artnet News’s Top 10 Most Expensive Living Women Artists 2015

See who made the list.

Yayoi Kusama Photo via: Jamille Sodré
Yayoi Kusama. Photo via: Jamille Sodré

TOP TEN ARTISTS BY LOT 2005–2015
Our living ladies span four continents, with work that at times reflects the diversity of their geographical profiles. Using data drawn from the artnet Price Database over the past ten years, there are some shifts from our previous report. Three newcomers join the list, two are no longer on it, and Cady Noland still holds the top spot. Several who are on the list again have new records at auction.

Cady Noland, Bluewald (1989). Photo courtesy of the Southbank Centre.

Cady Noland, Bluewald (1989). Image: the Southbank Centre.

1. Cady Noland
Noland remains at the top of the list this year, for her politicized sculpture Bluewald (1989), which sold this past May for nearly $9.8 million at Christie’s New York breaking the artists record at auction. Prior to that sale, her record was held by the same work sold at Sotheby’s New York in 2011 for $6.6 million. Noland also places on our list of most expensive living American artists at auction. She is also a known recluse and often disowns her own art works.

Yayoi Kusama, White No. 28 (1960) sold at Christie's New York on November 12, 2014 for $7,109,000.

Yayoi Kusama, White No. 28 (1960). Image: Christie’s.

2. Yayoi Kusama
Kusama is popular both at auction and on social media. Her hypnotic White No. 28 (1960) sold for over $7 million at Christie’s New York this past November. Recent sales of Interminable Net #3 (1959) and No. 2 (1959) have also topped the $5 million mark. Her retrospective in Mexico was a security nightmare.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #6 (1977) sold at Christie's New York on November 12, 2014 for $6,773,000.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #6 (1977). Image: Christie’s.

3. Cindy Sherman
The sale of a lot of 21 of her Untitled Film Stills (1977) at Christie’s New York this past November pushed Cindy Sherman up several places on our list. The portraits garnered $6.7 million at auction. Sherman also made our list of the Top 10 Most Expensive American Artists 2015.

Marlene Dumas, The Visitor (1995).

Marlene Dumas, The Visitor (1995). Image: Sotheby’s.

4. Marlene Dumas
South African-born Marlene Dumas set her record at auction in 2008 with the sale of The Visitor (1995). The painting sold for $6.3 million at Sotheby’s London that summer. This February, the artist had a retrospective at the Tate Modern.

 

Bridget Riley, Static 2 (1966). Image: Christie's.

Bridget Riley, Static 2 (1966). Image: Christie’s.

5. Bridget Riley
Also featured on our list of the Top 10 Most Expensive Living British Artists 2015, Bridget Riley’s Op Art masterpiece Chant 2 (1967), which sold for $5.1 million at Sotheby’s London in 2008, keeps her at the top. Recent sales of Static 2 (1966) and Stretch (1964) have contributed to her prevalence.

Rosemarie Trockel, Untitled (in 2 parts) (1985-88). Image: Sotheby's.

Rosemarie Trockel, Untitled (in 2 parts) (1985-88). Image: Sotheby’s.

6. Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel‘s record was set in May this past year with the sale of Untitled (in 2 parts) (1985-88) at Sotheby’s New York. She joins our list with a $4.9 million benchmark.

Julie Mehretu, Retopistics: A Renegade Excavation (2001).

Julie Mehretu, Retopistics: A Renegade Excavation (2001). Image: Christie’s.

7. Julie Mehretu
The 2013 sale of Retopistics: A Renegade Excavation (2001) gave Julie Mehretu her record at auction ($4.6 million). Yet with the recent sale of Looking Back to a Bright New Future (2003) for close to $3.5 million at Christie’s London in June, she remains a current favorite.

Tracey Emin, My Bed (1998). Photo courtesy of Tate.

Tracey Emin, My Bed (1998). Image: Tate.

8. Tracey Emin
Another of our most expensive living British artists, Emin’s autobiographical installation My Bed (1998) sold for $4.3 million at Christie’s London in 2014. The artwork is currently on loan to the Tate Britain.

Jenny Saville, Plan (1993). Image: Saatchi Gallery.

Jenny Saville, Plan (1993). Image: Saatchi Gallery.

9. Jenny Saville
A 2014 sale of Plan (1993) at Christie’s London set Saville’s record at auction. The painting sold for close to $3.5 million.

Vija Celmins, Burning Plane.Image: Courtesy of Sotheby's

Vija Celmins, Burning Plane.
Image: Courtesy of Sotheby’s

 10. Vija Celmins
Celmins made our list again, this time with a new record for the sale of Burning Plane (1965) for $3.4 million at Sotheby’s in 2014. Her record prior to that was for Night Sky #14 (1996–97), an oil on linen painting, which sold at Christie’s in 2013 for $2.4 million.

TOP TEN ARTISTS BY VALUE 2005-2015
Although Cady Noland topped our list of artists by lot, she didn’t make it on the list by value. Yayoi Kusama is first on our list of artists ranked by value. The value rankings show how an artist has performed at auction in the aggregate over the specified time frame.

1. Yayoi Kusama                 $215,702,079
2. Cindy Sherman               $106,562,956
3. Chen Peiqiu                    $65,767,575
4. Bridget Riley                  $52,460,198
5. Marlene Dumas              $44,567,200
6. Cecily Brown                  $40,562,542
7. Julie Mehretu                 $31,345,345
8. Elizabeth Peyton            $26,236,374
9. Xu Lele                           $26,167,187
10. Cady Noland                 $25,434,231

Related stories:
artnet News’s Top 10 Most Expensive Living American Artists 2015
artnet News’s Top 10 Most Expensive Living British Artists 2015
Who Are the Top Ten Most Expensive Living Women Artists?
Why Are There still So Few Successful Female Artists?


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