Ai Weiwei Artwork Breaks Record

There was yet more record breaking auction action this week with Phillips Contemporary Art Evening yielding $28,562,068. The star lot of the evening was Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, 2010 which went under the hammer for $5,404,725 and set a world record for the artist at auction.

The sometimes-controversial Chinese artist produced a number of versions of the zodiac sculptures, but this was the first complete set to come up at auction. The zodiac sculptures were inspired by a set of smaller sculptures that formed an 18th Century fountain clock at Emperor Yuanming Yuan's Beijing imperial retreat.

Peter Sumner, Director, Head of Contemporary Art, London at Phillips said, “The auction offered a diverse range of Contemporary Art and attracted a broad pool of bidders with nine artists represented in the top ten lots. We are pleased to have realised strong results and to have doubled the total of the equivalent auction last year.

The market continues to react best to works of art which are offered with sensible and appealing estimates, and we’re thrilled in particular to have seen such a strong result for Ai Weiwei’s ‘Zodiac Heads’ which set a new record for the artist, surpassing the previous result at Phillip’s in February.”

For those who want a bit more of the artist a solo exhibition of Ai Weiwei's work will open at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in September.



Top stories from across the globe

  • The Future of Banking: Truth is Rarely Pure and Never Simple
  • Top Money Manager: «We Avoid Tesla Because of Elon Musk»
  • 1MDB and the Affected Banks: 100 Headlines
  • The Man Who Turned Down Marilyn Monroe
  • The Seven Conditions for Good Succession
  • The (Slow) Death of U.K. Investment Banks

PHOTO GALLERIES Networking Event Networking Event

Show pictures

stars China Symposium 2016

stars China Symposium 2016

Show pictures

Compare my salary

Compare my salary

Feeling Underpaid? Benchmark your salary by job title, company and location. Find out where you stand in minutes.

compare my salary


Newsletter-SymbolFree Subscription

Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive daily email alerts from the finews editorial team with a list of the top featured articles.

Share with us

Do you have any market intelligence to share with – email us on – All communication is completely confidential and strictly anonymous.