RELEASE: Art Made in 1964 Has Generated More Auction Sales (2)


RELEASE: Art Made in 1964 Has Generated More Auction Sales (2) Based on our long-term data, art made in 1964 has generated more auction sales than art made in any other year in the 20th century

PARIS, June 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The results of the May auction in New York showed that after all the records set by the collections of Paul G. Allen, Anne H. Bass and Thomas Ammann, 2023 began with relative sobriety. In an interview with journalist Amy Shaw for Art Newspaper in Art Basel, art dealer Dominique Lévy said he detected the presence of a "clear correction." Artprice takes this opportunity to review the acceleration of the art market since the beginning of the 21st century, through a quick look at the works that the market values ​​the most.

Auction turnover (2000-2022) by year of painting creation Photo -

"Analysis of auction results is a fascinating way to examine the evolution of Art History," explained Thierry Ehrmann, President of and founder of Artprice. "Our databases have collected objective and comprehensive Fine Art auction data for more than 30 years around the world. Therefore, they provide an extraordinary tool for studying collectors' appetites and revealing what our contemporaries value most" .

The triumph of Pop Art

In 1964, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and Ed Ruscha were at the peak of their careers, and these four artists hold auction price records for works created that year, in the midst of the Cold War, just months after the assassination. of President J.F. Kennedy. These records, to which must be added more than thirteen thousand results of auctions of works carried out that year, make 1964 the year of creation that generated the highest turnover volume at auctions than in the period 2000 to 2023 (twenty-two years). , all creative periods combined: $2.48 billion.

Having scored the second highest art auction result of all time with $195 million on May 9, 2022 at Christie's in New York, Andy Warhol's Shot sage blue Marilyn (1964) is now something of a figurehead for that year (1964). Although from a market perspective the previous two years were just as important to Warhol, 1964 is also remembered in the art world for another reason: in 1964 Robert Rauschenberg won the Grand Prix at the Venice Biennale. In fact, promoted by Leo Castelli (and perhaps even supported by the CIA), in 1964 Pop Art prevailed in the art world, thus consolidating an important displacement of art (and the art market) towards the West... a transfer of power from Paris to New York on the international scene. The manner in which this transfer occurred has been the subject of intense debate.

Top 15 auction prices for works of art produced in 1964Photo -

Abstraction, Pop Art and Expressionism

By the mid-1960s, a number of important artists of the first half of the 20th century were still creating important works. Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti and René Magritte were still active. In Asia, Li Keran and Fu Baoshi were perpetuating the art of traditional Chinese painting by giving them very personal touches of modernity, while in Europe Zao Wou-Ki and some of his compatriots were exploring Lyrical Abstraction. In England, a new generation was making its mark: David Hockney was 27 in 1964, Frank Auerbach was 33 and Lucien Freud was 42. They were just at the beginning of their careers, but that year Francis Bacon, 55, painted some of his best portraits.

In the United States, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Willem De Kooning and Clyfford Still continued to explore Abstract Expressionism and Jackson Pollock had passed away a few years before, while a new artistic revolution was emerging: Pop Art. It was this movement that really imposed the United States. United in the international art scene and in the international art market. The works themselves were often bright and flashy, but they also often contained covert or less covert critiques of the American dream. In France, Pierre Soulages has already painted his best canvases, but in Germany a new expressionist scene was beginning to emerge, with Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke, Georg Baselitz and Anselm Kiefer, among others. His work developed over many years and therefore did not produce the same concentration of market value as the American Pop Art movement.

The success of this movement was notably due to a relatively small number of series of works that were highly focused by collectors, and these series were created by the biggest names in American Pop Art and were generally worked on and reworked for a few years. years... around 1964.


Art Basel may be busy, but cautious sales reflect a complex market picture, Amy Shaw, The Art Newspaper, le 15 Junio 2023.

1964: Pop Art arrives in Europe, a betrayal as seen from France, Thomas Snégaroff, France Info, 2 Octubre 2015.

Market analysis of works created by the Warhol-Basquiat duo exhibited at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, Artprice, 25 Abril 2023


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