An amalgam of hard-edged geometric shapes painted in 1916 by Kazimir Malevich became a repeat auction champion on Tuesday.
The painting, ‘Suprematist Composition,’ fetched $85.8 million, a record for Malevich, the leader of Russian avant-garde a century ago. Estimated at $70 million, the work was offered during Christie’s Impressionist and modern art sale in New York.
In 2008, the same canvas sold for $60 million at Sotheby’s and the price remained the artist’s highest until now.
The Christie’s auction originally included two Picasso paintings, estimated jointly at as much as $105 million, that were being sold by the erstwhile casino magnate Steve Wynn. Both were withdrawn after one of them, the artist’s self-portrait ‘Le Marin,’ was damaged on Friday. The sale, which includes eight other Picasso works, continues.