Here Are the 300 Most-Searched Artists on Artnet’s Price Database in June 2021—and the Rising Talents Poised to Break in Soon

See who's up, who's down, and who's up next.

Camille de Foresta on the rostrum at Christie's Paris. Image courtesy Christie's.
Camille de Foresta on the rostrum at Christie's Paris. Image courtesy Christie's.

The summer doldrums have arrived—but not for the art market. Last month, London hosted its Modern and contemporary art summer sales, German houses held their biannual auctions, and Phillips held its marquee contemporary art evening event in New York. All that activity means that searches on Artnet’s Price Database have yet to hit the beach.  

The queries aren’t free, which means those running them have skin in the game, and changing rankings can offer a snapshot of business interests and activity in particular artists, especially on the secondary market. Below, we bring you the list of the top-searched artists on the Artnet Price Database in June 2021. (Those who had the same number of searches are listed as being tied.) 

Before we get to that, however, here is a selection of artists on the rise who, if they haven’t cracked the top 300 yet, are poised to do so soon. Formally, these artists have relatively little in common with one another—but they share growing demand in Asia, and ascendant price points. 

 

Notable Fast-Risers

Javier Calleja (b. 1971)

Javier Calleja, What I Mean (2017). Courtesy of Christie's Images, Ltd.

Javier Calleja, What I Mean (2017). Courtesy of Christie’s Images, Ltd.

If you haven’t heard of Javier Calleja, you are probably not regularly hanging out in Hong Kong salesrooms. The Spanish artist may not be particularly well known in the U.S., but he has developed a rabid fandom among a certain set of young, moneyed Asian collectors. His paintings of big-eyed young people—which look like a cross between Yoshitomo Nara and Margaret Keane—broke the $1 million mark at auction for the first time this year. Waiting for a while (2019) fetched $1.1 million at Christie’s in March, more than double its high estimate. Calleja’s ascent has been rapid on the database side, too: last June, he drew 45 searches in the PDB; last month, that number rose to 162. 

 

Hernan Bas (b. 1978)

Hernan Bas, Downhill at Dusk (The Runaway) (2008). Image courtesy Phillips.

Hernan Bas, Downhill at Dusk (The Runaway) (2008). Image courtesy Phillips.

The Miami-born, Detroit-based artist, whose inspirations range from Goth culture to Oscar Wilde, has a dedicated collector base on the primary market through his galleries, including Lehmann Maupin and Victoria Miro. Within the past year or two, activity on the secondary market has also begun to pick up steam. The results are clear both from his auction prices (his top result, a triple-estimate $352,800, was set at Phillips in March) and his Artnet Price Database search history. The number of queries almost doubled between June 2020 (44) and June 2021 (87).

 

Joel Mesler (b. 1974)

Joel Mesler, New York, New York (2021). Courtesy of Christie's Images, Ltd.

Joel Mesler, New York, New York (2021). Courtesy of Christie’s Images, Ltd.

Until recently, Joel Mesler was best known as an art dealer (he was an early champion of artists including Henry Taylor and Loie Hollowell). Now, however, he is a veritable art star. His paintings of flora overlaid with upbeat mantras (“Fingers Crossed,” “One Day at a Time”) have become hot commodities, especially among collectors in Asia. (He is currently the subject of a solo show at Lévy Gorvy in Hong Kong.) His top five auction prices have all been set this year, including the $275,000 paid for New York, New York (2019) at Christie’s in May. Last June, the dealer-turned-painter drew exactly zero searches in the PDB; last month, he got 91. 

 

Kim Tschang-yeul (1929–2021)

Kim Tschang, Yeul Water Drops. Courtesy of Tina Kim Gallery.

Kim Tschang, Yeul Water Drops. Courtesy of Tina Kim Gallery.

