$2.05 million artwork sets new record for New Zealand

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An artwork has sold for more than $2 million making it the highest price paid for any New Zealand art work.

Michael Parekowhai’s ‘A Peak in Darien’ fetched $2.05 million when it was auctioned at the Burr Tatham art auction at the Art + Object gallery in Auckland on Saturday, when art sale records fell like dominoes.

“Almost all of the purchasers are local, both private collectors, galleries and museums, ensuring these important works by New Zealand’s greatest artists stay in Aotearoa to be appreciated by generations to come,” Art + Objects founders Leigh Melville and Ben Plumbly said in a joint statement.

“The records achieved are a mark of confidence in our extraordinary artists.”

The $2.05m sale set the record for the highest price at auction for a living New Zealand artist, the highest price for a New Zealand art work, and the highest price paid for any art work at a New Zealand auction.

There were three $1m-plus sales on Saturday night. Colin McCahon’s ‘St Matthew: Lightning’ and ‘Entombment after Titian’ also broke the $1m mark.

The paintings were part of the estate of Peter Tatham, who died in March 2017, followed by his partner Adrian Burr in December 2020.

The auction continues on Sunday.

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