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Mark Rothko painting sells for $87 million at auction

Mark Rothko painting sells for $87 million at auction
Mark Rothko's 1961 painting "Orange, Red, Yellow" sold for $86.9 million at an auction of items from the estate of David Pincus. (Associated Press)

An oil painting by Mark Rothko sold for $86.9 million at a Christie's auction in New York on Tuesday, setting a record for the abstract expressionist painter.

Rothko's "Orange, Red, Yellow," which dates from 1961, was being sold by the estate of David Pincus, a Philadelphia clothing manufacturer and philanthropist who died in late 2011. Pincus was actively involved with the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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The buyer has not been identified. The painting had been expected to sell for as much as $45 million.

The previous record for a Rothko work was the $72.8 million paid for "White Center" in 2007. The sale of "Orange, Red, Yellow" also represents a new record as the most expensive post-war artwork sold at auction.

Tuesday's sale in New York also included works by Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock and Gerhard Richter. The Pincus estate offered other artworks in the auction, realizing sales of $175 million, according to Reuters.

Last week, a version of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" sold for $119.9 million at a Sotheby's auction.

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