Top 10 Most Expensive Living European Artists at Auction in 2015
British and Italian artists did particularly well.
Although modern European artists were the big performers at auction in 2015, contemporary art remains the most profitable market segment by far.
Buoyed by increased participation of international collectors from emerging markets, media attention driven by large price tags, and the perception of glamour generated by events such as Art Basel Miami Beach, the market for contemporary European artists remained strong in 2015.
We analyzed the numbers from the artnet Price Database and collected the top ten most expensive living European artists at auction this year, and it appears male artists continue to gain ground over their female counterparts.
Collectors took a particularly strong interest in British contemporary art this year, with half of the represented artists hailing from north of the channel. A new auction record for Lucio Fontana and major museum shows such as Alberto Burri’s retrospective at the Guggenheim reveal the draw of post-war Italian art, and artists; the market’s taste for all things Italian extended to the contemporary sector with four of the ten European artist’s hailing from Italy.
See the results below.
4. David Hockney
Arranged Felled Trees (2008) sold on July 1, 2015 at Sotheby’s London for $5,305,325.63.
6. Damien Hirst
Lullaby Winter (2002) sold on February 11, 2015 at Christie’s London for $4,645,903.14.
7. Chris Ofili
The Holy Virgin Mary (1996) sold on June 30, 2015 at Christie’s London for $4,532,945.43. Ofili’s controversial painting, which former New York mayor Rudolf Giuliani famously tried to ban from being shown at the Brooklyn Museum in 1999, was a hit at auction this summer. It reached a new record price for the artist.
8. Michelangelo Pistoletto
Biennale 66 (1966) sold on November 10, 2015 at Christie’s New York for $3,861,000.
9. Frank Auerbach
Head of Gerda Boehm (1961) sold on July 1, 2015 at Sotheby’s London for $3,468,686.55.
10. Maurizio Cattelan
Ostrich (1997) sold on June 30, 2015 at Christie’s London for $2,419,405.57. The Italian artist’s TOILETPAPER lounge, created with Pieorpaolo Ferrari, was a popular place for Art Basel in Miami Beach fairgoers this year.
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