Sotheby’s Auction Sets Record With $375 Million in Sales

The New York Times’ Carol Vogel reports that Sotheby’s contemporary art auction, which took place last night, set a record with $375.1 million in sales. Most notably, Rothko’s No. 1 (Royal Red and Blue), from 1954, went for $67 million to an anonymous bidder. The Rothko, along with Pollock’s drip painting, Number 4, 1951—which sold for $36 million—together helped to bring in over $13 million more than the previous record of $362 million in May of 2008. “It was surprising,” said dealer Philippe Ségalot of the evening's results, which stunned many given the uncertain economic climate. “But Sotheby’s had works that were fresh to the market and they put them in the beginning of the sale. That set the tone for the rest of the evening.”