9 May 2012

Rothko painting sets new record at auction

9:45 pm on 9 May 2012

A new auction record for post-war art has been set with the sale of a 1961 oil painting by the American artist Mark Rothko.

Orange, Red, Yellow was sold for $US86.9 million at Christie's in New York.

The auction house said the sale's total takings - $US388.5 million - exceeded the previous record for a contemporary art auction, set in 2007, the BBC reports.

Last week, a version of Edvard Munch's The Scream set a new world record after selling at auction for $US119.9 million.

Before Tuesday's sale, the most paid for a Mark Rothko work at auction was $US72.84 million.

Francis Bacon's Triptych held the previous record for a piece of post-war art, having sold for $86.3 million in 2008.

A total of 14 artists recorded new highs for their works on Tuesday, with only three of the 59 lots on offer not sold.