2012 was a stellar year for contemporary art. Both Sotheby's and Christie's hosted record contemporary sales in November, as the sector continued to grow from less than 4% of the world's turnover in 2002 to 11% today.
Yet the achievements of the old masters this year should not be forgotten. The sector has seen strong results in 2012, with the Mei Moses Fine Art Index reporting a 5.4% increase in value for the first half of the year.
But for most people, the year belonged to Munch…
- Edvard Munch's The Scream became the world's most valuable auctioned artwork, selling for $119.9m at Sotheby's in May.
New records in 2012
- Mark Rothko's 1961 work Orange, Red, Yellow sold for $86.9m at Christie's in May, breaking the world record for a contemporary artwork at auction.
- A painting from Gerhard Richter's Abstraktes Bild series set a new £19.2m ($34.2m) record for a work by a living artist at auction, in October.
- $3m is the price achieved in November by the most valuable Qing dynasty vase ever sold at auction.
- EH Shepard's original artwork for the first drawing of Winnie-the-Pooh with Christopher Robin increased the artist's record by 15.7% in December.
- Raphael's Head of an Apostle became the most valuable old master drawing ever sold at auction, when it achieved £29.7m ($47.8m) in December.
It was a breakout year for…
- Jean-Michel Basquiat. A series of strong sale prices culminated in a new record for the graffiti artist in November.
One you may have missed
- The only Calvin and Hobbes comic strip to be offered for sale this century broke the world record for original newspaper comic strip art, selling for $203,000 in November.