Christie's art auction brings strong prices

Friday, November 15, 2002

NEW YORK -- Auction records were set for works by six artists at a Christie's sale of postwar and contemporary art, including one painting that had just recently been exhibited in two major museums.

Records were set Wednesday evening for Roy Lichtenstein, Barnett Newman, David Hockney, Morris Louis, Dan Flavin and Laura Owens.

The auction totaled $66.9 million; of the 75 works put up for auction, just 13 failed to sell. Christie's attributed the prices to "fierce competition ... for important works."

The highest price of the evening -- but not a record -- went for a Jasper Johns painting, which led a group of nine works from the collection of the Israel Phoenix Assurance Co., assembled in the early 1980s. "0 Through 9" sold for $9.9 million to a telephone bidder.

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