Edward Hopper Painting Sells for Record-Breaking $91.9 Million
In the midst of an incredible week of auctions that could result in $1.8 billion in sales, an Edward Hopper painting sold at Christie’s last night for $91.9 million.
The piece, Hopper’s 1929 painting Chop Suey, was the most expensive of the 91 lots the auction house offered from the estate of late businessman Barney A. Ebsworth. Ebsworth, who passed away earlier this year, had publicly promised the painting to the Seattle Art Museum in 2017. The sale smashed the previous record sale for a Hopper, which was $40.5 million for East Wind over Weehawken (1934) at Christie’s in 2013.
Other notable pieces sold during last night’s auction included a small work by Jackson Pollock, Composition with Red Strokes, which went for $55.4 million, and a Willem de Kooning, Woman as Landscape, that fetched $68.9 million—a high for the artist.
At Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva last night, a rare 18.96-carat pink legacy diamond went for a record-breaking $50 million, nearly $3 million per carat.
Earlier in the week, works by Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso led Christie’s semiannual Impressionist and modern art sale, which totaled $279.2 million, below the auction’s low estimate of $305 million. A Vincent van Gogh painting was among the 15 of 61 lots that failed to find buyers at the sale.
On Monday, René Magritte’s 1937 painting Le Principe du Plaisir sold at Sotheby’s for $26.8 million, yet another new auction high for an artist this week.
Major sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s will continue throughout the week, with much-buzzed-about pieces like David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), jewels that belonged to Marie Antoinette, and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (Pollo Frito) still awaiting the auction block.