A year of Transition?: The most expensive works of art in international auctions 2020

The completely changed situation because of Covid-19 has also an effect on the placings in the global high-price segment. The supplements for hundreds of millio

A year of Transition?: The most expensive works of art in international auctions 2020

The completely changed situation because of Covid-19 has also an effect on the placings in the global high-price segment. The supplements for hundreds of millions of dollars, and more, of which there were two in 2018 – for a Hockney, and an early Picasso, were, of course, already in 2019 perdu. At the top of Francis bacon's monumental "Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus," 1981, with $ 74 million for this time in June at Sotheby's in New York (1). Bacon was more expensive: Its the same great "Three Studies of Lucian Freud", however, from 1969, bought in November 2013 at Christie's, Elaine Wynn, wife of Las Vegas Mogul Steve Wynn, for at the time, 142.2 million dollars including buyer's premium.

Rose-Maria Gropp

editor in the features section, responsible for the "art market".

F. A. Z.

The erzrival style companies, Christie's and Sotheby's, forced the Lockdowns of the pandemic, inventive veritable auction season runs through the continents, staged, transferred in live streams from Hong Kong and New York, London and Paris. The thickness of the hot-sought-after clientele in Asia – a major shift in the Market, of course, that suggests been – shown not least by the fact that two Chinese artists have pushed different eras in the Top Ten: Ren Renfas more than two-Meter-long cross-role with the "Five drunk home Prince riding" from the Qing dynasty arrived in Hong Kong at Sotheby's on the equivalent of 34,05 million dollars (5). Sanyu (1901 to 1966), the has seen during his time in Paris with Matisse and Picasso, exactly, made, also at Sotheby's in Hong Kong, with its "Four acts" of the fifties 29,03 million dollars (6).

images track A year of Transition? : The most expensive artworks in international auctions, 2020

In the top group 2020 dabbled also Phillips, with the large-format "Nichols Canyon" from 1980 to the current Superstars David Hockney for 35.5 million dollars (3). has Otherwise, it remains – at least – the familiar image: that Christie's and Sotheby's account for the top positions among themselves. A Cy Twombly (4), a Mark Rothko (7) and Barnett Newman (9b) are back; Brice Marden, with its double-screen "Complements" (9a) a Newcomer. Picasso's smaller and weaker variant of the "Femmes d'alger (Version ,F')" (10a) does not, one would have expected in the Top Ten rather, after the "Version O'" from the same series, which is the second most expensive plant is for 2015 with the award of the contract for $ 160 million today in an auction.

That, in the classical time, events of all kind strangers can be enjoyed mixed, and one knows at the latest since 2017, as there is the "Salvator Mundi" by (boldly attributed to) Leonardo da Vinci, at Christie's on up to today, lonely uninvited took $ 450 million. This time, Christie's brought in "Stan", a T-Rex skeleton, in his New York "20th Century Art Evening Sale". The Dino, the rose with the Hammer to 27.5 million dollars – so theoretically, on rank 8 of the Top Ten, we leave here out of competition to run.

Updated Date: 02 January 2021, 20:20

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