Gerhard Richter's Abstraktes Bild (774-4) is expected to raise $14m-18m for the Linda Pace Foundation when it crosses the block at Christie's on November 12.
Pace was an artist and collector who aimed to make contemporary art accessible to all. The organisation aims to build a new exhibition space in San Antonio.
Laura Paulson, Christie's chairman and international director for post-war and contemporary art, commented: "Linda had a prescient vision for contemporary art, and was one of the first collectors who truly understood the new visual language in this series of paintings, with an ability to embrace both the aesthetic beauty and conceptual rigor of this dazzling canvas.
"Gerhard Richter is certainly the greatest abstract painter working today and Abstraktes Bild is among one of his most significant works, a superb testament to the artist's mastery of the most spectacularly iconic forms of abstraction in contemporary art.
"The demand for such a masterpiece will be global and we anticipate excitement in the saleroom as international collectors compete for this major work".
Richter is the world's second most valuable living artist behind Jeff Koons - his Domplatz Mailand realised $37.1m at Sotheby's New York last year.
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