Mark Rothko (1903-1970)
Orange, Red, Yellow, 1961
Sold for $86,882,500
May 9th, 2012, source: Christie’s / theartwolf
Mark Rothko’s "Orange, Red, Yellow, 1961" (estimate: $35,000,000 - 45,000,000), was described by Christie's as "the most important work by the artist on the market since "White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)" sold for $72.8m in 2007". Although "Orange, Red, Yellow" has all you want from a Rothko, the "White Center" is a much better work.
The 1961 painting was the centerpiece of the Pincus Collection. As philanthropists, humanitarians, and art patrons, David Pincus and his wife Geraldine (Gerry), enjoyed a collection of Post War and Contemporary art since the early 60s. Another important work from the collection is Jackson Pollock’s "No. 28, 1951". Estimated at $20,000,000 - 30,000,000, the painting sold for a slightly disappointing $23,042,500. However, it was still a world auction record for Pollock.
The third superstar at the sale (not from the Pincus Collection) was Yves Klein's 'FC 1 (Fire-Color 1)'. Described by the auction house as "(Klein's) ultimate masterpiece" and as "one of the most important works of Post-War European art to come to the market", the impressive work sold for $36,482,500.
In addition, new world auction records were marked for Barnett Newman, Gerhard Richter and Alexander Calder.