Here Are the 15 Most Expensive Artworks Sold at Auction Around the World in August 2021

We combed through the data to bring you the top selling lots of August 2021 from around the world.

Artnet News, September 8, 2021

Bidders at Tehran Auction's Contemporary Art Sale in August 2021. Courtesy of Tehran Auction.
Bidders at Tehran Auction’s Contemporary Art Sale in August 2021. Courtesy of Tehran Auction.

The dog days of summer give auction houses beyond the Big Three a chance to shine. Top results in August were achieved by houses as far flung as Seoul, Tehran, and Los Angeles.

Of particular note was demand for work by artist Lee Ufan, who appears three times on this list. A 1984 oil on canvas with swirls of meditative brushstrokes set a new auction high for the South Korean artist, fetching $2.7 million at Seoul Auction. (The artist’s previous record, of $2.2 million, was set in 2012.)

While South Korea’s auction market remains a fraction of the size of China’s, it has been experiencing considerable growth. In the first six months of 2021, local auction houses generated $115.5 million in fine-art sales, up 343 percent from the equivalent period in 2020 and the largest total since the Artnet Price Database began tracking its performance.

Other highlights of last month include a strong performance by composer and artist Reza Derakshani in Tehran Auction’s contemporary art sale and a surprising depth of demand for William Herbert Dunton’s early 20th century painting Delivering the Mail in Bonhams’s American West sale.

Below, we’ve combed through Artnet’s Price Database to highlight the top sales from August 2021 around the world.

1. Lee Ufan, East Winds (1984)

Lee Ufan, <i>East Winds</i> (1984). Courtesy of Seoul Auctions. ” width=”826″ height=”1024″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/DRGSQEFNC5DVBBW2MJ2HBE45AQ-826×1024.png 826w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/DRGSQEFNC5DVBBW2MJ2HBE45AQ-242×300.png 242w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/DRGSQEFNC5DVBBW2MJ2HBE45AQ-40×50.png 40w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/DRGSQEFNC5DVBBW2MJ2HBE45AQ.png 1407w”></p><p>Lee Ufan, <em>East Winds</em> (1984). Courtesy of Seoul Auctions.</p><p><strong>Final Price: </strong>₩3.1 million ($2.7 million)</p><p><strong>Estimate:</strong> Undisclosed</p><p><strong>Where & When: </strong>Seoul Auction, South Korea, August 24, 2021</p><h4 class=2. Yayoi Kusama, Infinity-Nets (KPEU) (2016)

Yayoi Kusama, <i>Infinity-Nets (KPEU)</i> (2016). Courtesy of Seoul Auctions.” width=”757″ height=”549″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Screenshot-2021-09-07-11.20.05-AM.png 757w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Screenshot-2021-09-07-11.20.05-AM-300×218.png 300w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Screenshot-2021-09-07-11.20.05-AM-50×36.png 50w”></p><p>Yayoi Kusama, <em>Infinity-Nets (KPEU)</em> (2016). Courtesy of Seoul Auctions.</p><p><strong>Final Price: </strong>₩2.6 million ($2.2 million)</p><p><strong>Estimate:</strong> <strong> </strong>₩1.7 million to ₩3 million ($1.5 million to $2.6 million)</p><p><strong>Where & When:</strong> Seoul Auction, South Korea, August 24, 2021</p><h4 class=3. Reza Derakshani, Counting Days and Nights, Every Day and Every Night (2017)

Reza Derakshani, Counting Days and Nights, Every Day and Every Night (2017). Courtesy of Tehran Auction.