The Korean painter, who escaped the North’s Communist regime as a young man and eventually settled in Paris, spent his 40-year career exploring one motif: water droplets. The artist’s top three auction prices have all been set since his death in January, including his first result over $1 million. CSH 1 (1978), a painting of droplets that look like beads skittering across a surface, fetched $1.3 million at Christie’s Hong Kong on May 24, exceeding its $700,000 high estimate. On the primary market, Kim Tschang-yeul is represented by Tina Kim Gallery and Almine Rech. 

 

Katherine Bernhardt (b. 1975)

Katherine Bernhardt, Untitled (2016). Courtesy of the artist and CANADA.

Katherine Bernhardt, Untitled (2016). Courtesy of the artist and CANADA.

The New York-based artist, known for her wacky neon paintings that juxtapose the Pink Panther, watermelons, cigarettes, and other quirky obsessions, is another example of a figure with a dedicated fan base on the primary market now finding even broader appeal at auction. The number of searches for her work in the PDB more than doubled between this year and last (59 in June 2020; 147 in June 2021) and her top three auction prices have all been set this year. Her secondary market presence is likely only to grow now that she has jumped from Canada to mega-gallery David Zwirner, a move that is likely to make her works even harder to get on the primary market. 

 

300 Most-Searched Artists in the Artnet Price Database, June 2021

Rank Name Life
1 Pablo Picasso 1881
2 Andy Warhol 1928
3 Gerhard Richter 1932
4 Marc Chagall 1887
5 Banksy 1974
6 Jean-Michel Basquiat 1960
7 Yayoi Kusama 1929
8 Alexander Calder 1898
9 Joan Miró 1893
10 David Hockney 1937
11 Roy Lichtenstein 1923
12 Damien Hirst 1965
13 Keith Haring 1958
14 Yoshitomo Nara 1959
15 Jean Dubuffet 1901
16 Pierre-Auguste Renoir 1841
17 Henri Matisse 1869
18 George Condo 1957
19 Lucio Fontana 1899
20 Salvador Dalí 1904
21 Ed Ruscha 1937
22 René Magritte 1898
23 Henry Moore 1898
24 Fernand Léger 1881
25 Alberto Giacometti 1901
26 Zao Wou-Ki 1920
27 Richard Prince 1949
28 Max Ernst 1891
29 Robert Rauschenberg 1925
30 Claude Monet 1840
31 KAWS 1974
31 Alighiero Boetti 1940
33 Sam Francis 1923
34 Frank Stella 1936
35 Takashi Murakami 1962
36 Pierre Soulages 1919
37 Alex Katz 1927
38 Helen Frankenthaler 1928
39 Willem de Kooning 1904
40 Joan Mitchell 1925
41 Christo and Jeanne-Claude
41 Jasper Johns 1930
43 Tom Wesselmann 1931
44 Cindy Sherman 1954
45 Rembrandt van Rijn 1606
46 Edgar Degas 1834
47 Jonas Wood 1977
48 Barbara Hepworth 1903
49 Bernard Buffet 1928
50 Cy Twombly 1928
51 Wayne Thiebaud 1920
52 Wassily Kandinsky 1866
53 Lucian Freud 1922
54 Raoul Dufy 1877
55 Josef Albers 1888
55 Günther Förg 1952
57 Liu Ye 1964
58 Maurits Cornelis Escher 1898
59 Fernando Botero 1932
60 Georg Baselitz 1938
61 Francis Bacon 1909
62 Yves Klein 1928
63 Georges Mathieu 1921
64 Robert Indiana 1928
65 Jeff Koons 1955
