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Barnett Newman painting auctioned for $43.8 million

The canvas is the last of 6 in the artist's Onement series.

By Associated_Press May 15, 2013 3:47PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A large 1953 painting by abstract expressionist artist Barnett Newman has sold for $43.8 million at a New York City auction, setting an auction record for his work.

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.

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"Onement V" sold at auction last year for $22.4 million, the artist's previous auction record.

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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.

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Photo: "Onement VI" by Barnett Newman is on display during a preview of Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art sales in New York on May 3, 2013 / EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

May 16, 2013 5:05PM

I see that I must have made an awesome point with my posts because they've been removed, lol.  Wow, censored by the Art community for telling it like it is.  Too funny!


That "piece" is what it is, but not worth any more than the cost of the materials and the "artists" time... I get no emotion or feeling from it itself, but the dollar amount is reason to comment on, NOT the art.  For all of you defending this... wow, how great it is for you to not see the plight in the world (keep your blinders on) that the $$ spent on this could have been used for.  Now THAT would elicit some real emotion...!         

May 15, 2013 11:14PM

The Uber Rich...And The Rest,


This is but another glaring example that some of the 1/10 of the 1% who control almost 85% of the wealth of this nation have very little imagination and way WAY too much money on their hands. This kind of conspicuous consumption is an absolute travesty when the other 312 million Americans have to struggle on a daily basis just to tread water and put a little food on the table for their kids. It's a very sad commentary on our times.


Peace to all ~

May 15, 2013 10:07PM

Shock & Awe.

I have a painting for sale on EBay with a starting bid of $3400.00.

The buyer of that masterpiece should consider mine as a complimentary piece.

May 15, 2013 9:15PM

I wonder?????? did he use Bullfrog or regular masking tape?

May 15, 2013 8:06PM
I could just look at that all day! Not!
May 15, 2013 8:06PM

He should have used the blue tape down the middle. It would have been straight.

May 15, 2013 8:01PM
$43.8M?... What?... I'd Be A BillionAir!.. I Made Hundres Of Those Paintings When I Was In Kindergarden!!
May 15, 2013 8:01PM
I went to a Newman exhibit when I was in college and stoned...ALL of his stuff looks like this...I didn't get it back then either...and I was freakin' stoned!
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