November’s Top 300 Artist Searches Dominated by Photography and Politics

What do artnet users' searches teach us about the market?

Barbara Kruger's cover for New York magazine.
Barbara Kruger's cover for New York magazine.

What artists are artnet users searching for? Every month we put the results of user searches across artnet’s proprietary platforms under the microscope and analyze what the results tell us about what drives artist popularity and how it reflects the state of the art market, and more broadly the art world.

As the shameful rape scandal surrounding controversial photographer David Hamilton, known for his depictions of nude adolescent girls, continues to unfold, the British artist took the top spot in November for the second consecutive month. In October French television presenter Flavie Flament accused the 84-year-old of abusing her when she posed for him at the age of 13. Hamiton had denied the accusations.

Second place was again occupied by Jock Sturges, another controversial photographer known for portraying nude young women. British street art favorite Banksy took third again, whilst blue-chip pop artists Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat took fourth and fifth places; the latter benefiting from a surge of searches to climb 15 places after a strong showing in the fall auctions, which included the $8.8 million sale of Air Power, formerly of David Bowie’s collection.

Pablo Picasso took sixth place, whilst photographer Diane Arbus dropped to seventh; fellow snappers Nan Goldin and Robert Mapplethorpe took eighth and ninth respectively. Mapplethorpe jumped nine places to get into the top 10, propelled by a two-person show with Jurgen Teller at London’s Allison Jacques gallery, which opened last month. Keith Haring rounded off the top 10.

Gerhard Richter. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Gerhard Richter. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

As always the list gets more interesting outside of the top 10, which is routinely occupied by erotic photographers and blue-chip artists.One clear winner in November was Yayoi Kusama. Thanks to the start of a North American tour of the artist’s insanely popular Infinity Rooms at Washingotn DC’s Hirschhorn Museum, the octogenarian Japanese artist climbed from 29th to 17th place as more and more artnet users researched her work.

Some very politically incorrect remarks by German star artist Gerhard Richter, who made headlines for sharply criticizing the refugee policy of chancellor Angela Merkel, helped the painter move from 37th to 25th spot.

Elsewhere Barbara Kruger’s politically charged cover design for the November edition of New York Magazine, which (incorrectly) proclaimed president-elect Donald Trump as “LOSER,” helped her move up the ranks from 131st to 53rd place, as users enthusiastically searched for more examples of her work.

On the other side of the scale, Agnes Martin dropped 97 places from 85th to 182nd as hype and interest for her much-heralded solo retrospective at New York’s Guggenheim Museum dramatically wore off.

See the list of top artists for November below:

