Entertainment Arts Monet painting fetches record $108.8m at auction

Monet painting fetches record $108.8m at auction

Claude Monet's Grainstack
Grainstack was one of few Claude Monet paintings still in private hands. Photo: AP
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A painting from Claude Monet’s acclaimed Grainstack series has fetched $US81.4 million ($A108.8 million) at Christie’s New York auction of impressionist and modern art.

The sale set a new auction record for the artist. The previous auction record for a Monet was $US80.4 million set in 2008.

The 1891 painting, shimmering with hues of reds, pinks, blues and yellow, depicts a close-up of a single cone-shaped stack after harvest.

Monet’s Grainstack series – 25 in all – was painted just steps from his home outside a farmer’s field in the French village of Giverny.

The work offered on Wednesday night was one of a few still in private hands.

Among other highlights at the auction was a painting by Wassily Kandinsky that had not been on the market in more than 50 years.

It sold for $US23.3 million ($A31.2 million), a new record for the Russian artist. The previous record for his work was $US23 million set in 2012.

Rigid and Curved was first owned by the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, which acquired it directly from the artist in 1936, a year after it was completed, according to Christie’s.

A lively, colourful piece of geometric and organic shapes, it has been in the same private collection since 1964.

Christie’s said the painting’s texture of sand mixed with paint was a technique Kandinsky used only in his Paris paintings of 1934-1935.

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