by John Link


No. 1 (Royal Red And Blue), by Mark Rothko, 1954, oil on canvas, 113 3/4 x 67 1/2 in., sold for $75,122,500, Sotheby's, New York, November 13, 2012

Maybe we can quit bitchin' now. The price was high, but the work is good.

November 14, 2012


Te Deum, by Hans Hofmann, 1964, oil on canvas, 52 x 60 in., sold for $3,778,500, Christie's, New York, November 14, 2012

Here is Hofmann's Te Deum, 1964, sold at Christie's on November 14 for $3.8 million. It is a typical late masterpiece and I think a better painting than the Rothko.

So, to put it crudely, one could buy about 20 of these for one Rothko.

When I was putting together my Hofmann show for the Hirschhorn Museum in the mid-70s a collector told me that she had a Hofmann and a Rothko hanging in her dining room, but the Hofmann kept beating up on the Rothko so much that she had to move the Rothko to another room.

I also recall several times seeing a "bad" Hofmann hanging with a lot of "good" AE artists and the Hofmann coming out on top. He just doesn't let go. It'll take time, but one of these days he will be seen as the best of the bunch.

(Hofmann picture and comments added by Darby Bannard for comparison, November 17, 2012.)

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