See the Top 10 Most Expensive Living British Artists
Damien Hirst keeps his crown in the new year.
Thanks to data compiled by the artnet Price Database, artnet News was able to track down British artists who have made a name (and a market) for themselves in contemporary art.
The list, as one might expect, is full of YBAs, the Young British Artists who came of age in the late 1980s at Goldsmiths College of Art in London, who took the art world by storm. The staying power of the older generation is also in evidence, with three of the top 10 artists having been born before 1940.
If we expand our parameter to include Welsh and Scottish artists, Peter Doig would top the rankings for his 1990 canvas Swamped, the most expensive work by a living UK artist sold between 2005 and 2015.
TOP 10 ARTISTS BY LOT
1. Damien Hirst (1965–)
It’s no surprise that Damien Hirst, the bad boy of British art, tops the list with Lullaby Spring, a 2002 glass pill cabinet work that sold for £9.65 million ($19.23 million) at Sotheby’s London in 2007.
2. David Hockney (1937–)
David Hockney’s massive colorful landscape, Woldgate Woods, 24, 25, and 26 October 2006, set the record for the artist in November 2016, selling at Sotheby’s New York for $11.71 million.
3. Jenny Saville (1970–)
The top ranking women on the list, Jenny Saville achieved an auction high at Sotheby’s London in 2016 with the £6.8 million ($9 million) sale of her painting Shift. The canvas, depicting a tightly bunched row of nude bodies, blew away her previous record of £2 million ($3.49 million), set in 2014 at Christie’s London for Plan.
4. Glenn Brown (1966–)
Glenn Brown’s dramatic 1998 seascape The Tragic Conversion of Salvador Dalí (after John Martin) achieved a £5.1 million ($8.1 million) sale at Sotheby’s London in 2012.
5. Bridget Riley (1931–)
The oldest artist on the list at 85 (she was born just five days before Frank Auerbach), Bridget Riley set a new auction best just last year, with the £4.3 million ($5.7 million) sale of the trippy Op Art masterpiece Untitled (Diagonal Curve) at Christie’s London in June.
6. Antony Gormley (1950–)
Antony Gormley is known for his public art installations, so it is only appropriate that a maquette of one of his most famous ones, England’s iconic Angel of the North, earns him a place on this list with a £3.4 million ($5.37 million) sale at Christie’s London in 2011.
7. Frank Auerbach (1931–)
Frank Auerbach also achieved a new personal best in 2016, when Head of Gerda Boehm obliterated its pre-sale estimate to fetch £3.78 million $4.74 million) at Sotheby’s London.
8. Chris Ofili (1968–)
The controversial painting that had New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani threatening to defund the Brooklyn Museum in 1999, Chris Ofili’s elephant dung-adorned Holy Virgin Mary, brought in £2.88 million ($4.5 million) at Christie’s London in 2015.
9. Tracey Emin (1963–)
My Bed may not have won Tracey Emin the Turner Prize, but it did earn her a place on this list with its £2.5 million ($4.36 million) sale at Christie’s London in 2014.
10. Anish Kapoor (1954–)
Rounding out the top 10 is artist Anish Kapoor with his untitled 2003 alabaster sculpture, which sold for £1.94 million ($3.876 million) at Sotheby’s London in 2003.
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