A seminal, large-scale masterpiece by Mark Rothko will lead Sotheby's Evening Sale of Contemporary Art on 13 November. No.1 (Royal Red and Blue) was painted in 1954, during the very zenith of the artist's creative focus. This majestic canvas was one of eight works hand-selected by Rothko for his landmark solo show of the same year at the Art Institute of Chicago and has remained in the same collection for 30 years. The painting is central to Rothko’s mature mode of artistic expression in which he pioneered unprecedented territory in a spectacular outpouring of innovation.
The auction will also present a distinguished collection of eight masterpieces of Abstract Expressionism, comprising paintings by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Clyfford Still, Arshile Gorky, Joan Mitchell, Hans Hofmann, and Adolph Gottlieb. Individually these works are stunning epitomes of the respective artists’ oeuvres, and collectively they form a spectacular survey of one of the most critical chapters of recent Art History. Having remained in the same private collection since they were acquired, predominantly in the early 1970s, these works have been largely out of public view for decades and represent a truly exciting opportunity for collectors. Click here for more information about this collection.
A highlight of more contemporaneous Art History, Gerhard Richter’s sensational Abstraktes Bild of 1990 will also be offered for sale, as a vast and astoundingly powerful crescendo of the artist’s inimitable mode of abstraction. The first painting he created in 1990, this work is one of just a handful of this date to exceed one hundred inches in height and this monumental scale utterly engulfs the viewer in its spectacular chromatic expanse.
Highlights of the auction will be on view at Sotheby’s in New York beginning 1 November.