Explore collage, watercolor, sculpture, textiles and more as we celebrate art in 2016.
As the global art market pauses for breath after a year of records and prepares for 2016, ARTINFO takes a look at the past 12 months through the lens of the auction market, in particular the 20 most expensive works of art sold at auction (click the slideshow to see the works).
Dominated entirely by Christie’s and Sotheby’s, with Christie’s taking the first five spots and six of the remaining 15, the list has a combined value of $1,484,502,719. Taking a closer look at the top 20 reveals a total of 14 different artists, all of whom are Caucasian and male. It is also interesting to note that all but one of the sales took place in New York, with the exception being the Cy Twombly 1968 blackboard painting, which sold at Sotheby’s London.
The highlight of 2015 was the new world record for the most valuable work of art sold at auction, set by Picasso’s “Les femmes d’Alger (Version “O”),” which sold at Christie’s New York for a staggering $179,365,000.
Sotheby’s wasn’t without its major successes in 2015. The auction house achieved its highest-ever total for a sale of contemporary art in Europe with its July 2015 Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London, which realized £130.4 million.
And although Sotheby’s and Christie’s dominated the top end of the market, Phillips and Bonhams also saw successes in the middle and lower tiers of the market respectively, with both houses setting new records for a number of artists throughout the year.
2015 was also an interesting year for the online art auction scene, with the Berlin-based online auction house Auctionata claiming a new world record for an Asian work of art sold in an online auction, with a rare clock from the late 18th century selling for 3.37 million euros in June.
Click on the slideshow to see the top 20 most expensive works of art sold at auction in 2015. See below for a list the top five most expensive works of art sold by the big four auction houses, as well as the online record-setting sales at Auctionata.
1 $179,365,000 — Pablo Picasso’s “Les femmes d’Alger,” 1955 (sold on May 11 in New York)
2. $170,405,000 — Amedeo Modigliani’s “Nu couché,” 1917-1918 (sold on November 9 in New York)
3. $141,285,000 — Alberto Giacometti’s “L’homme au doigt,” 1947 (sold on May 11 in New York)
4. $95,365,000 — Roy Lichtenstein’s “Nurse,” 1964 (sold on November 9 in New York)
5. $81,925,000 — Mark Rothko’s “No. 10,” 1958 (sold on May 13 in New York)
1. $70,530,000 — Cy Twombly’s “Untitled [New York City],” 1968 (sold on November 5 in New York)
2. $67,450,000 — Pablo Picasso’s “La Gommeuse,” 1901 (sold on May 5 in New York)
3. $66,330,000 — Vincent van Gogh’s “L’Allée des Alyscamps,” 1888 (sold on May 5 in New York)
4. $54,010,000 — Claude Monet’s “Nymphéas,” 1905 (sold on May 5 in New York)
5. $54,010,000 — Vincent van Gogh’s “Paysage sous un ciel mouvementé,” 1889 (sold on November 5 in New York)
1. $28,165,000 — Francis Bacon’s “Seated Woman,” 1961 (sold on May 15 in New York)
2. $12,042,200 — Cy Twombly’s “Untitled,” 2006 (sold on October 15 in London)
3. $11,365,000 — Willem de Kooning’s “Untitled XXVIII,” 1977 (sold on November 8 in New York)
4. $9,237,000 — Brice Marden’s “Elements (Hydra),” 1999-2000 / 2001 (sold on May 15 in New York)
5. $6,885,000 — Domenico Gnoli’s “Shirt Collar Size 14 ½” 1969 (sold on May 13 in New York)
1. $4,639,699 — Wang Hui’s 18th century “Album of Landscapes” (sold on May 31 in Hong Kong)
2. $1,565,000 — William Wendt’s “Old Coast Road,” c. 1916 (sold on April 28 in Los Angeles)
3. $1,325,000 — N.C. Wyeth’s “.…Emerging into an opening that appeared to have been formed partly by the ravages of the wind, and partly by those of fire,” 1925 (sold on May 20 in New York)
4. $1,256,341 — Irma Stern’s “Arab in Black,” 1939 (sold on September 9 in London)
5. $1,077,396 — Lemuel Francis Abbott’s “The Portrait of Henry Callender standing in a landscape, in the red coat of Captain General of the Blackheath Golf Club and holding a putter,” c. 1760-1803 (sold on December 9 in London)
1. €3,370,000 (US$3,830,000) — Imperial Immortal Mountain Clock, Guangzhou Workshop, Qianlong (sold on June 20 — record for an Asian work of art sold in an online auction)
2. €875,000 (US$948,998.70) — Blue and White Meiping “Dragon” Vase, Kangxi Mark and Period (sold on December 18)
3. €237,500 (US$266,874.49) — Jusepe de Ribera’s “St.Augustine of Hippo,” c.1636 (sold on June 16)
4. €207,600 (US$235,310.43) — Fernando Botero’s “Naturaleza Muerta,” 1964 (sold on June 19)
5. €168,000 (US$184,567.73) — Marianne v. Werefkin’s “The Bridge,” 1929 (sold on March 25)
– These paintings are individually numbered and signed by him, and all of them are unique because of the technique that he uses: he paints them with the hand and he creates the color right before putting them on the paper, and after each painting he recreates a new color so there is no repetition. Also, the balloons all have different forms, not only because they are made by hand but also because they reflect the mood that he has in that particular moment: sometimes they are smaller, bigger, and they have a lot of variety in form.
– In December 2012 he made a stop-motion video in the street in London, asking the people to hold a balloon for a minute and he photographed them and created a video. (See it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOCiGMRvC3U) This video had a lot of positive feedback, so later he decided to create an other video but this time involving the people around the world. For this new video he received photos from a lot of countries and the video became very popular (see it here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfjsvVggORU). This video made him realise how differently we see every scene with the balloon, because the balloon changes the prospectives and these photos become portraits. This inspired him to start the project ‘Portraits’ in December 2013, which he ran for one year.
– Portraits became also very popular, he received thousand of photos from around the world. You can see the evolution of the project on the facebook page that he dedicated to the project: https://www.facebook.com/IMPREINTofficial and also all the photos uploaded here: http://portraitsbyimpreint.tumblr.com/
What if there was an Empire-focussed short Star Wars animation, drawn with the crazy detail and shading of classic 80s anime that’s all but vanished from Japan nowadays ?
Well, this artist tried his best.
Drawn and animated by yours truly over 4 years’ worth of weekends, with music by the living guitar solo Zak Rahman and sound design by up and coming audio technician Joseph Leyva. Fans of Lucasarts’ seminal 1994 TIE Fighter game may notice a few familiar sights and sounds. That “incoming missile” noise gives horrible flashbacks to this day…
Official poster art: http://mightyotaking.deviantart.com/a…
“Interdictor,” the music track: https://soundcloud.com/zakrahman/tie-…
Story/character info pdf file: http://www.mediafire.com/view/cpnc1oj…
Special thanks to the good folk at Lucasfilm for encouraging people to get creative and make these kind of projects. It’s thanks to their extremely fan-friendly nature that we can enjoy IMPS: The Relentless, TROOPS, etc.
Don’t support him on Patreon, because he don’t have one ! And don’t donate to his Kickstarter, because he don’t have one of those either. Instead, if you enjoyed this, please share this, give someone at your workplace, uni, school or whatever a random bar of chocolate or something. Seriously, it’ll probably make their day.
That would totally make his day.