7 Contemporary Artists and Their Auction Records

Matthew Wong

Each artwork on this list fetched the highest price for the artist at auction. See more record-breaking prices and history-making artworks on Artory’s free price database.

Artory’s price database, which contains millions of transaction records from auction houses across the globe, os central to the research conducted in the Art Basel and UBS 2020 Art Market Report. From classic masterpieces to innovative digital artworks, Artory contains a diverse array of data points, provenance records, and price histories that are invaluable to collectors and art historians alike.

Matthew Wong

"River at Dusk," 2018.
“River at Dusk,” 2018.

The Chinese-American emerging artist Matthew Wong, who tragically died last year, became a market sensation recently, breaking his auction record multiple times. His current auction record belongs to “River at Dusk” (2018). It fetched the price of USD 4.9 million at the joint auction of Phillips and Poly Auction, which took place on December 3, 2020 in Hong Kong.

“Shangri-La,” 2017.

His previous auction record was “Shangri-La” (2017), which shattered the high estimate of USD 700,000 to sell for USD 4.47 million. It was sold by Christie’s on October 7, 2020 at the Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby

"Bush Babies," 2017.
“Bush Babies,” 2017.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby is one of the artists featured in the documentary “The Price of Everything,” which culminated with her painting “Drown” (2012) being sold at Sotheby’s in November 2016 for USD 900,000 (hammer price). Her current auction record is for “Bush Babies” (2017), which sold for USD 3,375,000 in May 2018 at Sotheby’s New York.

Jacob Lawrence

"The Businessmen," 1947.
“The Businessmen,” 1947.

Jacob Lawrence is one of the most celebrated African American artists of this century. His painting, “The Businessmen,” was created in 1947 and became his most expensive painting sold at auction. It fetched the price of USD 6,169,800 on November 14, 2018, at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale.

David Hammons

"Untitled," 2000.
“Untitled,” 2000.

David Hammons once said, “outrageously magical things happen when you mess around with a symbol.” Through various mediums, he transforms everyday objects into allegorical artworks. His current auction record belongs to the 2000 sculpture “Untitled”. It fetched the price USD 8,005,000 at Phillips on November 11, 2013.

Adrian Ghenie

"Nickelodeon," 2008.
“Nickelodeon,” 2008.

Adrian Ghenie is a Romanian painter who surveys and subverts historical and artistic narratives through his work. This painting, “Nickelodeon” (2008), fetched the price GBP 7,109,000 at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction on Oct 6, 2016, setting the highest auction record for the artist.

Zhang Xiaogang

"Bloodline Series, The Big Family, No.2," 1995.
“Bloodline Series, The Big Family, No.2,” 1995.

The painting by the internationally celebrated Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang (张晓刚), “Bloodline Series, The Big Family, No.2” (1995), sold for HKD 98 million (USD 12.6 million), surpassing its estimate (HKD 38-48 million) and setting a new record for the artist. This exciting auction happened on December 2, 2020 at Christie’s Modern and Contemporary Art Evening Sale.

Dana Schutz

On the same day, at Christie’s 20th Century: Hong Kong to New York sale, new auction record for Dana Schutz was created. This painting, “Elevator” (2017), was sold for HKD 50 million (USD 6.5 million), much higher than its estimate HKD 15-20 million.

"Elevator," 2017.
“Elevator,” 2017.

Search through Artory’s free price database to see more artworks by these Contemporary artists and to explore their artwork prices, trends, and records.

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