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  • SFMOMA TO SELL UNTITLED 1960 BY ROTHKO FOR ACQUISITIONS

    Mark Rothko – Untitled, 1960

    Untitled 1960 by Mark Rothko will highlight Sotheby’s Contemporary evening art auction in New York next May.  Estimated at $35-50 million it is being sold to benefit SFMOMA’s acquisition fund.

    Untitled, 1960 is one of just 19 paintings completed by the artist in 1960.  That year marked a critical juncture in his career when he was at the apex of his artistic powers. It followed on from his defining commission of the Seagram Murals (1958-59) and his representation of the United States in the XXIX Venice Biennale in 1958.  This was organised by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, which would subsequently hold Rothko’s first and only major lifetime retrospective in 1961.

    Following a collection review, and working within the guidelines of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), proceeds from the sale of Untitled, 1960 will only be used to purchase works for the museum.  Neal Benezra, Helen and Charles Schwab Director of SFMOMA, said: “With a spirit of experimentation, diversity of thought, and openness to new ways of telling stories, we are rethinking our exhibitions, collections, and education programs to enhance accessibility and expand our commitment to a global perspective, while sustaining our dedication to Bay Area and California art. Untitled, 1960 is being sold in order to broadly diversify SFMOMA’s collection, enhance its contemporary holdings, and address art historical gaps in order to continue to push boundaries and embrace fresh ideas.”

    Untitled, 1960 will travel to London, Taipei and Hong Kong, before returning to New York for exhibition and auction this May.

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