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Tamayo watermelon painting to sell in NYC

This undated picture provided by Sotheby's shows Rufino

This undated picture provided by Sotheby's shows Rufino Tamayo's "Watermelon Slices" which is being offered by Sotheby's in New York Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011, with a pre-sale estimate of $1.5 million to $2 million. Credit: AP Photo

NEW YORK - A watermelon painting by celebrated Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo is being offered at auction by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Sotheby's is offering "Watermelon Slices" at its Latin American art auction Wednesday night.

Its pre-sale estimate is $1.5 million to $2 million. It was created in 1950. MoMA acquired it three years later.

The museum is selling it to benefit its acquisitions fund.

It has been featured in exhibitions at London's Tate Gallery and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Recognized for his rich colors, Tamayo painted "Watermelon Slices" in the red, white and green hues of the Mexican flag.

There are seven other works by Tamayo in the sale, including another painting of watermelon slices.

Tamayo died in 1991 at age 91.

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