Why Mark Rothko Is Still Setting Records

With all the hoopla about Munch’s “The Scream” fetching $120 million last week at auction, it’s easy to overlook that this week Mark Rothko’s “New York Orange, Red, Yellow,” an eight-foot large canvas in a blazing rusty palette of sunset tones, became the most expensive post-war work to sell at auction. It fetched $86,882,500, breaking the artist’s record of $72.84 million and eclipsing the $86.3 million paid for Francis Bacon’s Triptych in 2008. “Orange, Red, Yellow” is the most expensive post-war work sold at auction. When private sales are taken into account, works by Jackson Pollock ($140 million) and Willem de Kooning ($137.5 million) still trump Rothko in the post-war art category.

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