Auction House Announces Rothko Sales - by IdeelArt
Apr 28, 2015
Sotheby's has announced it is to auction a Mark Rothko masterpiece - only a day before a second work is being sold by Christie's. Naturally, Rothko works don't come to auction very often and the interest of the entire abstract art community has certainly been piqued by the news. The first piece, 'Untitled (Yellow and Blue)' was painted by Rothko in 1954 and is described in the nytimes.com ArtsBeat section as "a colour-field painting on a canvas eight feet tall'".
Mark Rothko's masterpieces at auction
The painting, which was once owned by American art collector and philanthropist Rachel 'Bunny' Lambert Mellon and Christie's owner, Francois Pinault, will go on sale on 12 May (today!) and is expected to reach between $40 and $60 million. The estimate for this piece reflects that fact that it was painted in the year that Rothko held his first ever major US exhibition.
On 13 May, Christie's will be selling Rothko's 1958 work, 'No. 36 (Black Stripe)', which has been estimated at $30 to $50 million. To date, according to artnet.com, the highest amount paid for a Rothko at auction was $87 million - a record that was set at Christie's in 2012 when 'Orange, Red, Yellow' was sold.
Two other Rothko's from Mrs Mellon's collection were sold by Sotheby's in 2014; 'Untitled' was bought for almost $40 million, while 'Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange)' fetched a slightly more modest $36.5 million. No doubt many people will be watching with interest as the bidding starts.
Featured image: Mark Rothko - Untitled (Yellow And Blue), 1954. © Sotheby's
All images used for illustrative purposes only