Two Quick Lists (Open Thread)
The other list was inspired by Michael Kimmelman's article on the Danish cartoons in the Times. Kimmelman is the man I've recently begun to think of as the "boy in the bubble" critic (see this report on Tyler's site of his inexplicable dis against the Carnegie International...I attended that ceremony, and he was otherwise a charming MC, but that elistist New York-centric swipe made my jaw drop to my lap...the Carnegie International is consistently among the very best of American surveys, bar none).
The Top 10 artists grossed USD 576 million in 2005, compared to USD 393 million in 2003, a figure that represents 13.6% of the total art auction market. Unusually, a contemporary artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and an old master, Canaletto, were among the top sellers. The top three names however are unchanged...
1- Pablo PICASSO (1881-1973): USD 153,174,166
2- Andy WARHOL (1928-1987): USD 86,681,869
Warhol continues his inexorable rise. His work gained another 21% in value over the year.
3- Claude MONET (1840-1926): USD 61,541,732
As we said last year, the market for Claude Monet’s work is progressively drying up. Only 22 Monets changed hands in 2005, compared to 26 in 2004, and while his prices may be rising again, the historical scarcity of work led to a 24% fall in his total sales, and cost him a place in the rankings.
4- Antonio Canal CANALETTO (1697-1768): USD 55,473,710
This was the year’s big surprise. Seeded 239 in 2004, the Venetian master leapt up the rankings to number 4 with a string of million-plus sales in two frenetic days at auction in London on July 6 and 7.
5- Mark ROTHKO (1903-1970): USD 41,556,341
6- Marc CHAGALL (1887-1985): USD 36,592,410
Chagall makes it back into the Top 10 on the back of a 25% increase in sales volume over 2005 compared with the previous year. His rank owes much to his prolific output.
7- Willem KOONING de (1904-1997): USD 36,581,311
8- Fernand LÉGER (1881-1955): USD 35,701,947
9- Jean-Michel BASQUIAT (1960-1988): USD 35,630,019
Jean-Michel Basquiat is the world’s biggest-selling contemporary artist at auction, and retains his place in the Top 10 after twelve sales for over a million dollars in twelve months.
10- Lucian FREUD (1922): USD 33,725,319
Today, though, he pissed me off with an observation that suggests he doesn't read the blogs (which is insulting enough) or that he doesn't consider them part of the "art world" proper (which, if the case, seems remarkably short-sighted, but...). In an otherwise thoughtful, if oddly late, opinion on the art-related issues surrounding the protests over the cartoons, Mr. Kimmelman today offers the following:
As is so often the case in the culture wars, choosing sides can be exasperating. Modern artists and their promoters forever pander to a like-minded audience by goading obvious targets, hoping to incite reactions that pass for political point-scoring. The twist in the Danish case is only that a conservative paper provoked Muslims. One may be excused for wondering whether the silence of the art world has something to do with the discomfort of staking a position where neither party offers the sanctuary of political correctness.
- Piss Christ vs. Cartoon Jihad
- Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) Cartoons in a Russian Gallery!
- Depictions of Sacred Figures
- Desperately Seeking Empathy with the Muslim World
- The Right of Artists To Create Provocative, Offensive and Blasphemous Work That Challenges Islam
- Cartoons and the murder of Theo van Gogh
- Piss Christ v. Toon Jihad
- Do I dare make ASCII art of Mohammed?
- New York Times treatment of anti-religious artwork -- then and now
- We Are All Danes Today
- Cartoons and their Context
- The Danish Cartoons
UPDATE: Now that I've had some coffee, I see I may have misread Mr. Kimmelman's article. It seems he may be criticizing the art world for not provoking Muslims before the Danish paper did, or at least for not discussing the broader issue of the clash of cultures. If that was his intent, it wasn't made very clearly, but it would make my critique a bit off the mark.