Thursday, July 17, 2014

Abstract Art – Some of the Most Sought After Paintings in the World

Abstract art became an important medium of artistic expression in Western culture starting in the late 19th century. The abstract art movement produced many important artists including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Wassily Kandinsky just to name a few. Abstract art focuses more on the expression of the artist’s inner feelings, as opposed to attempts at replicating what the artist sees on the outside.

Because abstract art is related to feeling over imitation of the real world, people are able to interpret abstract art in their own way, making it personal to them. Perhaps this accounts for why people are so fascinated with abstract art and why it is so popular today. Attesting to its high demand is the fact that abstract art accounts for some of the most sought after and expensive pieces of artwork in the world. Some of these artworks have garnered record-breaking bids at auction and phenomenally high sales by private sellers. Below are some of these record makers:

Pablo Picasso – “La Rêve (The Dream)” Pablo Picasso is conceivably one of the most well-known painters among the average lay person. His painting “La Rêve (The Dream)” is somewhat abstract in that it is a distortion of fact, in this case a portrait of his mistress at the time. This painting sold for $155 million in 2013; this is the largest sum of money spent on a piece of artwork by a U.S. collector..

Le Reve


Francis Bacon – “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” Francis Bacon’s piece depicts Lucian Freud, who was his close friend at the time, from three different angles. It is also an abstract piece based on distortion of reality. An unnamed buyer bought the piece at auction in 2013 for $142.4 million which is the highest sale at auction to date.

Three Studies of Lucian Freud


Edvard Munch – “The Scream” This piece of art is perhaps the most well-known of these expensive modern art paintings and the most mimicked in pop culture. It is a depiction of a figure with a tormented expression standing on a bridge under a bright orange sky. In 2012, the 1895 pastel-on-board version sold at auction for $120 million. 

The Scream Abstract Art Painting


Pablo Picasso – “Dora Maar au Chat” Another painting by Picasso, this also features one of his lovers with the face distorted. The painting went to an anonymous Russian buyer in 2006 at the New York auction for $95.2 million. In 2006, it was the second highest price that a painting brought at auction. 

Dora Maar au Chat Painting


Mark Rothko – “Orange, Red, Yellow” Rothko’s painting is perhaps most representative of what an ordinary person thinks of when it comes to abstract art. It depicts three different sized rectangles in orange and yellow on a red background, hence the name. Also, a record-setter, this painting sold in 2012 for approximately $86.9 million at auction. 

Mark Rothko – “Orange, Red, Yellow

While these paintings represent some of the most famous and expensive paintings in the world, abstract art is widely available and can be much less expensive. Art enthusiasts should be able to find a huge selection of abstract art at a wide variety of price points by using resources such as internet sales and local vendors. Options include shopping local galleries for new or obscure artists, buying prints of famous paintings on mass production art websites, going on retail wall art websites and even modern furniture stores online. Abstract paintings are a great addition to any art collector’s home or office and are easily available for anyone to proudly display.