The most expensive sculpture sold by a living at auction was Jeff Koons’s Hanging Heart, which sold for $23.6 million last year. It was also the most expensive artwork sold by a living artist at auction. The most expensive sculpture ever sold at auction was the Guennol lioness, which sold for $57.2 million last year. The most expensive artwork ever sold by a living artist was probably Jasper Johns’s False Start, which sold to Ken Griffin for $80 million in 2006.
All of which is just to set the scene for a monster $600 million sale of paintings and sculptures from the estate of Ileana Sonnabend. The datapoint which really jumped out at me:
Experts said the cache sold to GPS Partners included Jeff Koons’s 1986 sculpture “Rabbit”, which has been valued in excess of $80 million.
The Jeff Koons rabbit is worth in excess of $80 million?! That’s well over three times his own auction record, and obliterates anything seen in the post-Pop era, with the possible exception of the Damien Hirst skull. Truly the contemporary art bubble has not yet burst.