Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015

Rothko painting sells for $92m in New York

Published on Nov 14, 2012 10:09 AM

NEW YORK (AFP) - A seminal abstract painting by Mark Rothko fetched a huge US$75.1 million (S$91.8 million) at Sotheby's in New York on Tuesday, while a new record was set for a Jackson Pollock drip painting on a night when the big spenders of the art world were out in force.

No. 1 (Royal Red and Blue) is seen by critics as one of the finest examples of Rothko's characteristic style - a seemingly simple, but arresting juxtaposition of blocks of colour.

The work described by Sotheby's as Rothko's "seminal, large-scale masterpiece" had been in the same collection for 30 years before coming to market.

The winning bid, reached after a prolonged bidding battle, was short of the record US$86.9 million paid for Rothko's Orange, Red, Yellow in New York at Christie's in May. But it was far over the pre-sale US$35-50 million estimate and highlighted a contemporary art auction full of big prizes.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!