Who Are the Top 100 Most Collectible Living Artists?

Koons, Richter and Wool stay in the lead.

Guatier Deblonde, portrait of Yayoi Kusama in her Tokyo studio, 2013, David Zwirner Gallery, New York, NY.

With the help of the artnet Analytics team, we present the current list from the artnet Price Database, tracking four years’ worth of sales data.

Presented below are two intersecting lists. The first presents the highest-selling individual lots for living artists, which contains a number of entries by Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter, Peter Doig, and Christopher Wool, to name just a few. (Yayoi Kusama is the only female artist to make the cut.)

The second list shows the top 100 living artists based on the total value of secondary market sales from January 2011 through mid-October. It ranks artists by the total value of works sold and indicates the number of individual lots. The handful of female artists on this list include Kusama, Cindy Sherman, Julie Mehretu, Cady Noland, and Vija Celmins, among others.

Zeng Fanzhi, Jenny Saville, Self Portrait (1996) Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Zeng Fanzhi, Self Portrait (1996). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

This list also features a number of Chinese contemporary artists who have proved to be top earners in recent years, including Zeng Fanzhi, Cui Ruzhuo, Zhang Xiaogang, and Zhou Chunyu accounting for four, or roughly half, of the top ten.

Also notable is the ranking of Howard Terpning, a painter who is prized by Western art collectors. Terpning is known for creating realistic, highly detailed historic paintings depicting 19th-century Native American life. He ranks at number 91, with cumulative sales of over $22 million for just 83 works.

See the artists who made the list below.



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