Mark Rorthko’s “No. 1 (Royal Red & Blue),” pictured above, sold for $75 million last night at a record-setting Sotheby’s auction of contemporary art. The buyer wasn’t disclosed, but The Wall Street Journal reports that the sale went through an intermediary “who typically works with American collectors.”
Rothko’s larger paintings with bolder palettes have sold well this year. His “Orange, Red, Yellow” sold for $87 million in May. The Rothko that sold yesterday is nine-and-a-half-feet tall.
All told, the Sotheby’s auction fetched $375 million, the company’s highest total ever. Most of the works, including paintings by Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, are from the increasingly popular Abstract Expressionism movement—an indication, perhaps, of longing for post-war US boom times. Sotheby’s said buyers at the auction hailed from the United States, Malaysia, France, Switzerland and South America, according to the Journal.