PARIS - Artworks owned by the late artist Christo and his wife, Jean-Claude, a duo famed for wrapping landmarks in fabric, sold for $9.6 million at auction on Wednesday.
The 28 lots under the hammer at Sotheby's in Paris included drawings for the couple's "The Umbrellas (Joint project for Japan and USA)," two spectacular installations by the couple in 1991 consisting of thousands of umbrellas erected simultaneously in Japan and Los Angeles.
Less than a year after his death at the age of 84, Christo is evidently more in demand than ever, with more than three quarters of the works on sale selling above estimate.
The works, snapped up by buyers in the United States, Asia and Europe, had been expected to sell for between $3 million and $4.5 million collectively.
The preparatory drawings for the yellow Californian umbrellas set a new record for a work by the Bulgarian-born U.S. artist at $2 million, while the Japanese version sold for about $1.4 million.
A second set of works from the couple's private collection are due to go on sale Thursday.
Christo collaborated with Jeanne-Claude, his wife of 51 years, until her death in 2009 and continued to produce dramatic pieces into his 80s.
From Paris's oldest bridge to Berlin's Reichstag, they spent decades wrapping landmarks and creating improbable structures around the world.
Their large-scale productions would take years of preparation and were costly to erect, but they were mostly ephemeral, coming down after just weeks or months.