Mondrian sale sets new record at New York auction, while Sotheby’s fetch $391m in two days

A 1930s work by Piet Mondrian has sold for £43m ($51m) at a Sotheby’s auction in New York, setting a new record for the artist's work.

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Titled Composition No.II, it was purchased by an unnamed collector from Asia on Monday.

The same painting was sold previously in 1983, fetching $2.15m, equivalent to $6.4m (£5.4m) in 2022.

 Julian Dawes, the head of impressionist and modern art at Sotheby’s, called it “a once in a generation occurrence”, adding that “quintessential works by Piet Mondrian rarely come to auctions as many are housed in the most prestigious museum collections around the world.” 

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Piet Mondrian’s ‘Composition No.II’

Composition No. II is an example of the Dutch artist’s signature, abstract style. 

Mondrian moved to Paris in 1912, and was inspired by the early works of Pablo Picasso and George Braque who also created abstract pieces.

The bidding for the classic piece began at $38m, climbing to the sum of $51m.

It capped a second consecutive evening of modern art sales at Sotheby’s. The two nights brought in a collective $391.2 million.


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