No. 21 (Red, Brown, Black and Orange)
signed and dated 1953 on the reverse
A sales total of $343,677,000 million was achieved at Sotheby’s sale of Contemporary Art in New York last night. This brings the sales total of November evening sales to $460.3 million including works from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon on the previous evening. Last night Mark Rothko’s No. 21 (Red, Brown, Black and Orange) from the Schulmberger collection sold for $45 million and Jasper Johns Flag sold for $36 million, a new auction record for the artist. The sell through rate was 85.9% with buyers from 38 countries with participation from Latin America and Asia.
Other Schlumberger Collection works that performed well included Jean Dubuffet’s Cité Fantoche which set a record for the artist when it sold for $7,445,000. Top prices for Andy Warhol portraits included Liz #3 (Early Colored Liz) which sold for $31,525,000, Brigitte Bardot from the Gunter Sachs Collection sold for $11,645,000, and Self-Portrait (Fright Wig) fetched $11,365,000. There were strong prices for abstraction. Untitled by Robert Ryman made $15,005,000, doubling the previous record for the artist, Richter’s Abstraktes Bild from 1991 made $21,445,000, Halloween Fell on a Weekend by Christopher Wool made $8,005,000 and an Untitled Cy Twombly work on paper attracted competition from six bidders before selling for $5,205,000.
(See post on antiquesandartireland.com for October 6, 2014)