New auction records in 2010


Every fortnight Artprice provides you with a new or updated ranking in its Alternate-Friday Top Series. The theme of today’s TOP article is the Top 10 new personal auction records in 2010 for Contemporary artists.

This year the art market has recovered a little of its pre-crisis form. The total revenue generated by art auctions (€2.9m) is still a long way behind the 2007 total (€3.7m), but it is €1.2m better than the 2009 figure. Looking back over the first semester of 2010, Artprice has drawn up the Top 10 new personal records (2010) in the Contemporary art segment.

Top 10: new personal records (2010) in the Contemporary art segment

Rank Artist Hammer Price Artwork Sale
1 Maurizio CATTELAN $7 000 000 Untitled (2001) 05/12/2010 (Sotheby’s, New York)
2 CHEN Yifei $6 933 599 String quartet (1986) 05/29/2010 (Christie’s, Hong Kong)
3 Christopher WOOL $4 400 000 Blue Fool (1990) 05/11/2010 (Christie’s, New-York)
4 Juan MUÑOZ $4 300 000 Conversation Piece III (2001) 05/12/2010 (Sotheby’s, New York)
5 SHI Chong $3 418 110 Landscape of Today (1996) 05/15/2010 (China Guardian Auctions Co)
6 Chris OFILI $2 486 715 Orgena (1998) 06/30/2010 (Christie’s, London)
7 LIU Ye $2 125 200 Bright Road (1995) 04/05/2010 (Sotheby’s, Hong Kong)
8 Glenn BROWN $1 883 875 Dali-Christ (1992) 06/30/2010 (Christie’s, London)
9 Bharti KHER $1 280 610 The Skin speaks a Language not its own 06/28/2010 (Sotheby’s, London)
10 Walton FORD $840 000 Loss of the Lisbon Rhinoceros (2008) 05/13/2010 (Phillips de Pury, New York)

In first place, Maurizio CATTELAN after his self-portrait Untitled (2001) fetched $7m at Sotheby’s New York in May 2010 (to install the work, the new owner has to dig a hole in his floor…), $4.3m higher than his previous auction record of $2.7m in 2004 for his installation La Nora ora (1999) at Phillips de Pury in New York.

CHEN Yifei is in second place with String Quartet that fetched ten times its pre-sale estimate at $6.9m on 29 May at Christie’s in Hong Kong, the best hammer price at Christie’s 20th Century Contemporary Asian and Chinese Art sale, and $1.6m better than his previous record.

Christopher WOOL is in third place with a new personal record for Blue Fool which doubled its pre-sale estimate at $4.4m at Christie’s in New York in May, contributing to a 321% progression of his price index over the decade.

Represented at the FIAC 2010 (in October) by the Marian Goodman Gallery, Juan MUÑOZ is in 4th place with a new personal record of $4.3m generated on 12 May 2010 at Sotheby’s New York by his Conversation Piece III. This was $3.3m higher than his previous record for Five Seated Figures set in November 2009.

In 5th place, SHI Chong whose Landscape of Today sold for a new personal record of $3.4 m on 15 May at China Guardian Auctions Co., Ltd., beating his previous record by $1m (Contemporary Scenery, $1.9m on 31 May 2007 at Poly International Auction Co., Ltd.).

After with his most prestigious exhibition to date at the Tate Britain (27 January to 16 May 2010), two of Chris OFILI’s works fetched 7-figure dollar results for the first time in his career. In June, his Orgena earned 6th place in this ranking when it fetched $2.4m at Christie’s in London and his Through The Grapevine fetched $1.06m at Sotheby’s in London. Three galleries decided to show his works at the FIAC this year: Contemporary Fine Arts, Victoria Miro and David Zwirner.

In 7th place, LIU Ye whose painting Bright Road sold for the equivalent of $2.1m at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, adding more than $0.7m to his previous personal best in 2008.

In 8th place, Glenn BROWN (also present at the FIAC via the Gagosian Gallery and Max Hetzler) with a new personal record this year for Dali-Christ which fetched $1.8m in June at Christie’s in London, beating his previous personal best by more than $1m.

In 9th place and represented by two galleries at the FIAC (Hauser & Wirth and Emmanuel Perrotin), Bharti KHER set a new personal record this year when her sculpture The Skin speaks a Language not its own fetched $1.2m at Sotheby’s in London. This single result also put Bharti in 9th place of our “Total auction revenue from Contemporary sculpture” ranking (July 2009 – June 2010).

Lastly, in 10th place, Walton FORD, whose water-colour Loss of the Lisbon Rhinoceros fetched $840,000 at Phillips de Pury in New York. This incredible new personal record is in a totally different league compared with his previous record of $18,000 for Memory Of A recent Feast at Sotheby’s New York.

These positive results on the Contemporary art scene are a strong sign of a veritable recovery of market confidence and they are reflected in Artprice’s confidence index (the AMCI) which is continuing the steady progression it has shown over the last three months (up 12 points).