Shane Ferro
Art market news and commentary by the staff of Art+Auction

MARKET WATCH: Art market news and commentary by the staff of Art+Auction

Is Franz Kline the Next Clyfford Still? Christie’s Banks On It.

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Christie’s is putting its money behind a black-and-white Franz Kline abstraction at its postwar and contemporary sale next month. It hopes to sell the work for a record-breaking $20 million-$30 million (the artist’s auction record is currently $6.4 million), and it’s backing up these confident prices by guaranteeing the seller an undisclosed sum, no matter what it fetches at auction.

In the New York Times, Carol Vogel compares the surging interest in Kline to that of fellow Ab-Exer Clyfford Still, who sold a painting at the surprising, Rothko-esque price of $61.7 million last year. And apparently Klines have already been selling privately for more than $20 million, according to Vogel.

The painting’s VIP provenance will no doubt help its chances. So far, it has passed through the hands of Robert Mnuchin, David Geffen, and San Francisco collector George Roberts, who is rumored to be the current consignor.

— Rachel Corbett

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