Basquiat sells at 85M$ at Phillips evening auction


Six years after it last sold, Untitled (1982 / 239,4 x 501 cm) by  Jean-Michel Basquiat went for $85 million  at Phillips Evening Sale in New York establishing a record at $226 million on May 18th.  The Basquiat painting is now the most expensive lot that the auction house has ever sold.

It was indeed the auction house’s most profitable sale to date. As the  third largest international auction house, competing against Sotheby’s and Christie’s, Philips’s performances have proved that demand for blue-chip masterpieces to be still high, with great sales for works by Klein, Basquiat and Calder, Manley, and that female artists (Anna Weyant, Hilary Pecis, María Berrío..) are still achieving ascending markets prices. 

Yayoi Kusama / Untitled (Nets) – signed and dated “KUSAMA 1959”
on the reverse – oil on canvas – 51 1/2 x 45 7/8 in. (130.8 x 116.5 cm)

Yayoi Kusama broke her previous auction record for the sale of Untitled (Nets) (1959), which sold for $10.5 million. The star of the night was notably the 16ft monumental 1982 canvas by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold by Japanese entrepreneur billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who acquired on April 2017 another Basquiat for $110 million. It was expected to sell for at least $70 million with a third-party guarantor. The bid opened at  $62 million and swiftly leapt to $75m and was sold for a total of $85 million – premium included.