Mark Rothko work sold for record $86.9m at auction

 
Orange, red, yellow by Mark Rothko Orange, red, yellow was painted in 1961

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Mark Rothko's Orange, red, yellow has been sold for $86.9 million (£53.8m) - the highest price ever fetched by a piece of contemporary art at auction.

The 1961 painting went under the hammer at Christie's in New York.

The auction house said the sale's total takings - $388.5m (£240.5m) - exceeded the previous record for a contemporary art auction, set in 2007.

Last week a version of Edvard Munch's The Scream set a new world record after selling at auction for $119.9m (£74m).

Prior to Tuesday's sale, the most paid for a Mark Rothko work at auction was $72.84m (£45m).

Francis Bacon's Triptych held the previous record for a piece of post-war art, having sold for $86.3m (£53.4m) in 2008.

The seven-minute auction saw the hammer drop at $77.5 m (£48m) before commission

A total of 14 artists recorded new highs for their works on Tuesday, with only three of the 59 lots on offer failing to sell.

Among the new records set include the $36.5m (£22.6m) paid for Yves Klein's FC1, a piece created with water, two models and a blowtorch shortly before the French artist's 1962 death.

Jackson Pollock's Number 28, 1951, one of the artist's seminal drip paintings, fetched $23m (£14.2m), while an untitled 1980 work by Willem de Kooning went for $14.1m (£8.7m).

Another high-profile contemporary art auction takes place on Wednesday, when Roy Lichtenstein's Sleeping Girl goes under the hammer at Sotheby's in New York.

The estimated value for the 1964 "Pop Art" piece has been put between $30m (£18.5m) and $40m (£24.7m).

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 257.

    to those that say 'I could do that', yes.. but you didn't. He did and back then in the 60's before anyone else thought of it. That anyone today pays huge prices for it is their concern.Once created a work of art takes on a life of it's own independent of the artist who created it. Saw one years ago in London.. first piece of abstract art I 'got'. It was large powerful, resonating yet very calming.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 256.

    #254 I wouldn't say I got emotional but I would agree that in person a Rothko is very pretty. Even the print I have at home is good but the real thing is really vibrant. The photo on this page doesn't show the shades of colour involved or how bright they are. I have no idea how 'difficult' it is to make but I do know that I like the finished work a lot.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 255.

    "Is the Mona Lisa a garbage painting that should only be judged on its accuracy compared to a camera?"

    Of course not, whoever said it was? What I was saying was that it's not a good painting *because* it is photo-accurate (and it actually isn't; the background's all squiffy, if you look). It has far more going for it than that.

  • Comment number 254.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 253.

    247 Shibboleth30 - Rather ridiculous considering that I have just had a comment deleted for using the phrase "willy-waving contest".

    How anyone could find that offensive is beyond me!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 252.

    242. meansofbeams
    Let's clear something up shall we. When something changes hands for money it stops being art and becomes commerce, End of story! ART is FREE.
    --
    I paid £2 for a copy of Henry V last year. Presumably you don't even consider Shakespeare to be art?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 251.

    You can't really blame the "artist" here! Blame the snobbish people who buy this "art" pretending they see something in an orange square that nobody else does.

    Rothko must be ROFL in his grave!

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 250.

    Sorry but you can talk about light till you think you sound clever , or that it`s challenging to understand ( what a joke ) , but the king is in the altogether . It`s not " worth " £69 let alone millions . Just because someone will pay doesn`t give it worth . One day they will have an orange square on their hands that they can`t get £1 for !

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 249.

    Spending this amount on a 'painting' is just daft or even worse, immoral!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 248.

    PAINTING FOR SALE “Black cat in a coal cellar at night” by Mike Vomit. 1953 2M x 3M free delivery UK only, sensible offers over £99999999999999999999 to It’samasterpiecehonest Auctions 044 9999 999 999 It’samasterpiecehonest Auctions are rated 111 out of 5.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 247.

    "...Jackson Pollock's Number 28, 1951, one of the artist's seminal drip paintings ..."


    A most unfortunate turn of phrase, if ever there was one. I never thought that I would see the day when the BBC resorted to this type of filthy writing.

    "Seminal drip" indeed.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 246.

    @242 - So art must be deemed commercially valueless to have meaning as art?
    Hrmmm.

    ...and an object that was previously art, when sold, stops being art? Hrmmm.

    I'm glad you cleared that up so emphatically.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 245.

    @238 Bossuk

    Regarding your own inferences as fact doesn't help much either.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 244.

    Probably been brought by RBS.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 243.

    Sit in the Rothko room for 10 minutes in the Tate modern on a quiet afternoon. It is worth doing even if you still think his art is rubbish. Then realise he turned down that largest commision in art for them and just gave them away.

    No art is worth the price paid. That is all about the investment and it saddens me that we are unlikely to ever see this picture (which I love) again.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 242.

    Let's clear something up shall we. When something changes hands for money it stops being art and becomes commerce, End of story! ART is FREE.

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 241.

    re234 here we go again

    credit where it's due to the man with no talent but plenty of imagination! lol

    re235-nemi

    a good idea, there will be plenty of multi millionaire 5-7 year olds all over the coutry taking the money off the uber rish.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 240.

    @230 - I concede that they are a lot, lot better and retract my comment about his career. Thank you. It is a shame that he did not pursue what was evident talent.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 239.

    236. AM
    As many art students have testified on this blog if they submitted a piece like this for their A-Level it would fail
    ---
    Because it would be an imitation of Rothko. He did it first.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 238.

    @ 226.Tuppenny Butterquinn

    Everyone reading the post knows that was not the point he was trying to make, so being pedantic about the exact wording does not help in any way. i do really wish these forums had intelligence tests sometimes.

 

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