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    Mark Rothko’s No.1 (Royal Red and Blue) made $75,122,500. (Click on image to enlarge).

    Mark Rothko’s No.1 (Royal Red and Blue) made $75,122,500 over an estimate of $35/50 million at Sotheby’s Contemporary sale in New York last night. There were artists record for Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Hans Hofmann, Arshile Gorky, Robert Motherwell, and Wade Guyton, as well as for a work-on-paper by Andy Warhol and a painting by Takashi Murakami in a sale that totalled $375,149,000. This was the best auction result in any category in Sotheby’s history.
    The second best price was Pollock’s No. 4, 1951 which made $40,402,500 while Francis Bacon’s Untitled (Pope) was third on list at $29,762,500.
    “This has been an extraordinary year for Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s,” commented Tobias Meyer, Worldwide Head of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s. “Tonight’s record results bring our 2012 total to well over $1 billion, and we still have tomorrow’s Day auction, as well as our upcoming sale in Paris. The Rothko was the undisputed highlight of the evening, surpassing the Rockefeller Rothko to become the second highest price ever achieved for the artist at auction. The wonderful consignment from the Collection of Sidney and Dorothy Kohl brought more than $100 million, led by the Jackson Pollock, which sold for $40.4 million, well above expectations. If you are looking for evidence that today’s market is alive and well, look no further.”

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