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New record for Doig canoe painting

Published 12/05/2015

Swamped broke a personal record for a painting by Peter Doig
Swamped broke a personal record for a painting by Peter Doig

A British artist's painting of a canoe in a moonlit lagoon has fetched almost 26 million dollars (£16.6 million) at a record-breaking auction.

Peter Doig's Swamped was one of a number of works sold at Christie's auction house in New York, where a piece by Picasso went for 179.4 million dollars (£115 million), setting a world record for artwork sold at auction.

Doig, who was born in Edinburgh but now lives in Trinidad, broke a personal record with his 1990 painting featuring vivid reds and yellows in a reflection on a lake. The previous record had been 18 million dollars (£11.5 million).

On the same evening Alberto Giacometti's life-size Pointing Man set the record for most expensive sculpture, fetching 141.3 million dollars (£90.7 million).

The buyers of Giacometti's piece and Pablo Picasso's Women of Algiers (Version O) have chosen to remain anonymous.

Also at Christie's a painting of the Houses of Parliament at sunset, by Monet at the turn of the 20th century sold for 40.5 million dollars (£26 million).

Doig studied in London during the 1980s and won the Whitechapel Artist award in 1991. Three years later he was nominated for the Turner Prize.

Having returned to Trinidad in 2000, after spending part of his childhood there he said his paintings had become "more decorative" and "more open".

Speaking about one of his other canoe-based works which sold for more than £5 million back in 2007, Doig described his reaction to the sale.

In a 2013 Guardian interview he said: "It was shocking to me when it happened, and it still feels like it had nothing to do with me. I feel very separate from that world. I used to know every single person I sold a painting to, but now I have no idea who buys them. It's a little odd if you think about it."

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