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The recession hasn't killed the art market, after all. Buyers defied the downturn as Yves Saint Laurent's art collection hit the auction block last night. Record prices for works by Matisse, Brancusi, Mondrian and Duchamp were set, and Christie's raked in $264 million on the first night alone. So who were these buyers spending big bucks? Here's a clue: "Among the last-minute VIP visitors to the exhibition hall, just four hours before the sale, was Russian billionaire art collector Roman Abramovich, accompanied by dealer Larry Gagosian. Christie's owner French billionaire Francois Pinault, was present at the sale." [NYT, BN]