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Picasso painting sets world record at auction

By   /   May 12, 2015  /   No Comments

Origianl Article found on nypost.com

Photo: Pablo Picasso’s “Women of Algiers (Version O)”Photo: AP

Collectors with money to burn set world records at Christie’s in Midtown on Monday as two works of art fetched astronomical amounts on the auction block.

The records started falling when Pablo Picasso’s “Women of Algiers (Version O)” sold for $179 million, making it the most expensive artwork of any kind ever sold at auction.

An hour later, a life-size Alberto Giacometti sculpture, “Pointing Man,” sold for more than $141 million, the most ever for a sculpture at auction.

The pieces were bought by anonymous bidders over the phone in frenzied bidding wars that elicited gasps in the auction room.

“Women of Algiers (Version O)” is part of a 15-work series Picasso painted in 1954-55 and depicts a colorful array of overlapping nude figures.

It was partially inspired by the work of 19th-century French artist Eugene Delacroix.

Dated 1947, “Pointing Man” is a 5-foot-10 bronze stick figure with its right arm extended.

Christie’s calls it “one of the most important achievements of the Modern era.”

The prices smashed the previous records.

Francis Bacon’s painting “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” had set the record for an artwork at auction when Christie’s sold it for $142.4 million in 2013.

Another Giacometti piece, “Walking Man I,” had broken the auction record for a sculpture when it sold for $104.3 million in 2010.

Experts said Monday’s prices were driven by investment value and wealthy collectors looking to make a profit.

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