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Displaying items by tag: looking forward to the past

To a medley of whoops, hollers and gasps on Monday night, Pablo Picasso’s 1955 painting “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’)” sold for $179.4 million including fees at Christie’s “Looking Forward to the Past” sale of artworks spanning the 20th century. The price was the highest on record for a work of art sold at auction, the company said, and was well over its estimate of $140 million.

Once the bidding reached $120 million, the Picasso was pursued by five clients on telephones, often in agonizingly slow, $1 million increments, before finally being sold to a buyer represented by Brett Gorvy, Christie’s international head of contemporary art.

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Billionaire money manager Steven A. Cohen is selling a dense, vibrant 1961 Jean Dubuffet painting valued at $25 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Christie’s said it will offer Dubuffet’s “Paris Polka” at a special evening auction, “Looking Forward to the Past,” on May 11. The estimate exceeds the late French artist’s auction record of $7.4 million set in November. Cohen, 58, is the seller, said the person, who asked not to be named because the information is private.

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