Gerhard Richter's "Abstraktes Bild 599," a 1986 painting, was sold at Sotheby's auction house in London in February 2015 for a breathtaking sum: $46.3 million. This established a new auction record for a work by a living European artist. The winning bid was twice as high as the auction house's initial estimates.
The art index published by the German monthly business magazine "Manager Magazin" lists Gerhard Richter as one of the most popular painters of the last 40 years. Auction sales are a major criteria in this ranking.
Art index: Gerhard 6th
Pablo Picasso heads this list of artists with the most expensive works auctioned between 1970 and 2014. Then come Andy Warhol, Claude Monet, Francis Bacon and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Gerhard Richter follows in sixth position.
The art index was established on the basis of data covering over five million sales in 700 auction houses.
Contemporary art is in greater demand than ever in auction houses. However, the inflationary prices are far from stable, as the author of the rankings, Roman Kräussl, explained in "Manager Magazin."
"Obsessive speculation like the current one has often been followed by a crash in the past," said the financial expert of the Luxembourg School of Finance. "The prices for contemporary art exceed their critical value." Therefore, he would not be surprised if prices were to sink at upcoming auctions.
eg/kbm (dpa, gerhard-richter.com)