Addict (drugaddict) wrote,
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Art scholars and critics often claim that markets for art are irrational, and that the value an arti



The Best Living Artists: An Economist's View
The art establishment says the art market is a poor way to judge artistic quality. University of Chicago economist David W. Galenson begs to differ. He's just released his list of the greatest living artists, based on the number of their works that have sold for $1 million or more at auction. He says the names on his list bear a marked similarity to those whose work appears most often in art history textbooks.

"Art scholars and critics often claim that markets for art are irrational, and that the value an artist's work brings at auction is unrelated to the real importance of that artist's work. These claims are wrong," Galenson, who studies the economics of the art world, asserts in a working paper published last month by the National Bureau of Economic Research. "The most valuable art is made by the greatest artists."

Best Sellers

Ranking of living artists by number of works sold at auction for $1 million or more*

Artist ... Number

Gerhard Richter ... 53

Jasper Johns ... 39

Cy Twombly ... 28

Jeff Koons ... 20

Lucian Freud ... 16

Robert Rauschenberg ... 14

Brice Marden ... 9

Ed Ruscha ... 8

David Hockney ... 7

Artist ... Number

Ellsworth Kelly ... 6

Andrew Wyeth ... 6

Maurizio Cattelan ... 5

Chuck Close ... 5

Frank Stella ... 5

Miquel Barcel ... 4

Damien Hirst ... 4

Bruce Nauman ... 4

Georg Baselitz ... 3

Artist ... Number

Claudio Bravo ... 3

Marlene Dumas ... 3

Sigmar Polke ... 3

Robert Ryman ... 3

Wayne Thiebaud ... 3

Fernando Botero ... 2

Louise Bourgeois ... 2

Fourteen others with one work each

*As of September, 2005. Source: "Who Are the Greatest Living Artists? The View From the Auction Market" Working Paper 11644. National Bureau of Economic Research
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