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November 13, 2013

Warhol painting fetches $105M

NEW YORK — A prized 1963 Andy Warhol painting that captures the immediate aftermath of a car crash sold for $105 million Wednesday at a New York City auction, shattering the record for the famed pop artist amid a spending frenzy at the high end of the art world.

The 8- by 13-foot painting titled “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” depicts a twisted body sprawled across a car’s mangled interior. It has only been seen once in public in the past 26 years. The buyer wasn’t immediately identified.

The previous Warhol auction record was set in 2007 when “Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I)” sold for $71.7 million.

Another iconic Warhol, “Coca-Cola (3),” sold for $57.2 million Tuesday at Christie’s auction house, and his portrait of Elizabeth Taylor titled “Liz#1 (Early Colored Liz)” sold for $20 million Wednesday.

A Willem de Kooning abstract painting in red, yellow and white called “Untitled V,” not seen in public since 1980, sold for $24.8 million Wednesday. The sale fell short of the record for the artist’s works, set Tuesday at Christie’s with the sale of his “Untitled VIII” from 1977.

The Warhol record came just a day after the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction went for $142.4 million to conclude six minutes of feverish bidding at Christie’s. The hefty price tag for a 1967 Francis Bacon triptych called “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” shattered the previous world record — nearly $120 million paid for Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” at a 2012 Sotheby’s sale.

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