published Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Warhol self-portraits hit New York auction block

NEW YORK — A group of six Andy Warhol self-portraits from 1986 is expected to bring $25 million to $35 million at an auction at Sotheby's in New York.

The identical silk-screen images in different colors depict Warhol in his famous "fright wig."

Today's sale comes a day after two works from Warhol's "Death and Disaster" series sold for a combined $100 million and a Barnett Newman painting fetched an artist record of $84.2 million in fierce bidding at Christie's.

Warhol's "Race Riot, 1964" — a provocative four-panel painting of unrest in Birmingham, Alabama — went for $62.9 million at Christie's auction of postwar and contemporary works, far exceeding the estimate of $45 million.

Warhol's 1962 painting "White Marilyn," completed shortly after Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe took her life, sold for $41 million, well above its estimate of $12 million to $18 million.

Newman's "Black Fire I," a 1961 canvas showing a thick column of black alongside smaller ribbons of white and black, surpassed his auction record set last year when "Onement VI" went for $43.8 million at Sotheby's.

The New York artist died in 1970 at age 65.

Francis Bacon's "Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards," featuring his longtime companion, sold for $80.8 million.

The 1984 work came onto the market a year after Christie's sold Bacon's 1969 "Three Studies of Lucian Freud" for $142.4 million, setting a world record for the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.

Jeff Koons' "Jim Beam J.B. Turner Train," a 9½ -foot-long-stainless steel sculpture filled with bourbon, sold for $33.8 million.

Koons' 7-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture, "Popeye," is estimated to bring $25 million at Sotheby's on Wednesday.

His "Balloon Dog (Orange)" sold last spring for $58.4 million, setting a world auction record for a living artist.

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