This past year was yet another strong one for the auctions, so we’ve complied a list of the top 10 most expensive lots to remind you of the top earners.
The trends to spot are trends that have been going on for a few years now. Christie’s is privately held, and therefore better positioned to offer deals to buyers and sellers, so it fared better than Sotheby’s, which has to please shareholders. Andy Warhol, absolutely strong as always. Barnett Newman, there are so few works available that each one is sure to be a hit. Mark Rothko, who doesn’t like Rothko?
That said, who doesn’t like to look at this stuff? The Cy Twombly blackboard is almost the Platonic ideal of that kind of work. The Newman conjures a strong, enjoyable melancholy in the brain. The auction houses call everything “museum quality,” but that Manet really did end up at the Getty.
Enjoy and happy holidays. Click an image below to see the top 10 lots of the year.
(All prices are courtesy Artnet’s price database.)