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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

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