Francis Bacon work poised to set record at New York art auction

Rich collectors from around the world have driven prices to record levels

Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud which is poised to break the previous world auction record for the artist of $86 million achieved in 2008

Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud which is poised to break the previous world auction record for the artist of $86 million achieved in 2008

Wed, Nov 13, 2013, 01:00

Works by Francis Bacon and Andy Warhol are poised to break records this week at New York’s two big auction houses at sales that would boost an already surging market for top-tier works.

Christie’s sale yesterday was led by Bacon’s 1969 triptych, Three Studies of Lucian Freud. Never before offered at auction, it carries an estimate of about $85 million – the highest ever, exceeding even that of Edvard Munch’s The Scream, which sold for a record $120 million last year.

Such a price, once millions of dollars in commissions are added, would easily break the $86.3 million Bacon record set in 2008.

Since then, new, deep-pocketed collectors from around the globe have driven prices to record levels.

At a recent preview, Christie’s head of postwar and contemporary art, Brett Gorvy, noted that collectors from Asia, Russia and the Mideast flush with cash were determined to assemble world-class collections featuring trophy works.

In May, Christie’s achieved the highest total in the history of auctions when it sold $495 million worth of art at its postwar and contemporary sale.

– (Reuters)