Jeff Koons rabbit sculpture auctioned for record $91M

Jeff Koons (American, b. 1955-), Rabbit, stainless steel. Sold for $91,075,000 on May 15, 2019 at Christie’s New York, a world record auction price for a work by a living artist. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — A stainless steel sculpture of a rabbit by Jeff Koons has set an auction record in New York, fetching over $91 million.

The sale of Koons’ 1986 “Rabbit” at Christie’s Wednesday was the most expensive work by a living artist ever sold at auction.

The previous record for a living artist’s work sold at auction was set by British artist David Hockney. His 1972 “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” brought in $90.3 million at Christie’s last year.

“Rabbit” was the top-selling artwork of the six lots offered from The Collection of S.I. Newhouse. Along with five artworks from the same collection that sold in Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on May 13, the final total realized by the Newhouse Collection was $216,287,500, against an overall estimate of $136 million.

There was worldwide interest in Jeff Koons’ 1986 sculpture titled ‘Rabbit.’ Courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd. 2019

The New York Times says Robert E. Mnuchin, an art dealer and the father of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, was the winning bidder for “Rabbit,” which had an estimated sale price of at least $50 million.

Christie’s says the sculpture is one of three editions plus one artist’s proof.

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