Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The LIST(s): Power Money and Art

I think it's interesting to gather facts and look at them side by side to see if patterns emerge. Although these facts are not scientifically collected nor symmetric, they still reveal a lot about what is happening in the international art world.

above: Jasper Johns

ART POWER Top 10
Larry Gagosian, dealer/gallerist
Glenn Lowry, museum director
Sir Nicholas Serota, museum director
Maurizio Cattelan, artist
Sam Keller, fair director
Dakis Joannou, collector
Bill Ruprecht, auction house
Ronald Lauder, collector
Robert Storr, curator
Takashi Murakami, artist

Financial Times' Top 10 (2005)
1 Damien Hirst, artist
2 Larry Gagosian, dealer/gallerist
3 Francois Pinault, owner of Christie’s /collector
4 Nicholas Serota, museum director
5 Glenn D Lowry, museum director
6 Eli Broad, collector/philanthropist
7 Sam Keller, art fair director: Art Basel, in Basel and Miami
8 Iwan Wirth, dealer/gallerist, Hauser and Wirth
9 Bruce Nauman, artist
10 David Zwirner, dealer/gallerist

Art Review TOP 10 (from 2003)
1 Ronald Lauder, US billionaire and collector
2 Francois Pinault, owner of Christie's auctioneers
3 Nicholas Serota, director of Tate galleries
4 Larry Gagosian, US gallery owner
5 Gerhard Richter, German painter
6 Charles Saatchi, art collector and gallery owner
7 Takashi Murakami, Japanese artist and designer
8 Maja Oeri Hoffmann, president of Swiss art foundation
9 Leonard Lauder, art collector
10 Dakis Joannou, Greek art collector

In 2002, Charles Saatchi topped the list, but has since dropped a bit to 6th, with billionaire Ronald Lauder leading the pack.


above: Charles Saatchi

Top five best-selling living artists
1 Jasper Johns - £92.8m
2 Gerhard Richter - £80.9m
3 Cy Twombly - £54.5m
4 Robert Rauschenberg - £36.5m
5 Fernando Botero - £35.7m

The 10 Most Expensive Living Artists (from Art News, May 2004)
1 Lucian Freud
2 Jasper Johns
3 Jeff Koons
4 Brice Marden
5 Bruce Nauman
6 Robert Rauschenberg
7 Gerhard Richter
8 Richard Serra
9 Frank Stella
10 Cy Twombly

All on this list have sold a single piece for $5 million or more. Some have done many times that figure. I guess it's no wonder Jasper Johns can afford to paint only a scant few pieces a year, and at his age I doubt he would want to do more.

At the age of twenty-four, living in New York City, he made the decision, as he describes it, to stop becoming an artist and actually be one. A dream led him to paint the American flag. He began to paint other iconic "found" images such as targets and numbers. These works were the polar opposite of abstract expressionism, the reigning style in New York City in the 1950s.