1. David Hamilton

2. Jock Sturges

3. Banksy

4. Andy Warhol

5. Jean-Michel Basquiat

6. Pablo Picasso

7. Diane Arbus

8. Nan Goldin

9. Robert Mapplethorpe

10. Keith Haring

11. KAWS

12. Bernard Buffet

13. Helmut Newton

14. Joel-Peter Witkin

15. Roy Lichtenstein

16. Max Jensen

17. Yayoi Kusama

18. David Hockney

19. Victor Vasarely

20. Alec Monopoly

21. Sally Mann

22. Marc Chagall

23. Francesca Woodman

24. Shepard Fairey

25. Gerhard Richter

26. Fernando Botero

27. Andy Goldsworthy

28. Takashi Murakami

29. Salvador Dalí

30. Joan Miró

31. Damien Hirst

32. Jim Dine

33. Thomas Ruff

34. René Magritte

35. Liu Bolin

36. Wayne Thiebaud

37. Alexander Calder

38 James Rosenquist

39. Sebastião Salgado

40. Wolfgang Tillmans

41. Jeff Koons

42. Philip-Lorca diCorcia

43. Andreas Gursky

44. Frank Stella

45. Anselm Kiefer

46. Robert Rauschenberg

47. Christian Boltanski

48. Peter Doig

49. Tanja Playner

50. Mr. Brainwash

51. Egon Schiele

52. Yoshitomo Nara

53. Barbara Kruger

54. Henri Matisse

55. Niki de Saint Phalle

56. Candida Höfer

57. Vik Muniz

58. Raoul Dufy

59. Jean Dubuffet

60. Tomás Sánchez

61. Pierre Soulages

62. Gregory Crewdson

63. Otto Rudolf Schatz

64. Francis Bacon

65. Alex Katz

66. Jenny Holzer

67. Milo Manara

68. Grayson Perry

69. Andrea Appiani

70. Cindy Sherman

71. Adrian Ghenie

72. Tom Wesselmann

73. Man Ray

74. Konstantin Razumov

75. George Condo

76. William Klein

77. Peter Blake

78. Tracey Emin

79. Fernand Léger

80. Margaret Keane

81. George Grosz

82. Marina Abramovic

83. Wassily Kandinsky

84. Bernd and Hilla Becher

85. Bridget Riley

86. Ed Ruscha

87. Emil Nolde

88. Julian Opie

89. Georg Baselitz

90. Duane Michals

91. Rufino Tamayo

92. Bert Stern

93. William Kentridge

94. Henri Cartier-Bresson

95. Peter Paul Rubens

96. Sol LeWitt

97. Carl Nonn

98. David LaChapelle

99. Cy Twombly

100. Käthe Kollwitz

101. Saul Leiter

102. Josef Albers

103. Chuck Close

104. Sam Francis

105. Swoon

106. Kiki Smith

107. Otto Dix

108. Will McBride

109. Thomas Struth

110. Jenny Saville

111. Daniel Richter

112. Anish Kapoor

113. Paul Klee

114. Pierre et Gilles

115. Robert Indiana

116. Joseph Beuys

117. Tony Cragg

118. Sigmar Polke

119. Kehinde Wiley

120. Maurice de Vlaminck

121. Helen Frankenthaler

122. Peter Max

123. Irina Ionesco

124. Günther Uecker

125. Albert Marquet

126. Robert Longo

127. Willem de Kooning

128. Francis Picabia

129. Harland Miller

130. Hiroshi Sugimoto

131. Antoni Tàpies

132. Max Ernst

133. Robert Motherwell

134. Herb Ritts

135. Alberto Giacometti

136. Maurice Utrillo

137. Marilyn Minter

138. William Eggleston

139. Karel Appel

140. Yves Klein

141. Markus Lüpertz

142. Kees van Dongen

143. Garry Gross

144. Katsushika Hokusai

145. Nick Brandt

146. Zao Wou-Ki

147. Jackson Pollock

148. Ellsworth Kelly

149. John Baldessari

150. Mel Ramos

151. Jasper Johns

152. Christopher Wool

153. Arman

154. Irving Penn

155. Lucio Fontana

156. Louise Bourgeois

157. Imi Knoebel

158. Richard Prince

159. Brassaï

160. RETNA

161. Richard Estes

162. Georges Braque

163. Kara Walker

164. Friedensreich Hundertwasser

165. Kazuo Shiraga

166. Raymond Pettibon

167. Pierre-Auguste Renoir

168. Ronald Ventura

169. Grandma Moses

170. Jeremy Mann

171. Wifredo Lam

172. Aslan

173. Bettina Rheims

174. Pierre Molinier

175. Shirin Neshat

176. Erwin Wurm

177. David Lynch

178. Claude Monet

179. Ernesto Neto

180. George Morrison

181. Erich Heckel

182. Agnes Martin

183. Jan Saudek

184. Hans Zatzka

185. Jean Prouvé

186. Harding Meyer

187. Sean Scully

188. Niclas Castello

189. Walasse Ting

190. Andres Serrano

191. Sue Coe

192. Edward Weston

193. Janet Fish

194. Stephan Balkenhol

195. Le Corbusier

196. Per Kirkeby

197. Erwin Olaf

198. Annie Leibovitz

199. Georges Rouault

200. Martin Parr

201. Edvard Munch

202. Roberto Matta

203. Julian Schnabel

204. Robert Doisneau

205. Deborah Butterfield

206. Adolf Stademann

207. Pierre Alechinsky

208. Larry Clark

209. Lyonel Feininger

210. Anton Pieck

211. Hieronymus Bosch

212. Julie Mehretu

213. Richard Avedon

214. Mel Bochner

215. Duane Hanson

216. John Currin

217. Joan Mitchell

218. Giorgio de Chirico

219. Gustav Klimt

220. Slinkachu

221. Beatriz Milhazes

222. Ellen von Unwerth

223. Eduardo Chillida

224. Antony Gormley

225. Andrew Wyeth

226. Fritz Aigner

227. Ai Weiwei

228. Massimo Vitali

229. Pierre Bonnard

230. Richard Diebenkorn

231. Hans Hartung

232. Jonathan Meese

233. Otto Piene

234. Miquel Barceló

235. Igor Mitoraj

236. Gio Ponti

237. Graham Sutherland

238. Lucian Freud

239. René Gruau

240. Donald Judd

241. Edward Burtynsky

242. Jean Paul Riopelle

243. Vernon Ward

244. Auguste Rodin

245. Yaacov Agam

246. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

247. Lucien Clergue

248. Arnulf Rainer

249. Charlotte Perriand

250. Yue Minjun

251. Claude Lalanne

252. Gerda Wegener

253. Ansel Adams

254. Max Bill

255. Elizabeth Catlett

256. Philip Guston

257. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff

258. Albrecht Dürer

259. Walton Ford

260. Vanessa Beecroft

261. Giorgio Morandi

262. Romero Britto

263. Dennis Sheehan

264. Darren Almond

265. Peter Lindbergh

266. Peter Beard

267. Jean Cocteau

268. Alfons Walde

269. Stanley Donwood

270. Piet Mondrian

271. Jeff Muhs

272. Martin Kippenberger

273. Alighiero Boetti

274. Frank Auerbach

275. Jörg Immendorff

276. Edgar Degas

277. Marlene Dumas

278. Ettore Sottsass

279. Milton Avery

280. Patrick Hughes

281. Gary Hume

282. André Kertész

283. Günther Förg

284. Manolo Valdés

285. Chu Teh-Chun

286. Diego Rivera

287. Malick Sidibé

288. Wolf Kahn

289. Leonora Carrington

290. Alice Neel

291. Marie Laurencin

292. Cecily Brown

293. Richard Serra

294. Emmanuel Villanis

295. Alphonse Mucha

296. Patrick Caulfield

297. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

298. Maurizio Cattelan

299. Serpieri

300. Jean Royère


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