Art Basel 2017 – How Much Are They Worth? Part II

CoBo Social Chinese Abstraction Series

For some, putting a price tag on a piece of art is close to obscenity; for others, art doesn’t exist outside of the art market. Despite the fact that astronomic sums have been invested in art every day and auction records have been reset anew every season, money talk in the art is still a taboo. Artists refuse to talk about their “bankable values”, collectors prefer not to brag about it (for whatever reasons imaginable), and galleries definitely want to keep the market as obscure as possible (for the benefits of many). For ordinary people like us (sorry, you are not yet there if you are reading this article), every time when we are given the price of a piece of artwork, we drop our jaw and humbly walk away. Gradually, we stop asking, yet secretly, we all want to know and to have some fun with the figure-guessing game. It’s insane, yet exciting. It’s ridiculous, yet fascinating. It bears signs of dismay and reproche, yet everyone dreams of being part of the big boys game. This is the art market that we want to disclose to you, literally, with its price tags.

Last Monday (12 June), the world’s most powerful art fair, Art Basel, opened its doors for its most eligible VIPs collectors from all over the world with a reservoir of US$3.4 billion worth of art for sale during its 7-day fair. The days that followed we were bombarded with figures of sales reports from different media outlets, insiders’ leaks, twitters scoops… Gallery owners announced good news that “this is the best year ever”, or “exceeding our expectations”, or hilariously claiming that “we can go home and enjoy our holiday now” after the first day of VIP preview.

Now, how much do their holidays cost? 1% of the value of a piece of art they sold? Of course, destination and style make a big difference, just like a piece of art. Check it out here.


Jean-Michel Basquiat
Crisis X (1982)
Van de Weghe Ltd
Price: $8.5 million


Georg Baselitz
Das hoffnungslose weiße Bild (2017)
White Cube
Price: €440,000


Di Donna Galleries
Abstract 1989 painting of Gerhard Richter at $5 million;
Works by John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, and Joan Miró for between $700,000 and $1 million


Donlad Judd’s stacks at Anthony Meier Fine Arts
Price: $18.5 million


George Condo
Untitled (2017)
Sprüth Magers
Price: $700,000


Sterling Ruby
Yellow Sky (2017)
Sprüth Magers
Price: $325,000


Guan Xiao
Air Freshener, Spray (2017)
Antenna Space
Price: $48,000


Antony Gormley
HOME (2014)
White Cube
Price: £350,000


Tracy Emin
A moment – A Feeling – For you (2017)
White Cube
Price: £300,000


Imi Knoebel
Union II (2016)
White Cube
Price: €160,000


Wolfgang Tillmans
paper drop Oranienplatz, a (2017)
Maureen Paley
Price: $100,000


Franz Erhard Walther
Sieben Papierbloecke in Kassetten (1962)
Galerie Jocelyn Wolff
Price: €250,000


Candice Breitz
Profile (2017)
Goodman Gallery
Price: €10,000


Chao Lu
Funambulist No.1 (2017)
Huile sur toile / Oil on canvas
45 x 60 cm (17 3/4 x 23 5/8 in.)
Price: $14,000


Sophie Taeuber-Arp
von Bartha
Price: $227,000



Also check out collector Alain Servais’s picks for emerging artists



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