2022 in Review: Modern and Contemporary Art in Asia

2022 in Review: Modern and Contemporary Art in Asia

Monumental sales and new artist records sees Modern and Contemporary Art achieve more than HK$3.1 billion in 2022.
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Monumental sales and new artist records sees Modern and Contemporary Art achieve more than HK$3.1 billion in 2022.

F or Sotheby’s Asia, 2022 was an eventful year packed with artist records and spectacular sales for modern and contemporary art, from the first-ever exhibition in Vietnam in the company’s history, to outstanding results and new records in Sotheby’s first modern and contemporary art auction staged in Singapore in 15 years, and more. In 2022, Modern and Contemporary Art in Asia combined achieved more than HK$3.1 billion, affirming the company’s leadership and growth in the region.

“Discerning eyes, tasteful curation and accurate strategy are the keystones of the solid success of Modern Art in Asia in 2022.”
Felix Kwok, Head of Department, Modern Art, Asia

Standout moments of the year include the sale of Pablo Picasso’s Dora Maar, which became the second highest auction record for the artist in Asia when it sold for HK$169 million in April’s spring marquee Modern Evening Auction. At present, Sotheby’s holds four of the top five records, including the top artist auction record in Asia, for Femme Accroupie, sold for HK$191 million in October 2021.

Sotheby’s also saw monumental results for Vietnamese art, making headlines when Le Pho’s triptych Figures in a garden sold for HK$17.9 million – nine times its pre-sale estimate – marking the second highest auction record for Vietnamese art (of which Sotheby’s holds all the top three), and a world auction record for the artist.

The Modern Art department also celebrated the successful selling exhibition, André Brasilier: Grande Fantasia, curated by the team, which took place in August in Hong Kong after two extensive years of preparation.

Meanwhile contemporary art also saw many new artist records set, including Louise Bourgeois’ Spider IV, which sold for HK$129.2 million in April, becoming the most expensive sculpture of Modern and Contemporary Art ever sold at auction in Asia, the third highest auction record for the artist and set a new world auction record for Bourgeois’ wall-mounted spiders. Among those that Sotheby’s Asia broke world artist auction records in 2022 were Michel Majerus, Kei Imazu, Tetsuya Ishida, and Emily Mae Smith, just to name a few.

As 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of Sotheby’s in Asia, Modern and Contemporary Art are looking forward to making history in the global art business, and continue to be a pillar in the Asia market, with extended interest in the scholarship of art and continued efforts in creative promotion of the market.

Modern Art

Contemporary Art

2023 In Review

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