Gerhard Richter's Domplatz, Mailand beats artist record by 8.5%


2015-06-26 13:16:30


Gerhard Richter's Domplatz, Mailand beats artist record by 8.5%

Gerhard Richter secured his place as the world's most valuable living artist with Domplatz, Mailand

The auction record for the work of German artist Gerhard Richter has been broken by his 1968 masterpiece Domplatz, Mailand at Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale, which was held in New York last night (May 14).

Gerhard Richter Domplatz MailandThis was the largest figurative work that Richter had ever undertaken, marking a turning point in his career

The oil on canvas sold for $37.1m, beating the previous record for his work - set by a piece from his Abstraktes Bild series at $34.2m last year - by 8.5%.

The price achieved ensures that Richter holds on to his title as the world's most valuable living artist. It also demonstrates a 27.05% pa increase from its original sale at Sotheby's in 1998.

The world's top selling artist is currently Andy Warhol, after a year of spectacular sales in 2012.

Domplatz, Mailand depicts Milan's Cathedral Square and is a fantastic example of Richter's "photo-painting" technique, which dominated his oeuvre in the 1960s.

At the time, it was the largest figurative painting he had ever created, and stands as the epitome of this period of his career.

Measuring nine feet by nine feet, the painting was commissioned by Siemens Corporation for installation in its Milan offices, where it hung between 1968 and 1998.

However, Richter initially failed at the large-scale attempt and his first work was subsequently cut into nine smaller paintings. It is his second effort that sold yesterday.

The work sees Richter exploring the contrasts between commerce and religion, specifically capitalism and Catholicism.

Also starring at Sotheby's was Yves Klein's Sculpture Eponge Bleue Sans Titre, a defining work from his experimentations with sponge, which sold for $22m.

We will be bringing you more results from Sotheby's shortly, as well as reviews of contemporary art sales from Bonhams and Christie's. Visit our Art & Photography section to see them.

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