66 Georges Braque 1882
67 Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita 1886
68 Hans Hartung 1904
69 Robert Motherwell 1915
70 Sol LeWitt 1928
71 Arman 1928
72 Kees van Dongen 1877
73 François-Xavier Lalanne 1927
74 Donald Judd 1928
75 Auguste Rodin 1840
76 Man Ray 1890
77 Lee Ufan 1936
78 Jean (Hans) Arp 1886
79 Camille Pissarro 1830
80 Joseph Beuys 1921
81 Pierre Bonnard 1867
82 Louise Bourgeois 1911
83 Bridget Riley 1931
84 Victor Vasarely 1906
85 Jim Dine 1935
86 Julian Opie 1958
87 Antony Gormley 1950
88 Louise Nevelson 1899
89 Loie Hollowell 1983
90 Chu Teh-Chun 1920
91 Christopher Wool 1955
91 Edvard Munch 1863
93 Ellsworth Kelly 1923
94 Jean-Paul Riopelle 1923
94 Lynn Chadwick 1914
96 Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 1864
96 Tracey Emin 1963
98 Giorgio de Chirico 1888
99 Karel Appel 1921
99 Diego Giacometti 1902
101 Robert Longo 1953
102 Paul Klee 1879
102 Niki de Saint Phalle 1930
104 Cecily Brown 1969
104 Rashid Johnson 1977
106 Kenneth Noland 1924
107 Serge Poliakoff 1906
108 Albrecht Dürer 1471
109 Eddie Martinez 1977
110 Mark Rothko 1903
111 Irving Penn 1917
112 Sigmar Polke 1941
112 Ayako Rokkaku 1982
114 Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 1880
115 Frank Auerbach 1931
116 A.R. Penck 1939
116 Édouard Vuillard 1868
118 Salman Toor 1983
119 Francis Picabia 1879
120 Wifredo Lam 1902
121 Avery Singer 1987
122 Richard Diebenkorn 1922
123 Mickalene Thomas 1971
124 Günther Uecker 1930
124 Isamu Noguchi 1904
126 Richard Serra 1938
127 Kenny Scharf 1958
128 Sonia Delaunay 1885
129 Vincent van Gogh 1853
129 Georgia O’Keeffe 1887
131 Robert Mapplethorpe 1946
131 Matthew Wong 1984
133 Emil Nolde 1867
133 César 1921
133 Aboudia 1983
136 Antoni Tàpies 1923
137 Milton Avery 1885
138 Rufino Tamayo 1899
139 Albert Oehlen 1954
139 Anish Kapoor 1954
139 James Rosenquist 1933
142 Vik Muniz 1961
143 Agnes Martin 1912
144 Giorgio Morandi 1890
144 Rudolf Stingel 1956
146 Nicolas Party 1980
147 Henri Le Sidaner 1862
148 Egon Schiele 1890
149 Amedeo Modigliani 1884
149 Ben Nicholson 1894
149 Eugène Boudin 1824
149 Emily Mae Smith 1979
153 Sanyu 1901
154 Hiroshi Sugimoto 1948
155 Kazuo Shiraga 1924
156 Peter Doig 1959
157 Glenn Ligon 1960
158 Sean Scully 1945
159 Anselm Kiefer 1945
159 Thomas Schütte 1954
161 Claes Oldenburg 1929
162 Claude Lalanne 1924
163 Paul Cézanne 1839
163 L.S. Lowry 1887
163 Maurice Utrillo 1883
163 Javier Calleja 1971
167 Maurice de Vlaminck 1876
167 Aristide Maillol 1861
167 Mark Bradford 1961
167 Louis Valtat 1869
167 James Ensor 1860
172 John Baldessari 1931
173 Adrian Ghenie 1977
174 Julian Schnabel 1951
175 Marie Laurencin 1883
175 Walasse Ting 1929
175 Albert Marquet 1875
178 Elizabeth Peyton 1965
179 Dana Schutz 1976
180 Brice Marden 1938
180 Le Pho 1907
182 Diego Rivera 1886
182 Peter Paul Rubens 1577
184 Julie Mehretu 1970
185 Katherine Bernhardt 1975
186 Sam Gilliam 1933
187 Vija Celmins 1938
187 Manolo Valdés 1942
