In 2021, the most expensive artworks sold at auction are predominantly by already well-known faces in this medium. Male artists from the 19th and 20th centuries lead sales: Femme assise près d'une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse)by Pablo Picasso, 1932; In This Case by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1983); Portrait of a young man holding a roundel by Sandro Botticelli; No. 7 by Mark Rothko (1951); Le Nez by Alberto Giacometti, (1947) and Ox huts parmi les oliviers et cyprès by Vincent van Gogh (1889). At P55 we see new artists, who have been addressing the need for social and ecological issues to mark the ground, however the popular faces of 20th century Portuguese art continue to lead. Discover the most expensive works sold on our platform in 2021.
1. Cat Shoe by Júlio Pomar , 2009 - €87,500.00
This list begins with two paintings by Júlio Pomar with a recurring theme in his painting: the animals. Júlio Pomar was one of the artists with the greatest impact on the Portuguese arts of the 20th century, since the beginning of his career. Committed to social problems, he began in the neo-realism artistic movement, which took up the aesthetic and social attitude of 19th century realism, simultaneously demonstrating the new concerns of the 20th century. For seven decades it managed to constantly reinvent itself, whether in the techniques and means used as in the artistic movements. Among modern Portuguese painters, Júlio Pomar is one of the few — like Paula Rego — whose figuration, not only human, is the main theme. Many were the animals portrayed by Júlio Pomar : the pig, the monkey, the tiger, the crow, the elephant, the giraffe, the deer, the turtle, the bull, the cat, the horse, the dog, the wolf, the goat. and the goat, the seagull and the fly. The firm presence of this theme is evident, over six decades, in his works, from the small individual clay sculptures with monkeys from 1949 to the donkeys that play the viola from 2010.
2. New Year's Pig by Júlio Pomar , 2009 - €50,000.00
3. Plastic Tiger by Bordalo II, 2018 - €37,375
The once-abandoned objects in the hands of Bordalo II tell a new story. Sheets, tires and doors acquire an aesthetic and communicative function, clearly expressing a critique of consumerism, offering a sustainable solution. The Portuguese artist wants to represent in his works an image of nature - animals, building them from what destroys them - garbage, waste and pollution. The landscape that his grandfather Real Bordalo painted, is currently transformed by the animals of Bordalo II. This sculpture by Bordalo II addresses the need for socio-ecological sustainability.
4. Untitled by Vieira da Silva - €38,750.00
Through her works that range from the figurative to the abstract, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva marked the history of Portuguese and international art. The artist worked and lived mainly in Paris, however it is possible to discover traces of Lisbon in her work. Due to the Second World War and the Estado Novo, she took refuge in Brazil with her husband, the painter Arpad Szenes. It was mainly from the post-war period that his work began to be recognized and celebrated nationally and internationally, with several commissions and exhibitions. His career was associated with his versatility, with a set of works ranging from painting, sculpture, tapestry, through illustration and scenography. one of the most celebrated abstract artists in post-war Europe. His works are exhibited all over the world, being exhibited in repeated retrospectives. This painting with abstract compositions and a soft line, involves colors and shapes, inspired by big cities.
5. Nadir Afonso - €22,850.00
The Portuguese artist Nadir Afonso was a pioneer in geometric abstraction in Portugal, being a fundamental figure for the modernism of this country. In an initial period of pictorial experimentation, through figurativism and the representation of the real, he traveled through a surrealist aesthetic that made the transition to abstractionism. This is how he discovered his attraction to geometric painting. The artist considered that art was not a product of imagination, but of observation and manipulation of form. In addition to painting, he worked in architecture, collaborating with architects such as Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer. His artistic production is fundamental for the study of modernism in Portugal. This work is a representation of the uniqueness of his artistic production around geometric abstraction.
6. Vhils Depict Series , 2018 - €25,000.00
Alexandre Farto, artistically known as Vhils, sculpts the faces of anonymous figures on a large scale that he photographs in the streets. Through his creativity, the Portuguese artist reveals the hidden lower layers and the fragility of urban space, reflecting current themes in the artistic scene, such as identity, representation, ephemerality and the individual's experience in consumer society. Vhils became internationally known mainly for his mural works in public spaces, honoring José Saramago, Zeca Afonso, among others. However, being an experimentalist, he has been transporting his visual language of the layer subtraction process to a plurality of media, such as screen printing and installation, in addition to the use of other supports, such as advertising posters, wooden doors and metal plates. that collects from the streets. In this work we see this transition from wall media to other formats.
7. " Formes Circulaires" by Manuel Cargaleiro - €21,050.00
The Portuguese artist Manuel Cargaleiro created a striking language in the artistic world by combining ceramics and painting, through games between color, light and shadow. His works are strongly characterized by the use of geometry and abstract language, tending to be non-figurative. In this work, the spontaneous and dynamic brushstrokes with vibrant colors are evident, which overlap the form, reducing the formality that characterizes the geometric elements. The exploration of color is one of the main features of this work and its artistic production, as it reveals feelings and creates different spaces in a single composition.
Find out more about 2021 trends:
Art Trends 2021: 7 Most Valuable Works
Top Sellers 2021
Trending Artists 2021
New Year's Artwork
Best Sellers of Young Blood 2021