Late Chinese artist Zhang Daqian has been named the best-selling artist at auction for 2011, followed by Qi Bashi who came in second. Six other Chinese artists also made the top ten list.
Chinese art currently accounts for 40% of sales by value and the late Chinese artist Zhang Daqian was named the best-selling artist at auction in 2011. Spain’s renowned artist Pablo Picasso dropped out of the top three spots, replaced by American pop artist Andy Warhol, on the list of best-selling artists at auctions.
Daqian, who passed away in 1983, had the best annual sales of any artists ever. He sold 1,371 pieces totaling $554 million last year. Bashi, who passed away in 1957, netted $510 million while Warhol brought in $325 million.
Daqian was one of the best-known and most prodigious Chinese artists of the 20th century. He was originally known as a traditionalist painter, however by the 1960s he was also known for his modern impressionist and expressionist art. He was born to a family of artists in Neijiang, Sichuan, China and studied textile-dyeing techniques in Kyoto, Japan. He subsequently returned to Shanghai to establish a successful career selling his paintings. In 1953, Daqian met Picasso in Antibes where the duo exchanged paintings.