"Happy Tears," a 1964 painting of a red-haired woman smiling through her tears by pop art master Roy Lichtenstein, was sold for $7.1 million Wednesday night at Christie's New York, setting a record for the artist.
Although Lichtenstein's work has commanded big prices at auction for many years, "Happy Tears" shattered a record set in 1990, at the peak of the art market, when his painting "Kiss II" was sold for $6 million.
The Lichtenstein sale was a highlight of a $66.9-million auction of postwar and contemporary art that failed to find buyers for 13 of the 75 works offered but set records for seven artists.
Among them were "Portrait of Nick Wilder" by David Hockney, which edged up his 1989 auction record price from $2.2 million to $2.8 million, and an untitled painting by Laura Owens, which was sold for $47,800, more than five times the young Los Angeles artist's 2-year-old auction record of $8,813.
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