Christie's is to play host to six Gerhard Richter works on May 8-9, 2012 in an auction of Post-War and Contemporary Art.
The works cover 25 years of the German artist's career and focus on his abstract works. The pieces represent a transition for the artist, whose earlier works took inspiration from black and white photographs and elements of realism.
His Abstraktes Bild (798-3) is one of the most valuable examples of his abstract work to come to market. It is expected to bring $14m-18m in the New York auction room.
The market for Richter works is currently very strong. In February Sotheby's sold a further six of his works, many from the Abstraktes Bild series, for a combined £17.6m. Christie's believes its landmark sale will bring even more, with an aggregate low estimate of almost $40m.
Other Richter lots include Seestueck (Leicht Bewoelkt), which has an estimate of $10m-15m. This painting originates in a small series of seascapes produced in the late 1960s. Three other pieces from the Abstraktes Bild series will feature alongside Farbschlieren, a fantastic example of Richter's trademark blur technique ($4m-6m).
The German born artist will have tough competition for the role of top lot however, with a legendary painting from Yves Klien also appearing.
FC 1 was created in the year of Klein's death and is considered to be one of the most important Post-War European works of art. An estimate of $30m-40m has been set for the work, which will not only break the world record for the artist, but also place his name among the most expensive Post-War artists.
Closely following the pair will be Cindy Sherman's Untitled #96, with an estimate of $2.8-3.8m. The photographer has enjoyed brilliant results at auction recently, ensuring strong interest from savvy collectors.
The groundbreaking sale will also see items from the Pincus Collection, which includes works by Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. The auction will span two days, with the majority of important works to feature in the May 8 evening session.