187 William Kentridge 1955
190 Andreas Gursky 1955
190 George Grosz 1893
192 Max Beckmann 1884
192 Stanley Spencer 1891
194 Wolfgang Tillmans 1968
194 Howard Hodgkin 1932
194 Alice Neel 1900
194 Odilon Redon 1840
198 Larry Rivers 1923
199 Invader 1969
199 Mr Doodle 1994
199 Jadé Fadojutimi 1993
202 Le Corbusier 1887
202 Alexander Archipenko 1887
204 André Masson 1896
204 Shara Hughes 1981
206 Helmut Newton 1920
206 Ansel Adams 1902
206 Paul Signac 1863
206 Georges Rouault 1871
206 Jean Fautrier 1898
206 John Lavery 1856
212 Winston Churchill 1874
213 André Derain 1880
213 Edward S. Curtis 1868
213 Christo 1935
216 Jean Prouvé 1901
217 Roberto Matta 1911
217 Käthe Kollwitz 1867
217 Marc Quinn 1964
220 John Chamberlain 1927
220 Moïse Kisling 1891
220 Urs Fischer 1973
223 Amoako Boafo 1984
223 Mark Grotjahn 1968
225 André Brasilier 1929
226 Imi Knoebel 1940
226 Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot 1796
226 Tony Cragg 1949
226 Zhang Xiaogang 1958
230 Sir Alfred Munnings 1878
231 Nan Goldin 1953
231 Mai Trung Thu 1906
233 Peter Beard 1938
233 Lee Krasner 1908
233 Marino Marini 1901
236 Bruce Nauman 1941
236 Tamara de Lempicka 1898
236 Zeng Fanzhi 1964
239 Paul Gauguin 1848
239 Jesús Rafael Soto 1923
239 Norman Rockwell 1894
242 Leonor Fini 1908
243 Robert Mangold 1937
244 Barbara Kruger 1945
245 Louise Lawler 1947
245 Sherrie Levine 1947
247 Hans Hofmann 1880
247 Jean Cocteau 1889
249 Daniel Arsham 1980
250 Eduardo Chillida 1924
251 Lyonel Feininger 1871
252 David Hammons 1943
252 Thomas Hart Benton 1889
252 Pierre Alechinsky 1927
252 Simon Hantaï 1922
256 Julie Curtiss 1982
257 Genieve Figgis 1972
258 Harland Miller 1964
258 Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775
258 Fairfield Porter 1907
261 Franz West 1947
261 Jackson Pollock 1912
261 Stanley Whitney 1946
264 Maria Helena Vieira da Silva 1908
264 Mary Cassatt 1844
264 Jenny Holzer 1950
267 Ai Weiwei 1957
267 Alberto Burri 1915
267 Markus Lüpertz 1941
270 Gilbert & George
270 Auguste Herbin 1882
272 Miquel Barceló 1957
272 Paul Jenkins 1923
272 David Shrigley 1968
272 Francesco Clemente 1952
272 Grace Hartigan 1922
277 Thomas Struth 1954
277 Jean Royère 1902
277 Claire Tabouret 1981
277 Ogden Minton Pleissner 1905
281 Mike Kelley 1954
281 Raymond Pettibon 1957
281 Alfred Sisley 1839
281 Frida Kahlo 1907
281 Takis 1925
286 Piero Manzoni 1933
287 Shepard Fairey 1970
287 Max Liebermann 1847
287 Piet Mondrian 1872
287 George Nakashima 1905
287 Joseph Cornell 1903
292 Ugo Rondinone 1964
293 Lynette Yiadom-Boakye 1977
293 Martin Kippenberger 1953
293 Constantin Brancusi 1876
296 James Abbott McNeill Whistler 1834
296 Enrico Castellani 1930
296 Henri Jean Guillaume Martin 1860
296 Jannis Kounellis 1936
296 Victor Pasmore 1908
296 Pat Steir 1940
302 Adolph Gottlieb 1903
302 Thomas Ruff 1958
302 Otto Dix 1891
302 Barry Flanagan 1941
302 Hokusai 1760

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