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Andy Warhol, Flowers, 1978, $1,322,500, on artnet auctions, July 20, 2011
Andy Warhol, Flowers, 1978, $1,322,500, on artnet auctions, July 20, 2011

Art Market Watch

July 20, 2011

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It's been a long and steady climb, and now Artnet has broken through the $1,000,000 barrier in its online art auctions. The record-setting sale, which closed today, July 20, 2011, saw Andy Warhol’s blue and green Flowers painting from 1978 sell to a private American collector for $1,150,000 at the hammer, or $1,322,500 with the buyer’s premium. Measuring 22 x 22 in., the colorful picture is one of only four flower paintings made in this size during 1978.

“This sale confirms what we have maintained for a long time at Artnet -- that art buyers are willing to buy high-end artworks online,” said Artnet chief executive Hans Neuendorf in a release.

The Warhol painting has been part of a private German collection since 1995. It was part of the “Masterworks by Pop Artists” sale, which also included works by Roy Lichtenstein, Mel Ramos, Robert Rauschenberg and Tom Wesselmann, among others.

The seven-figure price is certainly a benchmark for online art auctions during the Web 2.0 era. Artnet auctions have had several six-figure sales in the past. A Damien Hirst spin painting sold for $248,050 in 2009, and a Richard Prince joke painting was bought for $295,000 in February 2010. More recently, Ten Pound Hammers (1965) by Thomas Hart Benton sold for $198,500.

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