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Barnett Newman painting auctioned in New York City for $43.8M

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" (WUHN'-mehnt siks) 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.

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

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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