Metallica Drummer’s Basquiat Boxer Sells for $11.9 Million at Christie’s

basquiat 1982.jpg“Knockout” certainly doesn’t describe the results thus far of the fall contemporary art sales, where some star works by Roy Lichtenstein, Francis Bacon, and Andy Warhol have failed to sell. However, last night at Sotheby’s, Yves Klein‘s trademark blue “Archisponge” (1960) squeezed out a hammer price of $19 million, (below its estimate of “in the region of $25 million,” but still remarkably absorbent). And this evening at Christie’s, the 1982 acrylic and oil boxer painting (pictured above) by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for a hammer price of $11.9 million, within punching distance of its estimate of $12 million to $16 million. Picking up payment for the pugilist? Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, who acquired the work in 1999 after seeing it in a retrospective in Vienna. “Of course it’s an awkward time to sell,” Ulrich told The New York Times last month. “But I’ve always been about taking chances.”