The Top-Selling Living Artist
In the early 1980s, German artist Gerhard Richter painted 24 views of flickering white candles, and not a single one sold. When one of those “Candle” canvases came up at Christie’s in London this past fall, it sold for $16.5 million.
Few people can pinpoint the moment when an artist becomes iconic in the way of Pablo Picasso or Andy Warhol, but right not the art world is trying to anoint Mr. Richter. Last year, his works sold at auction for a total of $200 million, according to auction tracker Artnet – more than any other living artist and topping last year’s auction totals for Claude Monet, Alberto Giacometti and Mark Rothko combined.