Warhol Proves Cash Cow In $10bn Art Boom

Art Market Reports $10.6bn Record For 2011

Market uncertainty and global instability has led to the biggest grossing year ever, for sales of art at auction. Auction house pre Christmas results have recorded a total of £6.8bn GBP or $10.6bn for this year. This was up on last year’s $9.5bn.  China, was the largest growth area this year. It has now eclipsed the UK as the second largest market after the United States. In 2010 it accounted for 33 per cent of the art market. So far in 2011 China represents between 35 and 40 per cent a growth of between 5% and 7%. Most of the sales  were made in the first half of the year, but historically the first half is always strongest, with the London sales in February followed by sessions in May and June in both London and New York. Sotheby’s and Christie’s led the way for this unprecedented art boom. While Phillips de Pury had a record breaking year with sales in the hundreds of millions.
Sotheby’s results included around $440 million in privately brokered sales of art. The upward shift seems to follow as Investors seek places to safeguard their cash as the US and European currency markets fluctuate due to the debt crisis and uncertainty over the Euro. Demand for the world’s most expensive art and antiques has grown steadily this year.Top sales included works by Picasso, Jeff Koons, Egon Schiele and Andy Warhol. Sotheby’s share price closed Wednesday at $39.94, up .5% .
The sharp upturn seen in the contemporary art market over the last few months is encouraging, and the sector is now performing at its best level in well over two years. With sale prices increasing for works of all value brackets, it would appear that buyers are looking to contemporary works both for their investment potential and their aesthetic appeal. This positivity is reflected right across the art and antiques sector, with all areas experiencing rising sales prices.

TOP Selling Visual Artists 2011

Pop artist Andy Warhol tops the list of the most successful artists at auction in 2011. The list was compiled as a representation of sales figures achieved at the major auction houses, for the top 10 selling international artists in 2011. All are painters. Sculpture has not been represented in this survey. Four are American, One Britain, four French (or lived in France as their primary residence) , one German.


Andy Warhol
$585,288,283 USD
Pablo Picasso
$558,573,721 USD
Gerhard Richter
$166,587,189 USD
Claude Monet
$155,882,401 USD
Roy Lichtenstein
$132,774,752 USD
Henri Matisse
$130,778,869 USD
Francis Bacon
$128,852,003 USD
Amedeo Modigliani
$111,096,945 USD
Jean-Michel Basquiat
$106,321,559 USD
Mark Rothko
$105,954,786 USD

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