A 1982 painting of a warrior by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for $41.8 million at Christie’s Hong Kong on Tuesday, setting a new record for a work of Western art in Asia.
The live-streamed single-lot sale was conducted out of the Hong Kong salesroom ahead of the house’s marathon London sales of 20th century and Surrealist art. The painting hammered within estimate at HK$280 million ($36 million). The buyer’s premium buoyed the total to HK$323.6 million ($41.8 million).
At a time when Asian buyers’ appetite for Western blue-chip trophies is growing steadily, the sale exceeded the previous record for a Western artwork sold in Asia, achieved by an abstract painting by Gerhard Richter, which fetched HK$214 million ($27.7 million) at Sotheby’s last October. Last year, Christie’s noted a wide net of Asian buyers bidding on 20th century works, and set a new world record for American artist George Condo in Hong Kong in July.