Warhol’s ‘Marilyn’ auction nabs $195M, most for US artist

Northeast

The 1964 painting Shot Sage Blue Marilyn by Andy Warhol is carried in Christie’s showroom in New York City on Sunday, May 8, 2022. The auction house predicts it will sell for $200 million on Monday, becoming the most expensive 20th-century artwork to sell at auction. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

NEW YORK (AP) — Andy Warhol’s “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” sold for a cool $195 million Monday, making the iconic portrait of Marilyn Monroe the most expensive work by a U.S. artist ever sold at auction.

The 1964 silkscreen image shows Monroe in vibrant close-up — hair yellow, eyeshadow blue and lips red — on a rich blue background. It’s also the most expensive piece from the 20th century ever auctioned, according to Christie’s auction house in New York, where the sale took place.

The Warhol sale unseated the previous record holder and another modern master, Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose 1982 painting “Untitled” of a skull-like face sold for a record $110.5 million at Sotheby’s in 2017.

Christie’s said an unnamed buyer made the purchase Monday night. When the auction was announced earlier this year, they estimated it could go for as much as $200 million.

“It’s an amazing price,” said Alex Rotter, chairman of Christie’s 20th and 21st century art department. “Let it sink in, it’s quite something.”

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