Chinese Artists Making Their Mark in the Art World
Several Chinese artists have been overtaking known artists and painters in the art auction market since last year, showing China’s new-found importance in the art world. Works by Chinese artists Zhang Daqian and Qi Baishi are fast becoming best-sellers.
In 2011, works by Zhang Daqian (1889-1983) made US$ 506 million at auctions alone, making him the world’s current No. 1 artist with the most art sales for the year. Qi Baishi (1864-1957) took the second spot, followed by famed US artist Andy Warhol. Former best-seller Pablo Picasso is fourth with US$ 311 million in sales.
The director for the Musee Picasso in Paris, Anne Baldassari said that during the global financial crisis in 2008 the art auction center shifted its gaze to the East, steering away for its traditional hubs in Paris and New York. Baldassari was busy preparing the second stop of Picasso 2012 China Exhibition in Chengdu, which started its run in February and will end in May. The exhibit will be featuring 56 works by Picasso which are valued at US$ 872 million. A couple of Zhang’s works will also be displayed during the exhibition.
The value of Zhang’s works have risen over the past few years, in 2008 Zhang ranked 56th in the Artprice’s Top 500 Artists list in terms of auction turnover. By 2009 he climbed to 11th place and in 2011 he was the top selling artist.
Despite the frenzy over works by Zhang and Qi, some other Chinese artists are undervalued and have potential. Other great artists such as Huang Binhong (1865-1955) have exceptional artistic value that has yet to be recognized.