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Top 5 sellers at Christie's $745M art auction

Christie's contemporary art sale held this week in New York was the most expensive single auction in history, raking in $745 million.

Barnett Newman, "Black Fire I," 1961

christies newman black fire
  • Sold for: $84.2 million

The top-selling work of the evening was also the world auction record for artist Barnett Newman, who died in 1970. His previous record-selling painting was "Onement VI," which sold last year at Sotheby's for $43.8 million.

The use of a black palette in this piece is similar to his other work of that time period. "Newman wanted to handle the raw canvas, relative to the black, in such a way that it would 'become color' and possess its own sense of light," according to a profile of the artist by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The buyer of "Black Fire I" remains anonymous.

  @jillianeugenios - Last updated May 14 2014 02:15 PM ET

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