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Andy Warhol in the number one pop artist

“A total of 1,295 works by Warhol fetched $653.2m (£425m) at auction last year – outselling his nearest rival, Picasso, by over $200m. art to buy, art to collect
Global art sales hit $16bn in 2014, marking a 10 per cent jump on a year earlier and more than double the level seen in 2009. Experts pointed to rising global markets boosting the coffers of wealthy art buyers, as well as new collectors from the Middle East and China targeting established Western artists, to explain the rises.
Clare McAndrew, founder of research and consulting firm Arts Economics, said: “Post-war art continues to do really well.”
For a long time one of the world’s most sought-after artists, Warhol, who died in 1987 at the age of 58, continues to hold collectors in his thrall, and for the past five years his work has sold at auction for a total of well over $300m a year.
This year’s headline sales included two at Christie’s in New York on the same November night. The 1963 silkscreen Triple Elvis fetched $81.9m, and The Four Marlons, featuring actor Marlon Brando, sold for $69.6m.
The record paid for a Warhol work at auction came in 2013, when Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) sold for $105.4m at Sotheby’s in New York.
In 2012, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts announced it was to disperse its entire collection of the artist’s work, selling many through Christie’s over a number of years. The move was expected to bring in a total of $100m to boost its endowment.
Ms McAndrew said: “He’s just such an accessible artist to global collectors, especially new ones. People want something contemporary with a historical significance.”
Pablo Picasso was the next most popular artist at auction, selling 2,820 works for $448.7m.

He was followed by Francis Bacon, whose work sold for $306m on just 114 lots sold. 
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