Roy Lichtenstein painting fetches $42.6m at auction

Lichtenstein painting sells for over £26m.

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A painting by Roy Lichtenstein has sold at auction for $42.6m (£26.4m) - a new record for the US 'pop artist'.

The cartoon-style painting, sold to an anonymous telephone bidder at Christie's in New York, features a woman on the phone with a speech bubble containing the title.

The sale of contemporary and post-war works fetched $272.8m (£169.1m) in all.

Yet an Andy Warhol piece expected to fetch up to $50m (£31m) went for less than half that amount.

Big Campbell's Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable) was sold for $23.9m (£14.8m) at Wednesday's auction.

On Tuesday, a Warhol canvas of a black-and-white Coke bottle sold for $35.4m (£21.9m) at rival New York auction house Sotheby's.

The Lichtenstein sale smashed a previous record for the artist set in 2005, when his work In the Car fetched $16.2m (£10m).

In a statement, Christie's said Ohhh...Alright... - painted in 1964 - "characterises Lichtenstein's captivation and inspiration with techniques of commercial printing and reproduction."

Other highlights of the sale included Jeff Koons' sculpture Balloon Flower (Blue), which sold for $16.8m (£10.4m).

Records were also set by works from US sculptor Alexander Calder, Cuban artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Californian painter Mark Tansey.

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