Munch painting commands $54 million at auction

In this Nov. 4, 2016, file photo, a work by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, "Girls on the Bridge," is displayed at Sotheby's, in New York. The painting sold at auction for $54 million on Monday in New York City.

NEW YORK  — A work by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch fetched over $54 million at Sotheby's auction of impressionist and modern art on Monday.

 

"Girls on the Bridge," a seminal work from 1902, depicts a cluster of girls huddled on a bridge in a country village. It sold in 1996 for $7.7 million and again in 2008 for $30.8 million, each time setting a record for the artist.

 

In 2012, Munch's work "The Scream," one of the most iconic images in art history, sold for $119.9 million at Sotheby's. It became the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction, a record that has been broken four times since.

Pablo Picasso's "Women of Algiers (Version O)" now holds that distinction. It sold last year for $179.4 million.

Other works at Monday's auction include a large-scale painting by Picasso, "The Painter and His Model," from 1963. The 5-foot-wide painting has descended through the same family since it was acquired in 1968. It garnered $12.9 million, just edging its low presale estimate of $12 million.

A 1951 bronze bust by Picasso of his lover and muse Francoise Gilot, "Head of a Woman," fetched $8.4 million.

An early cubist composition by Mexican artist Diego Rivera, "Untitled (Cubist Composition)," from 1916 sold for just over $900,000.

The sale also had two abstract works by Laszlo Maholy-Nagy that recently appeared in a retrospective of his work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The 1923 work, "EM 1 Telephonbild," sold for $6 million, topping its high presale estimate of $4 million.

 

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