The contemporary art world was taken by storm this week after paintings by pop artists Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein battled it out at Christie’s and Sotheby’s in New York City.
Not only did Lichtenstein’s “Ohhh…Alright…” comic strip painting of a redhead woman clutching a phone sell at $42.6 million, but it also trumped Warhol’s $35.36 million sale of a black and white coke bottle painting earlier in the week. Once owned by actor Steve Martin, the 1964 painting was sold on Wednesday night by Las Vegas Casino resort developer Steve Wynn to an anonymous woman on the telephone. The Lichtenstein sale also smashed a previous record for Lichtenstein set in 2005, when his work In the Car fetched $16.2m. Other highlights from the week include the sale of Lichtenstein’s 1972 “Still Life with Palette” and “Girl in Mirror” paintings where telephone bidders paid $6.8 million and $4.8 million, respectively. (Read the Top 10 Most Expensive Auction Items)
Though $42.6 million isn’t cheap for a piece of art, it is still far off from the world’s most expensive painting–Pablo Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” bought for $106.5 million in September 2010. (See photos of Picasso’s work in the Metropolitan Museum of Art)