Who are the most-searched artists on artnet’s Price Database?
Every day, thousands of artnet users search for auction results for hundreds of artists. Their habits offer a sometimes surprising snapshot of shifting market interest and popularity.
The top names, of course, read like a blue-chip hall of fame. Unsurprisingly given his popularity, influence, market value, and remarkable productivity, Pablo Picasso occupies the top spot with a total of 686,882 searches. He is followed by Andy Warhol, with 588,373 searches. (All data is accurate as of September 2017.)
The list contains a notable absence of diversity in terms of the artists’ gender, race, and chosen medium. There are only seven women (Yayoi Kusama, Cindy Sherman, Jeanne-Claude, Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Louise Bourgeois). Georgia O’Keeffe, whose work is the most expensive by a female artist ever sold at auction, is noticeably absent from the list.
Meanwhile, the list contains only one African American artist (Jean-Michel Basquiat), six Asian artists (Kusama, Takashi Murakami, Zao Wou-Ki, Yoshitomo Nara, Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, Hiroshi Sugimoto), and two Latin American artists (Fernando Botero and Vic Muniz). Only nine artists work primarily in a medium other than painting.
But there are some surprises, too. The Hungarian-French Op artist Victor Vasarely (who comes in at number 36) and the French expressionist Bernard Buffet (37) are more frequently searched than Cy Twombly (38), Francis Bacon (39), and Cindy Sherman (40). The French cityscape painter Maurice Utrillo (75) also makes an unexpected appearance.