2015 has been a record-breaking year for the art market. Buyers remain willing to spend unparalleled sums, with focus remaining predominantly on works from Modern, Contemporary and Post-War categories. Christie’s heavy use of lot guarantees (the promise of a certain minimum price to the artwork’s consigner) allowed the house to bring in many of the biggest numbers this year. They sold eight of the 10 most expensive lots listed below and notably achieved the first ever $1 billion week by a single auction house at Christie’s New York in May.
With every work in the year’s top 10 surpassing the 50-million-dollar mark, it’s easy to see this figure as the new normal. Some warn, though, that these figures—concentrated to the New York sales—may not be an accurate representation of the global market, an observation which might be reflected in the houses’ annual reports. And despite record-breaking sales, none of the works to make it into the top 10 are by female artists, a disparity which should be addressed.