China's modern master Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) bested Pablo Picasso and more than 450,000 artists tracked by Artprice to become the world's highest-selling artist, according to the latest report on the global art auction market by Artprice, the France-based global leader in art market information.
Ten of the world's 15 most sought-after artists are of Chinese origin, according to Artprice. In 2011, more than 684 auction results above the million-dollar line were hammered in China, a 36 percent rise over 2010, and 151 more than deals done in the U.S.
Also read: Top 10 most expensive artworks in 2011
Despite the worldwide financial crisis, the global fine art market has seen its best-ever year in 2011, with Asia – especially China – playing a dominant role. China took 39 percent of the world's total turnover (US$10.8 billion) in 2011, a 32 percent surge from the year before. While the U.S. and the U.K. were the runners up with 25 and 20 percent, respectively.
China.org.cn has compiled the top 15 artists by auction revenue in 2011.
Huang Binhong 黄宾虹
Huang Binhong [File Photo]
2010 Rank: 33 Auction Revenue: US$41.8 million
Huang Binhong (1865-1955), born in Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, was a renowned Chinese literati painter and art historian. Huang, who began to learn traditional landscape painting at the age of 6, was famed for his innovations in the literati style. His landscapes were unique for his distinctively "black, dense, thick and heavy" style.
Huang, a master of freehand landscapes, bird-and-flower paintings, calligraphy and art theories, together with his contemporary Qi Baishi, were reputed as "Qi of the North; Huang of the South."
His 1952 "Mind Travelling among Mountains"(40.5cm × 305cm) was hammered at 52.9 million yuan (US$8.3 million) at China Guardian 2011 Autumn Auction in Beijing in Nov.2011, setting a new record for the artist.