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Friday, 15 November, 2002, 12:06 GMT
Auction record for pop artist
Roy Lichtenstein
An anonymous bidder bought Lichtenstein's Happy Tears
A record was set for pop artist Roy Lichtenstein when his work Happy Tears sold for $7.1m (4.5m) at Christie's in New York.

The 1964 work, depicting a smiling red-haired woman with tears running from her eyes in the artist's trademark comic-book style, was bought by an anonymous bidder.

Andy Warhol
Warhol's work sold for $4.9m (3.8m)
It broke the record for a Lichtenstein. That had been held until now by Kiss ii - a work bought for $6m (3.8m) in 1990.

Happy Tears was part of Christie's sale of post-war and contemporary art.

Fierce competition

The auction - which totalled $66.9m (42.1m) - saw records set for works by six artists: Lichtenstein, Barnett Newman, David Hockney, Morris Louis, Dan Flavin and Laura Owens.

Of the 75 works put up for Wednesday's auction, just 13 failed to sell.

The highest price of the evening - though not a record - went to a Jasper Johns painting, 0 Through 9, which sold for $9.9m (6.2m) to a telephone bidder.

The 1961 painting shows the numerals superimposed in a range of greys.

Newman's White Fire I, which has been exhibited at both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Tate Modern in London this year, set a record when it sold for $3.8m (2.3m) to an anonymous telephone bidder.

The painting, from the Israel Phoenix collection, shows an aqua background with a wide, pale beige band and a bleeding blue stripe.

A 1967 work by Andy Warhol, Big Electric Chair, went for $4.9m (3.08m), but a 1986 Warhol, Camouflage Last Supper, remained unsold.

Other artists' records included an untitled work by Louis from 1959-60, which went for $1.6m (1.01m), Hockney's Portrait of Nick Wilder, bought for $2.8m (1.76m) and a 1995 untitled piece by Owens, which sold for $47,800 (30,077).

Christie's attributed the prices to "fierce competition... for important works".

See also:

07 Nov 02 | Entertainment
10 Oct 02 | Entertainment
03 Oct 01 | England
04 Sep 02 | Entertainment
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