Wednesday 9 May 2012

Rothko work hits record $86.9m at Christie's auction...

The artwork Orange, red, yellow by Mark Rothko has achieved the highest ever price for a piece of contemporary art at auction - fetching $86.9m (£53.8m).

The 1961 painting was sold at Christie's in New York.

The auction house said the total takings of $388.5m had beaten the previous record for a contemporary art auction, set in 2007.

Last week Edvard Munch's The Scream set the world record for an artwork - selling for $119.9m.

Another high-profile contemporary art auction takes place on Wednesday - when Roy Lichtenstein's Sleeping Girl is the pick of the pieces going under the hammer at Sotheby's in New York. The estimated value is put at $30m-$40m.

On Tuesday, Orange, red, yellow soared past the previous Rothko record of $72.84m.

Sales director Laura Paulson said the work was a personification of the art of Rothko, who died in New York in 1970.

Francis Bacon's Triptych held the previous post-war art record - selling for $86.3m in 2008.

A total of 14 artists recorded new highs for their works on Tuesday, including the $36.5m paid for Yves Klein's piece FC1 and the $21.8m registered for Gerhard Richter's Abstraktes Bild.

"The market really responded," said Brett Gorvy, Christie's international head of post-war and contemporary art.

"It is a very knowledgeable market, a very sophisticated market. We saw very seasoned collectors, as well as new collectors coming forward."

Source: BBC

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