Andy Warhol’s 15 Minutes of Market Fame May Never End
2014 was a banner year for the artist, whose works brought in a whopping $653 million at auction globally, including buyer’s premium. The total is $200 million more than was achieved by accounts for nearly 5% of the entire global art market in 2014 and brings total Warhol auction sales for the past decade to over $3 billion.
Warhol’s record-setting year comes as major collectors vie for coveted pieces at the very top segment of the market in a year that saw sales up 12% worldwide. Nearly 1,300 works by Warhol hit the auction block last year. But just two stellar works in the New York fall sales accounted for over 23% of Warhol’s 2014 take. Controversially consigned by the state-owned German casino Westspiel, the duo brought a combined $151.5 million in Christie’s blockbuster November sale of postwar and contemporary art, which totaled $852.9 million. Triple Elvis (Ferus Type) (1963) sold for $81.9 million, well above an unpublished presale estimate in the realm of $70 million. Four Marlons (1966), which held an identical estimate, went for a very respectable if less exuberant $69.6 million. (Warhol’s current record was set in November 2013 by Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) (1963), which brought $104.5 million.)
The artist’s market has been buoyed recently, in part, by a wave of works that has hit auctions as the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts sells its collection in a fundraising effort. But despite the increase in inventory, which can sometimes have a negative effect on an artist’s prices, a new wave of ultra-high-net-worth collectors have continued to raise their paddles for the