Who Are the Most Expensive Women Artists at Auction?
Notable sales this year included Cindy Sherman, Joan Mitchell, and Yayoi Kusama.
When Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 (1932) sold at Sotheby’s on November 20 for $44.4 million, tripling its high estimate of $15 million, it became the most expensive painting by a female artist sold at auction. The record was previously held by Joan Mitchell, for Untitled, which sold for $11.9 million, and was set earlier this year at Christie’s New York in May 2014 (see “O’Keeffe Painting Sells for $44 Million at Sotheby’s, Sets Record for Work by Female Artist.”)
The sales of the Mitchell and O’Keeffe paintings were among several notable sales this year of work by female artists, including Cindy Sherman, Yayoi Kusama, and Barbara Hepworth. Although we recently had a piece on living artists (see “Who Are the Top 10 Most Expensive Living Women Artists?“), with all the recent movement among female artists at the auctions, whether living or dead, we think it’s a good time to look at the top 10.
1. Georgia O’Keeffe
Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 (1932) sold at Sotheby’s New York on November 20, 2014, for $44,405,000.
2. Joan Mitchell
Untitled (1960) sold at Christie’s New York on May 13, 2014, for $11,925,000.
3. Berthe Morisot
Après le déjeuner (1881) sold at Christie’s London on February 6, 2013, for $10,933,245.
4. Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova
Les fleurs (1912) sold at Christie’s London on June 24, 2008, for $10,860,833.
5. Louise Bourgeois
Spider (1996) sold at Christie’s New York on November 8, 2011, for $10,722,500.
6. Tamara de Lempicka
Le rêve (Rafaëla sur fond vert) (1927) sold at Sotheby’s New York on November 2, 2011, for $8,482,500.
7. Camille Claudel
La valse, permière version (1892, printing/casting 1893) sold at Sotheby’s London on June 19, 2013, for $8,018,941.
8. Yayoi Kusama
White No. 28 (1960) sold at Christie’s New York on November 12, 2014, for $7,109,000.
9. Barbara Hepworth
Figure for Landscape (1960) sold at Christie’s London on June 25, 2014, for $7,083,050.
10. Kay Sage
Le passage (1956) sold at Sotheby’s London on February 5, 2014, for $7,074,026.
11. Cindy Sherman
Untitled Film Stills (1977) sold at Christie’s New York on November 12, 2014, for $6,773,000.
*An earlier version of this post mistakenly did not include an entry for Camille Claudel.
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