Christie’s Expects Basquiat to Set a Record in November


A dramatic, untitled large canvas by Jean-Michel Basquiat from 1981 will be on offer at Christie’s New York at its Nov. 14 postwar and contemporary art evening sale. The auction house is estimating the painting will bring as much as $20 million, and thus might outstrip the current record price of $20.1 million, paid for a Basquiat work in June at Christie’s, London.

According to the press release, the work has been included in every major Basquiat retrospective and comes from the height of his career.

Reflecting the super-heated market for contemporary art, the record-breaking sale in London came right on the heels of the previous record for his work, $16.3 million, which was set at Phillips de Pury, New York, in May.

The acrylic and oilstick on canvas measures 78 by 68 inches, and depicts a figure holding a fishing rod and a fish, set against a colorful, abstract background with swatches of pink, green, brown, blue and other hues. It comes from a private collection where it has resided for nearly 20 years.