Following a four-minute battle between five bidders, Bacon’s Study for a Head painting sold for $50.4 million USD. The artwork is part of a series of six small portraits that were all made by the legendary figurative artist in 1952. Another highlight of the night was an Untitled work by Rothko that achieved $50.1 million USD in the sale. The piece was offered on behalf of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), that was sold to benefit the museum’s Acquisitions Fund. The expressionist painting is one of only 19 paintings made by Rothko in 1960.
Moreover, artworks were donated to the auction by leading artists Mark Bradford, Rashid Johnson, Charles Gaines, and Mark Grotjahn to support the initiative, Artists for the Hammer Museum. The program is dedicated to supporting underrepresented artists.
Visit Sotheby’s official website to learn more. Elsewhere in auctions, Jeff Koons’ Rabbit sculpture sold for a record-breaking $91.1 million USD at Christie’s.