Andy Warhol once stated, “Good business is the best art,” now the Pop artist who died in 1987 has proven to be the best selling artist of 2014. Out of 1,295 works by Warhol sold at auction in the last year they achieved $653.2m (£425m) leaving most other rivals behind with Picasso coming in a close second.
With global art sales hitting $16bn in 2014, a ten per cent hike on 2013 and double the levels relaised in 2009, experts have pointed out that new and emerging markets like China, India and Russia were responsible for the boost.
This year Warhol achieved record breaking results for paintings including Triple Elvis 1963 which fetched $81.9m and The Four Marlons, portraits of the actor Marlon Brando, which sold for $69.6m, at Christie’s in New York. Sotheby’s in New York broke records in 2014 for Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) which achieved $105.4m. In 2012.
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts announced in 2014 it was to sell off many surplus examples of Warhols’ work through through Christie’s some of these sales took place online. A total of $100m is expected to be raised for its endowment programme which supports emerging artists.
Pablo Picasso also proved popular with auction results bringing in £294.7m for selling 2,820 works. His portrait of his lover Dora Maar, sold for $22.6m in May and ‘The Rescue’, which sold also in May for $31.5m.
Francis Bacon,brought in a total of £201m for 114 lots. Highest price achieved was for the triptych ‘Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards’ which achieved £47.4m. Mark Rothko’s work achieved £281 for15 paintings sold at auction. The only living artist in the top 10 was Gerhard Richter in fourth place who achieved £193.5m.