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.



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