Mark Rothko, Untitled (Yellow and Blue), 1954. Estimate $40-60millon. Lot sold 46,450,000 USD. Photo courtesy Sotheby's.
NEW YORK (AFP).- A Mark Rothko painting sold for $46.5 million Tuesday at a Sotheby's auction in New York, an evening in which several records were set including one for a work by German artist Sigmar Polke.
The Rothko work "Untitled, (Yellow and Blue)", measuring 2.42 meters by 1.86 meters (about eight feet by 6.1 feet) and completed in 1954, had been estimated at between $40 and $60 million.
It was one of the star pieces of this evening of auctions of contemporary works, including one by Roy Lichtenstein entitled "The Ring". Sotheby's had expected it would go for $50 million but in the end it sold for $41.69 million.
Roy Lichtenstein, The Ring (Engagement), signed and dated '62 on the reverse; titled on the stretcher, oil on canvas, 48 1/4 x 70 in. 122.5 x 177.8 cm. Lot sold 41,690,000 USD. Photo courtesy Sotheby's.
Another highlight of the sale, "Abstraktes Bild" by Germany's Gerhard Richter, was auctioned for $28.25 million, just under its pre-sale estimate of $30 million.
Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild, signed, dated 1992 and numbered 780-4 on the reverse, oil on canvas,102 1/2 x 78 3/4 in. 260.4 x 200 cm. Lot sold 28,250,000 USD. Photo courtesy Sotheby's.
None of these three set a record.
But several other artists did set records for sales at auction, including Polke. His painting "Dschungel" (1967) went for $27.13 million, three times the previous price for one of his works, according to Sotheby's.
Prior to the auction it had been estimated at around $20 million -- a hefty sum for an artist Sotheby's said was virtually unknown until 2011.
Sigmar Polke (1941 - 2010), Dschungel (Jungle), dispersion on canvas, 63 x 96 5/8 in. 160 x 245.5 cm. Executed in 1967. Lot sold 27,130,000 USD. Photo courtesy Sotheby's.
A huge painting by Christopher Wool, "Riot", went for $29.93 million, compared to a pre-sale estimate of $12 million to $18 millions -- a record for a living American artist.
Christopher Wool, Untitled (Riot), signed, dated 1990 and numbered W14 on the reverse, enamel on aluminum. Lot sold 29,930,000 USD. Photo courtesy Sotheby's.
Sotheby's also sold several works by Andy Warhol, including "Superman", which went for $14.36 million (estimated at $6-$8 million) and "Mao" for $14.4 million. It had been estimated at $13-$16 million.
Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987), Superman, signed and dated 1981 on the overlap, acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas, 60 x 60 in. 152.4 x 152.4 cm. Lot sold 14,362,000 USD. Photo courtesy Sotheby's.
Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987), Mao, acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas, 50 1/8 x 42 1/4 in. 127.3 x 107.3 cm. Executed in 1973, this work is stamped by The Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board and numbered A115.969 on the overlap. Lot sold 14,474,000 USD. Photo courtesy Sotheby's.
These estimates do not include costs and fees, unlike the final auction prices.
On Monday a Picasso oil painting, "The Women of Algiers (Version 0)," smashed records for sales at auction by going for $179 million.
It was the highest price paid for any work of art sold at auction, Christie's said,
The auction continues Wednesday in New York with sales of contemporary art at Christie's, followed Thursday with sales of impressionist and modern art. © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse