From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Mark Rothko born Marcus Rothkowitz (September 25, 1903 – February 25, 1970) was a Latvian-born American painter and printmaker who is classified as an abstract expressionist, although he rejected not only the label but even being an abstract painter.
In early November, 2005, Rothko's 1953 oil on canvas painting, Homage to Matisse, broke the record selling price of any post-war painting at a public auction, at US$ 22.5 million.
In May 2007, Rothko's 1950 painting White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose), broke this record again, selling at US$ 72.8 million at Sotheby's New York. The painting was sold by philanthropist David Rockefeller, who attended the auction.
In May 2011, Christie's auctions sold a previously unknown Rothko painting, accounting for the work as #836. The work was added to the existing Rothko catalog of 835 works after expert authentication. The newly discovered painting, Untitled, #17, created in 1961, came to light when a private collector put it up for sale, claiming he bought it directly from the artist. A seven-foot-tall oil on canvas in red and pink on an ochre background, the painting opened with a house bid at US$ 13 million and sold for US$ 30 million, plus sellers and buyers fees (US$ 33 million, all inclusive).
In May 2012, Rothko's 1961 painting Orange, Red, Yellow (#693 in Anfam's catalogue raisonné) was sold by Christie's, New York, for US$ 86.9 million, setting a new record for a post-war painting at a public auction. The painting had formerly been in the collection of abstract expressionism built up by David and Gerry Pincus.