No Sale For This Gloomy Rothko
In the last few years Rothko paintings have reached some amazing numbers. In May 2007 one sold for $72.8 million and last May another, Rothko's No. 15 sold for $50.4 million. Those days are gone. Mark Rothko's No 43 (Mauve) was estimated to bring $20-$30 million at Christie's earlier this week. In fact it didn't even get a single bid at $10 million. As the always insightful Felix Salmon points out, this is especially interesting because it goes against the prevailing wisdom that the top of the market would be last to fall. In fact at this particular sale it was the second-tier works which sold while other more high profile pieces got no bids at all. Several articles on the auction used two "b" words in quick succession, "bleak" and "bargains." Perhaps we are really hitting a buyer's market for art once again.