Christie's Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, which took place yesterday (November 7) in New York, saw a new world auction record set by Wassily Kandinsky's Studie fur Improvisation 8.
The piece is now the most valuable Kandinsky work ever sold at auction, after reaching $23m against a $20m-30m estimate. It beat the previous $20.9m world record - set by the Russian artist's 1914 piece, Fugue, in 1990 - by 10.2%.
Studie fur Improvisation 8 is highly regarded within the art community for its importance in the advancement of abstract art. A fully realised study, the work is a precursor to the final painting of Kandinsky's pioneering series, Improvisations.
Only two works from the 1909 series have appeared at auction in recent times, with the majority currently housed in museums or public institutions. Christie's sold Studie fur Improvisation 3 for $16.9m in 2008, with the piece becoming the second highest Kandinsky work ever sold at the time.
"Through these paintings, Kandinsky was pushing the traditional limits of artistic expression in order to advance radical new theories about form, color, subject matter and most of all, artistic impulse," commented Christie's Brooke Lamply prior to the sale.
"All of our contemporary notions of abstract art evolved from pioneers like Kandinsky, who truly blazed the trail for so many to follow."
The piece was sold by Swiss charitable trust The Volkart Foundation, and has previously been displayed at Switzerland's Kunstmuseum Winterthur as well as the Tate Modern, Kunstmuseum Basel and Fondation Beyeler, among others.
Paul Fraser Collectibles will bring you more results from this auction shortly, so be sure to check back with us. For more of the latest and exclusive investment advice, sign up to our free weekly newsletter.