From the Studio (1954) by Milton Avery (1893-1965) was the headline lot of Heritage Auctions' American Art sale in Dallas on May 10, where it achieved $875,000.
Avery's work straddles the line between representational and abstract, a stance that put him at odds with the prevailing trends of the era.
Art critic Hilton Kramer described him in the New York Times in 1981 as "without question, our greatest colorist. Among his European contemporaries, only Matisse - to whose art he owed much, of course - produced a greater achievement in this respect".
His Music Makers made $2.9m at Sotheby's New York in May last year - a new auction record for the artist.
Roulette II, a painting by Leroy Neiman (1921-2012), made $161,000.
Neiman is best known for his bold and kinetic works depicting sports, celebrities and leisure activities. He began working for Playboy from 1954, an association he continued up until his death in 2012.
A collection of baseballs painted by Neiman will feature in a sale at Heritage Auctions on May 15-17.
Other high performing lots included Frank Xavier Leyendecker's Pierrot and Columbine, which he produced for the cover of a 1915 edition of Vanity Fair. It sold for $118,750.
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