Art and Antiques

Mark Rothko’s 1954 abstract painting Royal Red & Blue leads Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Sale

Andrea Divirgilio / September 22, 2012

Russian-American painter who himself rejected being classified as an abstract expressionist and even an abstract painter, Mark Rothko is widely known for his signature motif of soft, rectangular forms floating on a stained field of color. Described to be a fierce champion of social revolutionary thought, and the right to self expression, Rothko’s whole life was consumed by painting. Although, he didn’t received the attention he felt his work deserved in his own lifetime, his fame has increased dramatically in the years following his death. And, it becomes apparent from the sale of ‘Orange, Red, Yellow’, Rothko’s timeless creation from 1961, for whopping $87 million, shattering all-records to become the most expensive contemporary art. Now, another such masterpiece, a 1954 abstract that depicts a trio of fuzzy-edged red, pink and blue rectangles stacked atop a rose background, Mark Rothko’s No.1 (Royal Red and Blue) which has been valued between $35 million and $50 million, will lead Sotheby’s evening sale of contemporary art on November 13th.

Mark Rothko’s 1954 masterpiece will lead Sotheby's Evening Sale of Contemporary Art

Reportedly, the owner of Burnett Cos. in Fort Worth, Texas, Anne Marion is the seller of the Rothko’s majestic canvas which was one of eight works hand-selected by Rothko for his landmark solo show of 1954 at the Art Institute of Chicago and has remained in the same collection for 30 years.

Painted in 1954, during the very zenith of the Rothko’s creative focus, this particular painting, almost 9.5 feet tall and 5.5 feet wide, has been described to be central to artist’s mature mode of artistic expression.

Pablo Picasso’s Femme a la fenetre ‘Woman at the Window’ (Marie-Therese)

Pablo Picasso’s Femme a la fenetre 'Woman at the Window' (Marie-Therese)

Also, at the Sotheby’s sale of impressionist and modern art scheduled to be held on November 5th, renowned Pablo Picasso’s portrait of his lover and muse Marie-Therese Walter, the Femme a la fenetre ‘Woman at the Window’ (Marie-Therese), which was painted back in 1936, is expected to sell for $15 million to $20 million.

However, we have also earlier seen the sale of Picasso’s painting of his teenage mistress “La Lecture” sells for $40.7 million, and the Pablo Picasso’s musketeer painting which was sold for record $11.5 million at Sotheby’s, to name a few.

UPDATE: Sotheby’s sold the Mark Rothko’s abstract painting titled, “No. 1 (Royal Red & Blue) for $75 million above its higher-end estimated price of $50 million on Tuesday in a contemporary-art auction that totaled $375 million.

While the Picasso’s portrait of his iconic muse Marie-Therese Walter “Femme a la Fenetre,” fetched $17.2 million including commission in a sale held at Sotheby’s. Another Picasso, “Femme a la robe verte,” which was estimated to sell for $6 million to $8 million, went unsold.

Via: Sotheby’s

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