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Eric Clapton sells Gerhard Richter painting for £21m

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A painting owned by guitarist Eric Clapton has sold for over £21m ($33.7m) at auction.

The abstract piece by German artist Gerhard Richter was sold to an anonymous telephone bidder at London's Sotheby's on Friday (October 12).

Eric Clapton performs during the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago.

© Kiichiro Sato/AP/Press Association Images



According to Sky News, Abstraktes Bild beat pre-sale estimates by £9m ($14.5m) and set a new auction record for the artist. Two telephone bidders battled for the oil on canvas piece - taken from Clapton's private collection - for more than five minutes, with auction attendees breaking into a round of applause when the winner was confirmed.

Prior to the sale, the record for a Richter painting was just over £13m ($21m), following a New York auction that took place in May.

Speaking before the lot sold, Alex Branczik - senior director of contemporary art at Sotheby's - described the painting as "one of the great abstract masterpieces by Gerhard Richter".

"Its appearance on the market presents collectors with the unique opportunity to acquire an outstanding work by one of the greatest living painters," he added.

Gerhard Richter: Abstraktes Bild

© Tony Kyriacou/Rex Features



Richter, 80, currently works from a studio near Cologne and produces both abstract and figurative paintings as well as photographs.

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