Signature Grid Masterpiece Composition No. II Sells for $51 Million. One of the Most Important Works by the Artist Ever to Appear on the Market.
Recently in a packed Sotheby’s New York saleroom, Piet Mondrian’s Composition No. II, a masterwork from 1930 which encapsulates the pinnacle of the artist’s signature abstract geometric compositions, sold for a record $51 million to a collector from Asia, establishing a new world auction record for the artist.
As one of the earliest and most innovative creators of truly abstract painting, tonight’s result places Mondrian among the great Dutch masters, in company with Rembrandt and Van Gogh, who revolutionized painting and the course of art history in their time.
The recent sale marked the first time the painting has appeared at auction in nearly 40 years, when it previously sold in 1983 for $2.15 million, at the time an auction record for the artist.
Works by Mondrian with a predominance of the colour red are exceptionally rare within his oeuvre, Composition No. II is one of only three paintings to feature a dominant red square at the upper right; the other two works with this feature are both in museum collections (the National Gallery of Belgrade and the Kunsthaus Zurich). Red is only featured in 17 paintings of the nearly 120 works executed by the artist from 1921 to 1933, and of this group, only three paintings remain in private hands.