Christie's Brought In $388 Million At A Record-Breaking Contemporary Art Sale Last Night

mark rothko red orange yellow

Photo: Courtesy of Christie’s

People are still talking about Sotheby’s sale of “The Scream” for a record-breaking $119.9 million last week.But last night at rival auction house Christie’s post-war and contemporary sale, several major artist records were broken as well.

The highlight of the evening was the sale of Mark Rothko’s “Orange, Red, and Yellow,” a 1961 oil painting, which went to an anonymous buyer for $86.8 million, well above its high estimate of $45 million. It became the most expensive contemporary work of art ever sold, and set an auction record for the artist.

The sale brought in a total of $388 million, with 95 per cent of lots sold.

In addition to Rothko, five other artist records were also broken:

  • Yves Klein, FC1 (Fire colour 1) from 1962 sold for $36.5 million (est. $30 to $40 million)
  • Jackson Pollock, Number 28, 1951 from 1951 sold for $23 million (est. $20 to $30 million)
  • Barnett Newman, Onement V from 1952 sold for $22.5 million (est. $10 to $15 million)
  • Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (798-3) from 1993 sold for $21.8 million (est. $14 to $18 million)
  • Alexander Calder, Lily of Force, standing mobile from 1945 sold for $18.6 million (est. $8 to $12 million)

All of the buyers remained anonymous.

Now see the most expensive art ever sold >

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