"Do what no one has done before," was the rallying cry that Jiro Yoshihara, founder of the postwar Japanese art group the Gutai Art Association, demanded of his fellow members.

A work by one of the group's important painters, Kazuo Shiraga, fulfilled the edict last week, selling at auction on June 4 for €1,665,500 (¥215,965,000) — more than twice its estimated price — and breaking the artist's previous auction record, set shortly after his death in 2008.

Painted in 1961, "Chiretsusei Katsusemba," a canvas thick with rich, dark red and blue paint, applied with the artist's body and carrying traces of his movements, was offered by Christie's Paris as part of a group of works including that of Gutai artists from the collection of Parisian gallerist Rodolphe Stadler.