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France is the world’s cradle of fashion and art. Which of the French artists are currently the most highly valued?

The Most Expensive Contemporary French Artists

Eva Ledecká
20.Feb 2017
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2 minutes

Already in history France was a breeding ground for artistic talent. Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Henri Rousseau and Marcel Duchamp represent only a fraction of all those who greatly enriched the global art scene. Even in the twentieth century and today France is full of these masters of their crafts. We are bringing you a list of those in France whose works are currently the most expensive of them all.

Pierre Soulages

In 2010 Pierre Soulages celebrated his 90th birthday with his huge exhibition at the Centre Pompidou. This French sculptor, painter and highly successful living artist in contemporary France is the most significant representative of abstract expressionism.

In his paintings you can actually see the blending of the structures and the colours and his works are dynamic, spontaneous and expressive. He did not study at any art school, which is probably what led him to discover his own individual unbridled artistic style. In 2013 one of his painting was sold at auction in London for more than 6.5 million USD.

Luxusní dům na prodej se zahradou a bazénem
Luxusní dům na prodej se zahradou a bazénem, Praha 9

Claude Lalanne

This French designer works with her husband under the pseudonym Les Lalanne. As a qualified architect she creates sculptures that highlight the impact of the natural world, especially its flora and its fauna. Her spatial sculptures define the line between art and design and they are intended for practical use. Her admirers are, for example, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. Les Lalanne’s work can be admired both at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York and at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Her most expensive work sold in New York for almost 7.5 million USD.

Martial Raysse

From his childhood this film director and painter was always attracted to the fine arts. In 2011 his most expensive painting was sold at auction in London for almost 6.5 million USD.

He is best known primarily for his habit of collecting tiny useless trivia that he keeps under Plexiglas and for buying unnecessary plastic objects, which he uses for his compositions, thereby creating unique artworks. He gained a high degree of success with this kind of art in 1961 at an exhibition in Milan, where during a period of only 15 minutes he sold all the works that he had exhibited. He was also involved in a significant artistic pop art scene in New York.

Françoise Gilot

Better known as the long-time muse and partner of Pablo Picasso, with whom she has two children. She is a French painter and also an author of bestsellers. Her painting from the year 1952 entitled Les Peintres was sold at auction in New York for USD 509,000 in the year 2013.

François Morellet

This Godfather of French geometric abstraction, who was a painter, a sculptor and a creator of lighting installations died in May 2016 at the age of 90. Before he became totally engaged in abstract works, he was creating figurative paintings. In addition to the later abstractions he was also creating light visualisations using neon tubes. His most expensive work sold at auction in 2010 in Amsterdam for USD 0.5 million.

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