Lichtenstein's "Sleeping Girl" sells for record $45 million

Reuters News
Posted: May 10, 2012 3:55 PM
Lichtenstein's "Sleeping Girl" sells for record $45 million

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Roy Lichtenstein's "Sleeping Girl" sold for nearly $45 million on Wednesday, setting a record for the pop artist at Sotheby's $267 million auction of postwar and contemporary art.

The 1964 canvas, executed in the artist's signature commercially influenced comic-book style, made its high estimate of $40 million, which did not include commission. Both it and Francis Bacon's "Figure Writing Reflected in Mirror," achieved the auction's top price of $40 million, or $44,882,500 including commission.

The sale, which capped two weeks of sales at Sotheby's and rival Christie's that were marked by records including the most expensive work ever sold at auction, took in $266,591,000, against a pre-sale estimate of $215 million to $304 million.

Just over 80 percent of the 57 lots on offer found buyers, and three works sold for more than $35 million each, including Andy Warhol's "Double Elvis," which fetched $37 million.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Peter Cooney)