NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen sold a royal-blue abstract by Barnett Newman for $43.8 million at Sotheby's on Tuesday, in an unpredictable sale that smashed records for some artists.
It is a large 1953 painting by abstract expressionist artist Barnett Newman. Sotheby's said Tuesday the record price for "Onement VI" includes the buyer's premium.
The painting is the last of six in Newman's Onement series. They're characterized by what's called the zip, a distinctive stripe running down the center of the canvas. Four are in museum collections.
"Onement V" sold at auction last year for $22.4 million, the artist's previous auction record.
Newman was an exhibitions organizer of the newly opened Betty Parson Gallery in 1946. He played a vital role in the careers of Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and others. He also influenced the next generation of artists including Frank Stella.
Newman died in 1970.