Christie's Auction House in New York recently announced the final price tag on its Fall Postwar and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, boasting a whopping total of $412.3 million. The sale, which consisted of infamous pieces by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Mark Rothko among others, proved to be the highest sum in Christie's history.
Mulling over this gigantic number, it's difficult to imagine what $412.3 million worth of art looks like. We know we could buy this Russian heiress's 10-room apartment four and a half times over, at least 40 dressage-ready horses, or approximately 100 million copies of Honey Boo Boo's new comic "15 Minutes: Honey Boo Boo." But how many Jeff Koons or Yves Kleins does it take to near the half billion dollar mark? And, on the other hand, it makes us question, what can we actually get for just one million dollars?
Well, as it turns out, not a whole lot. At least not in terms of the auction world. We scrolled through the lots of the final Christie's sale and put together a guide of which artwork you could afford on a budget of $1 million, $5 million, $10 million and more. Maybe this will help you as you embark on your holiday shopping season. Or perhaps it will just infuriate the frugal and pragmatic person that you are. Either way, check out the pricey guide and let us know which masterpieces you'll be saving your fortunes for in the comments section.
Under $1 Million
This Elizabeth Peyton painting is the bargain of the lot. You could have brought this piece home for a measly $290,500. Titled "Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret on Their Way to Westminster Abbey," the royal portrait is well under $1 million. Elizabeth Peyton (b. 1965) Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret on Their Way to Westminster Abbey oil on canvas 18 x 14 in. (45.7 x 35.6 cm.) Painted in 1994.
Under $1 Million
If you're looking to spend just a little more while staying under the $1 million mark, this Barnett Newman is for you. The untitled work cost $578,500. Not too shabby for an ink on paper piece the size of standard letter, right? Barnett Newman (1905-1970) Untitled ink on paper 10 7/8 x 7½ in. (27.5 x 19.1 cm.) Painted in 1945.
Under $5 Million
Ready to cross the million dollar mark and really spend some cash? This Richard Serra could have been yours for $2.88 million. "Schulhof’s Curve" would be a great addition to anyone looking to spice up their backyard with a little bit of contemporary pizazz. Property of the Schulhof Collection Richard Serra (B. 1939) Schulhof’s Curve COR-TEN steel 44 x 444 x 89 in. (111.8 x 1127.8 x 226.1 cm.) Executed in 1984.
Under $5 Million
Or perhaps this Mark Grotjahn, priced at $4.17 million, is more to your liking? The signed work painted in 2008 outperformed it's estimated price by more than a million dollars, so it could be a great investment. Works from the Douglas S. Cramer Collection Mark Grotjahn (B. 1968) Untitled (Red Butterfly II Yellow MARK GROTJAHN P-08 752) signed and dated ‘MARK GROTJAHN P-08’ (lower right edge); signed again twice, titled and dated again ‘UNTITLED (RED Butterfly II Yellow Mark Grotjahn P-08) #752 M. Grotjahn 2008’ (on the overlap) oil on canvas 725⁄8 x541⁄2 in.(184.5x138.4cm.) Painted in 2008. Estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000
Under $10 Million
Now we're getting closer to the high roller categories. If you're willing to shell out a little over $5 million, here's a Franz Kline for $6.47 million. The untitled monochromatic work is a steal compared to another Kline that sold for over $40 million in the same sale. Franz Kline (1910-1962) Untitled signed and incorrectly dated 'FRANZ KLINE '54' (on the reverse); signed again and dated 'KLINE 1955' (on the overlap) oil on canvas 52¾ x 37¾ in. (132.1 x 94 cm.) Painted in 1955.
Under $10 Million
Or how about this other Klein, courtesy of Yves, for $7.59 million. It's a perfect example of the IKB master's sponge reliefs and well under your $10 million budget. Property Of The Brooklyn Museum Yves Klein (1928-1962) Accord Bleu (Sponge Relief) signed, titled, inscribed and dated ‘Yves Klein Gelsenkirchen “Accord Bleu” 58’ (on the reverse) dry pigment in synthetic resin, natural sponges and pebbles on board 203⁄8x533⁄4 x3in.(51.8x136.5x7.6cm.) Executed in 1958. Estimate: $7,000,000-10,000,000
Under $20 Million
For those of you still willing to climb the ladder of wealth, would you be interested in this Gerhard Richter, tagged with a price of $15.3 million. Richter is currently the highest selling artist alive today so strike while it's hot, people. Gerhard Richter (b. 1932) Abstraktes Bild (779-2) signed, numbered and dated '779-2 Richter 1992' (on the reverse) oil on canvas 78¾ x 70¾ in. (200 x 180 cm.) Painted in 1992.
Under $30 Million
Still with us? Ok, here's a Jean-Michel Basquiat for $26.4 Million. It's where street art meets fine art and it's not even $30 million! Property From A Private Collection Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) Untitled oilstick, acrylic and spray enamel on canvas 78 x 68 in. (198.1 x 172.7 cm.) Painted in 1981. Estimate on Request
Under $40 Million
Perhaps, you're looking for something a little more... reflective. Well, the price is going to go up, as well. Here's a large-scale Jeff Koons sculpture, titled "Tulips", for $33.6 Million. Property From The Collection Of Nord/Lb, Hannover Jeff Koons (B. 1955) Tulips high chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating 80 x 180 x 205 in. (203.2 x 457.2 x 520.7 cm.) Executed in 1995-2004. This work is one of five unique versions. Estimate on Request
Under $50 Million
Alright, you've made it to the end. You're budget is $50 million and boy is there a deal for you. This Andy Warhol print of the Statue of Liberty sold for an impressive $43.7 Million. And look, you've saved $7 million. Go ahead, buy a yacht. Property From an Important Private Collection Andy Warhol (1928-1987) Statue of Liberty signed ‘Andy Warhol’ (on the turning edge) silkscreen inks, spray enamel and graphite on canvas 773⁄4 x 81 in. (197.5 x 205.7 cm.) Painted in 1962.
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