Jackson Pollock's Number 5 (Elegant Lady) is to auction at Christie's New York on May 13 with a $15m-20m estimate.
Pollock traded the painting for a green Oldsmobile in 1954, the same car he crashed on Long Island two years later - killing himself and Edith Metzger, a friend of his lover Ruth Kligman.
The painting is executed in black enamel and differs from the artist's earlier work in terms of its composition, which explores space and form in a more restrained manner than his more famous pieces.
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