The Top 5 Biggest Lots Sold Through Artnet Auctions This Year, From a Frank Stella Masterwork to an Andy Warhol Icon

Five of the most expensive works ever sold on the platform sold in 2021, including monumental examples by Hirst and Basquiat.

Damien Hirst, Spring Intensity (2008). Courtesy of Artnet Auctions.
Damien Hirst, Spring Intensity (2008). Courtesy of Artnet Auctions.

At the outset of the pandemic, when brick-and-mortar auction houses had to close their doors and move online, Artnet Auctions was one step ahead of the curve.

Virtual since its conception, Artnet Auctions continued to innovate, grow, and set records, despite a tumultuous year. 

As summer rolls in and we near the halfway point of 2021, we are taking a moment to look back on a record-breaking five months.

Five of the most expensive works ever sold on the platform sold in 2021, including monumental examples by Frank Stella, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Read on to learn more about these record-setting sales, and make sure to check out the calendar of our upcoming sales.

 

Frank Stella
Rozdol I (1973)
Sold for $1.1 million

Frank Stella, “Rozdol I,” 1973. Courtesy of Artnet Auctions.

Rozdol I from Frank Stella’s seminal “Polish Village” series achieved $1.1 million in Artnet Auctions’ Post-War & Contemporary Sale, setting a new record for a work from the famed series. Works from the group are inspired by the wooden Polish synagogues built in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries that were destroyed by Nazis during World War II. This outstanding 7-figure result ranks among the highest sales achieved on online-only platforms, placing Artnet Auctions in direct competition with the online branches of major brick-and-mortar houses.

 

Damien Hirst
Spring Intensity (2008)
Sold for $600,000

Damien Hirst, Spring Intensity (2008). Courtesy of Artnet Auctions.

Spring Intensity is the largest of Damien Hirst’s butterfly paintings to sell at auction in nearly three years. Achieving $600,000 in the Post-War & Contemporary sale in May, the work’s large scale and vibrant yellow hue makes it a sublimely perfect picture from the prolific and celebrated artist. 

 

Andy Warhol
Campbell’s Soup II (complete set of 10 works) (1969)
Sold for $456,000

Andy Warhol, “Campbell’s Soup II” 1969. Courtesy of Artnet Auctions.

One of the most famous and recognizable images in art history, Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup cans helped to usher in the Pop Art movement. Campbell’s Soup II is a rare and extraordinary appearance as a complete set of 10 screenprints, and a prime example of Warhol’s ability to turn an object of mass consumption into one of aesthetic appreciation. Selling for $456,000, Campbell’s Soup II marks a top-five result for the set, and the highest result for any print on Artnet Auctions.  

 

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Untitled (1981)
Sold for $360,000

Jean-Michel Basquiat, “Untitled,” 1981. Courtesy of Artnet Auctions.

Measuring in at close to seven feet, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled is characterized by its grand scale and effortless simplicity. The autobiographical work is a prime example of the artist’s unmistakable Neo-Expressionist style that cemented him as a contemporary legend. Selling for $360,000 in March, Untitled is one of the largest works on paper by Basquiat to sell at auction.

 

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Head; Per Capita; Ernok; Rinso (1983–2001)
Sold for $360,000

Jean-Michel Basquiat, “Jean-Michel Basquiat, Head; Per Capita; Ernok; Rinso,” 1983–2001. Courtesy of Artnet Auctions.

This complete set of four screen prints sold for $360,000, one of Basquiat’s highest results at auction. The four prints re-energize the artist’s most celebrated motifs of the skull, the crown, scrawled text, and abstracted figures, and exemplify Basquiat’s practice of linking his lived experience with historical experience in his work. 

See the calendar for our upcoming Artnet Auctions sales here.


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