednesday, setting the record for most expensive sale of work by a living artist. The British painter's artwork had itself overtaken Koons' "Balloon Dog (Orange)" sculpture, the previous record-holder, which went for $58.4 million in 2013. It sold for about $20 million more than its estimated price.

Sotherby's said in a tweet that seven bidders battled for the masterpiece for 8 minutes before achieving its final price of $110.7 million.

"It is crisp and cool in its appearance, yet taps into the visual language of childhood", read a sale preview on the auction house's website.

Koons' 1986 sculpture is one from of an edition of three, plus one artist's proof. There are three other castings of "Rabbit", all now in museum collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Broad Art Foundation in Los Angeles, and the National Museum of Qatar. To this day, art historians still question the authenticity of the piece.

Lial Jones, director of the Crocker Art Museum, said the price of the downtown Koons piece likely would be affected by Wednesday's big auction.

More than 50 other artworks were sold at the evening sale, generating a total of nearly $540 million.

Claude Monet painting fetches record-breaking price at auction in NY. On Tuesday, one of the few paintings in Claude Monet's celebrated "Haystacks" series that still remains in private hands sold at Sotheby's in NY for $110.7 million - a record for an Impressionist work.

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