04 Nov Eight most expensive modern art
Before we reveal the most expensive modern art pieces and paintings from 2016-2021, let’s first take a step back in history and talk a little about fine art sales at their peak (tip: you may also want to read our article on the most expensive paintings ever sold at auction until 2021).
2015 was a historic year in the valuation and commercialization of the world’s most expensive modern and abstract paintings and art. Art collectors had every reason to feel good at the time. As auction data revealed that modern art was defying the overall slowdown in the global auction market of 2015. Sales of beautiful Impressionist, modern and Contemporary brands achieved outstanding prices that year and helped make the United States one of the few international auction markets to show an increase in sales compared to 2014 figures.
So What Was Available?
Details of the works for sale were unclear, but some sources said a portrait of Marina’s mother, Olga Khokhlova, painted in 1923 and valued at 40 million pounds, was included. Another early piece not in Picasso’s iconic Cubist style was the 1921 Maternité piece, valued at £ 35 million. However, the full list of pieces for sale has not been published and Picasso herself has not made a statement: the announcement of the sale came from a friend of the legendary painter’s granddaughter.
More To Come?
This is not the first time that Marina Picasso has sold her grandfather’s work; in 2014 it sold two pieces, indicating at the time that more would be on the way. The proceeds from those sales went primarily to the Marina Picasso Foundation, which supports poor children in Vietnam. Her decision to sell the batch of paintings privately is said to be due to the fact that she was unimpressed with the £ 5 million they received at Sotheby’s Paris.
Ms. Picasso is believed to be in possession of around 400 paintings and 7,000 sketches by the Spanish artist. Considering that his recent sales announcement was the second in a short span of time, it was speculated at the time that he might be looking to sell substantial portions of his collection, potentially creating an influx of new pieces in the art world.
Understandably this has sparked considerable excitement in the art world at the prospect of new pieces flooding the market, but a question also arose.
Ab, St James – Gerhard Richter
The first of two appearances on this list by German artist Gerhard Richter, his abstract painting AB, ST JAMES sold for $ 22.7 million at Sotheby’s in New York. While Richter may be most notable for painting using his hauntingly precise photorealism technique. His portfolio of abstract work is also well-loved and sought after. The interesting effect of the paint was created by using a squeegee, a long, flat metal surface with a handle, to set the base colors, before placing the details on top.
Rigidity Et Courbé – Wassily Kandinsky
Sold for $ 23.3 million at Christie’s in New York, Wassily Kandinsky’s Rigide et courbé (Rigid and Curved) was painted in 1935. Kandinsky created the piece while living in Paris. And since he was born in Russia, it’s fair to assume that the French title was chosen in homage to his adopted homeland. Stylistically, it is similar to many other Kandinsky works at the time; abstracts characterized by non-geometric lines and rustic color palettes.
Les Grandes Artères – Jean Dubuffet
Les Grandes Artères, which sold for $ 23.76 million at Christie’s in New York, was part of the French artist’s project. Cirque de Paris collection, considered by many to be one of his best and most accomplished works. In fact, most of this collection is on display in some of the world’s most famous art galleries in Paris, New York, and Washington DC. Therefore, it is not surprising that this piece fetched such a high price when it went up for auction. The vibrant and colorful canvas is an abstract representation of Paris. The city where Dubuffet spent much of his adult life.
Self-Portrait (Fright Wig) – Andy Warhol
Warhol is one of those names close enough to be a massive asset to whatever piece he’s attached to. This self-portrait may not have had as high a figure as some. Such as Eight Elvis that sold for $ 100 million in 2009, but still sold for $ 24.4 million at Sotheby’s in New York. The piece is a Polaroid photo, taken in 1986. And this sale surely puts her in contention for the most expensive Polaroid of all time.
Dϋsenjäger – Gerhard Richter
Gerhard Richter’s second piece on this list, Dϋsenjäger, sold for $ 25.56 million at Phillips in New York. Perhaps the most famous of Richter’s fighter jet series. Dϋsenjäger depicts a jet fighter, using a blurring technique for which Richter became famous. While Richter is known for his photorealistic renderings of people and objects. He uses blurring in many pieces to give him a unique artistic quality. For Dϋsenjäger, painted in 1963, Richter has used a generous application of his often-used blur effect to give the impression that the plane is in flight.
Radha In The Moonlight – Raja Ravi Varma
Priced at $ 29.4 million at Pundole’s, Mumbai, Varma’s Radha in the Moonlight. Was the only painting on this list to be sold outside of New York. Although his name may fall on deaf ears in the West. Raja Ravi Varma is a very celebrated artist in India. Often considered one of the greatest the country has ever produced. He was an educated man who studied the artistic techniques of the great Europeans. While infusing what he had learned with a truly Indian zeal. The painting techniques used at Radha by moonlight are remarkably Western, but their subject matter is unmistakably Indian.
Ab, Still – Gerhard Richter
Gerhard Richter’s third piece to appear on this list, AB, STILL sold for $ 33 million at Sotheby’s New York. It was sold as part of the same scale as the other Richter summary on this list, AB, ST JAMES. It is done in an abstract style similar to AB, ST JAMES. Although the color palette used to create it is much more vibrant and eye-catching. As with many of Richter’s summaries, a squeegee was used to apply the basecoat paint. Resulting in broad blocks of color that were then painted in detail.
Pikene På Broen – Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch’s PIKENE PÅ BROEN (or The Girls on the Bridge) sold for $ 54.4 million at Sotheby’s in New York. The piece by the Norwegian painter, whose famous painting ‘Scream’ made him a household name, was painted in 1900 and, as the name suggests, depicts a group of women standing on a bridge. Munch was a kind of nomad who lived in various cities in Europe over a long career. The piece was created while I was living in Berlin; the city probably inspired him. Painted in 1902 in bright colors and depicts an outdoor scene. Unlike much of his earlier work, this piece is considered by many to be one of Munch’s finest.
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