Kandinsky's painting fetches $17 mln in New York auction

NEW YORK, November 7 (RIA Novosti) - A painting by the Russian avant-garde artist Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) has been sold for $16.8 million at Christie's in New York, the auction house said on Friday.

The presale estimate of Kandinsky's 1909 abstract yellow-and-blue village scene, "Studie zu Improvisation 3," was $15 million to $20 million.

Russian-born expressionist Kandinsky's Fugue was until recently the most expensive Russian painting, Sotheby's said, selling for $20.9 million in 1990.

However, a painting by another avant-garde Russian artist, Kazimir Malevich, this week sold for a record-price of just over $60 million in New York despite gloom over the global financial crisis.

Other sold works included Pablo Picasso's "Deux personnages" and "Mousquetaire et femme a la fleur," which fetched $18 million and $9 million, respectively.

An oil-on-canvas painting by Spanish artist Juan Gris (1887-1927), "Livre, pipe et verres" (Book, pipe and glasses), with a presale estimate of $18.5 million, fetched $20.8 million, becoming the star lot at the impressionist and modern artist evening sale.

However, the global credit crunch has hit sales with only 46 out of 82 pieces selling for a total of $147 million, against a predicted estimate of $250 million.

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