Abstract painting

Gerhard Richter’s $15 Million Abstract Painting Up for Auction to Become Most Expensive Western Art Sold in Asia | Auctions News | THE VALUE

Sep 09, 2020 | Sea | 21:07

Hong Kong’s autumn sales will begin in just a month and Sotheby’s has finally unveiled the top lot of its evening sale of contemporary art.

Leading the sale, Gerhard Richter’s masterpiece Summary Bild (649-2) which was painted in the 1980s. The work will be auctioned at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale on October 6 with an estimate of HK$120-140 million (HK$15-18 million). dollars). Considering the price, once sold, the painting will become the most expensive western artwork sold in Asia.

Gerhard Richter is considered one of the most important German abstract artists

Gerard Richter, Summary Bild (649-2)oil on canvas

Created in: 1987
Size: 200 x 200cm
Estimate: HK$120,000,000 – 140,000,000


Richter is one of the highest ranked artists in contemporary art in terms of fame, status, and net worth. Known for his abstract and photorealistic paintings, Richter set world auction records in 2015 and 2013 respectively at Sotheby’s. The records are:

  • Abstract painting|Summary Picture300.5 x 250.5 cm, Sotheby’s London, sold for £30,389,000 (about $39 million)
  • Photo-painting|Domplatz, Mailand275 x 290 cm, Sotheby’s New York, sold for US$37,125,000

Summary Picture was sold in 2015 for £30 million and set the record for a work by a living European artist. Today, Summary Picture and Domplatz, Mailand still rank fourth and fifth on the list, preceded only by American artist Jeff Koons and British artist David Hockney.

Summary Picture sets world auction record for Richter

Summary Bild (649-2) will appear in Hong Kong for the fall sales

Richter began producing abstract art in the 1960s and his techniques matured in the 80s. Summary Picture was painted in 1986 while Summary Bild (649-2) was established in 1987.

Beginning in 1986, Richter would forego any intended compositional element by using a homemade squeegee to rub and scrape off the paint he had applied in large swaths to his canvases.

The “raclette” technique invented by Richter

Part of Summary Bild (649-2)

Summary Bild (649-2)

In his abstract works, Richter continues to allude to the theme of landscape, a subject often seen in his photorealistic paintings before. His abstract paintings capture an atmosphere akin to a post-Impressionist translation of landscape scenery into the Western art world.

The title of the most expensive Western artwork sold in Asia is held by KAWS THE KAWS ALBUMsold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong for HK$115 million ($14.8 million).

With an estimate of HK$120-140 million (US$15-18 million), Summary Bild (649-2) will most likely replace KAWS’ work as the next title holder of the most expensive Western artwork sold in Asia.

THE KAWS ALBUM held the title of the most expensive Western artwork sold in Asia


Auction Details

Auction house: Sotheby’s Hong Kong
Sale: Contemporary Art Evening Sale
Sale date: 10/10/18|19h
Location: to be confirmed