The Top 10 Artists Who Broke Auction Records This Week
A number of winners emerged, despite the slowdown.
There’s a lot to unpack now that New York’s auction week is over, and talk of a slowdown is circulating among market experts. Amid an otherwise lackluster spring season at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips, a number of clear winners emerged, not the least of whom were the artists who broke their records.
Yusaku Maezawa, for example, the 40-year-old tech tycoon who went to town this week with purchases totaling $98 million in two days alone, was responsible for elevating Jean-Michel Basquiat to new heights with his $57 million acquisition of Untitled (1982). Then there’s the $9.7 million he paid for Richard Prince’s Runaway Nurse (2007), effectively giving a boost to the contentious artist.
It was also refreshing to see female artists dominate sales—several of whom outpaced some of their big-ticket male counterparts. At Christie’s Impressionist evening sale, Frida Kahlo set a new record on Thursday with the $8 million sale of her Two Nudes in a Forest (1939), breaking her previous record by over $2 million. Then there are Agnes Martin and Joan Mitchell, who settled into the top ten highest lots at Christie’s evening sale this past Tuesday.
To review the artists who comprise this season’s heavyweights, artnet News compiled a list of the notable works that broke records at auction this week.
1. Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (1982) at Christie’s
Hammer price: $57.3 million
2. Agnes Martin, Orange Grove (1965) at Christie’s
Hammer price: $10.7 million
3. Auguste Rodin, Éternel printemps, (1901-03) at Sotheby’s
Hammer price: $18 million
4. Richard Prince, Runaway Prince (2005-6) at Christie’s
Hammer price: $9.7 million
5. Kerry James Marshall, Plunge (1992) at Christie’s
Hammer price: $2.2 million
6. Mike Kelley, Memory Ware Flat 1 (2000) at Christie’s
Hammer price: $3.3 million
7. Maurizio Cattelan, Him (2001) at Christie’s
Hammer price: $17.2 million
8. Frida Kahlo, Dos Desnudos en el Bosque (La Tierra Misma) (1939) at Christie’s
Hammer price: $8 million
9. Sam Francis, Summer #1 (1957) at Sotheby’s
Hammer price: $10.4 million
10. Henri Charles Manguin, Les oliviers à Cavalière (1906) at Sotheby’s
Hammer price: $950,000
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