2008 was a wild ride for the world art market with the financial crisis catching up with auction sales. Artprice.com called it a year that started with “speculative euphoria” and ended with a “violent contraction.”
The Art Market Insight by Artprice is an annual publication that looks back at art auction prices for the year. Listed in the report is the top 10 artists, the top 100 auction sales, and a list of the top 500 artists by turnover for the year.
Here’s a list of the top ten artists by total turnover for 2008. I expect that dead masters like Picasso and Monet would sell $100 million+ over 12 months, but what impresses me are the living artists like Hirst, Richter and Koons that are selling similar amounts.
- PICASSO Pablo (1881-1973) $262,366,349 from 1764 lots sold at auction
- BACON Francis (1909-1992) $256,208,073 from 100 lots sold
- WARHOL Andy (1928-1987) $236,749,034 from 1164 lots sold
- HIRST Damien (1965) $230,887,159 from 445 lots sold
- MONET Claude (1840-1926) $174,695,716 from 25 lots sold
- GIACOMETTI Alberto (1901-1966) $132,631,043 from 111 lots sold
- RICHTER Gerhard (1932) $122,211,095 from 166 lots sold
- DEGAS Edgar (1834-1917) $111,835,132 from 81 lots sold
- FONTANA Lucio (1899-1968) $95,589,589 from 227 lots sold
- KLEIN Yves (1928-1962) $91,868,098 from 59 lots sold
An introduction to the Art Market Trends report can be found here, with the full 37 page Pdf file of the report available to download here.