Setting a record any post-War work of art ever sold at auction, Mark Rothko’s (1903-1970) oil on canvas 'Orange, Red, Yellow' sold for $77.5m (£50m) at Christie’s Contemporary art evening sale on May 8.
The price was the fifth highest all-time auction hammer price
(in terms of pounds sterling).
As well as beating the previous record for the artist which came
for the 1950 abstract White Center (Yellow, Pink, Lavender on
Rose) which made $65m (£32.5m) at Sotheby's New York in May
2007, it was also higher than Francis Bacon's Triptych
from 1976 that sold for $77m (£41.4m) hammer to Roman Abramovich at
Sotheby's New York in May 2008 and was the previous post-War art
Here at Christie's, the Rothko came from the collection of the
late clothing manufacturer and art collector David Pincus who died
Estimated at $35m-45m, the bidding on the 7ft 11in x 7ft (2.36 x
2.06m) oil on canvas rose by million-dollar increments before it
was knocked down to an anonymous phone bidder.
Overall the sale raised $343.3m (£221.5m) hammer which was above
the $236-329m presale estimate and marginally outscored the
previous record for any Contemporary art sale of $341m (£171m) set
in the same rooms five years ago.