Final Price: 52 billion IRR ($1.2 million)

Estimate: 30 billion IRR to 40 billion IRR ($714,000 to $952,000)

Where & When: Tehran Auction, Iran, August 12, 2021

4. Y.Z. Kami, Blue Dome I (2019)

Y.Z. Kami, <i>Blue Dome I </i> (2019). Courtesy of Tehran Auction.” width=”1000″ height=”872″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Y.Z.Kami-_DSC0546-copy-2.jpg 1000w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Y.Z.Kami-_DSC0546-copy-2-300×262.jpg 300w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Y.Z.Kami-_DSC0546-copy-2-50×44.jpg 50w”></p><p>Y.Z. Kami, <em>Blue Dome I </em> (2019). Courtesy of Tehran Auction.</p><p><strong>Final Price: </strong>46 billion IRR ($1.1 million)</p><p><strong>Estimate:</strong> 40 billion IRR to 50 billion IRR ($952,000 to $1.2 million)</p><p><strong>Where & When: </strong>Tehran Auction, Iran, August 12, 2021</p><h4 class=5. Farhad Moshiri, We the Roses (2012)

 Farhad Moshiri, <i>We the Roses</i> (2012). Courtesy of Tehran Auction.” width=”1000″ height=”998″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Moshiri-Farhad_DSC1638-copy-2.jpg 1000w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Moshiri-Farhad_DSC1638-copy-2-150×150.jpg 150w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Moshiri-Farhad_DSC1638-copy-2-300×300.jpg 300w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Moshiri-Farhad_DSC1638-copy-2-32×32.jpg 32w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Moshiri-Farhad_DSC1638-copy-2-50×50.jpg 50w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Moshiri-Farhad_DSC1638-copy-2-64×64.jpg 64w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Moshiri-Farhad_DSC1638-copy-2-96×96.jpg 96w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Moshiri-Farhad_DSC1638-copy-2-128×128.jpg 128w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Moshiri-Farhad_DSC1638-copy-2-256×256.jpg 256w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Moshiri-Farhad_DSC1638-copy-2-434×434.jpg 434w”></p><p>Farhad Moshiri, <em>We the Roses</em> (2012). Courtesy of Tehran Auction.</p><p><strong>Final Price: </strong>42 billion IRR ($999,294)</p><p><strong>Estimate:</strong> 40 billion IRR to 50 billion IRR ($952,000 to $1.2 million)</p><p><strong>Where & When: </strong>Tehran Auction, Iran, August 12, 2021</p><h4 class=6. Ernest Martin Hennings, Indian Horsemen (ca. 1925)

Ernest Martin Hennings, <i>Indian Horsemen</i> (c. 1925). Courtesy of Bonham’s.” width=”1024″ height=”923″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/107520797_1_x-1024×923.jpg 1024w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/107520797_1_x-300×271.jpg 300w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/107520797_1_x-50×45.jpg 50w”></p><p>Ernest Martin Hennings, <em>Indian Horsemen</em> (c. 1925). Courtesy of Bonhams.</p><p><strong>Final Price: </strong>$918,312</p><p><strong>Estimate:</strong> $600,000 to $800,000</p><p><strong>Where & When: </strong>Bonhams Los Angeles, California, August 4, 2021</p><h4 class=7. Lee Ufan, Dialogue (2012)

Lee Ufan, <I>Dialogue</i> (2012). Courtesy of K Auction.” width=”1024″ height=”576″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Image-from-iOS-1024×576.png 1024w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Image-from-iOS-300×169.png 300w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Image-from-iOS-50×28.png 50w”></p><p>Lee Ufan, <em>Dialogue</em> (2012). Courtesy of K Auction.</p><p><strong>Final Price: </strong>₩700 million ($601,154)</p><p><strong>Estimate:</strong> ₩500 million to ₩650 million ($429,500 to $558,000)</p><p><strong>Where & When: </strong>K Auction Seoul, South Korea, August 25, 2021</p><h4 class=8. Lee Ufan, Dialogue (2007)

Lee Ufan, <i>Dialogue</i> (2007). Courtesy of Seoul Auction.” width=”570″ height=”593″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Screenshot-2021-09-07-12.27.08-PM.png 570w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Screenshot-2021-09-07-12.27.08-PM-288×300.png 288w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Screenshot-2021-09-07-12.27.08-PM-32×32.png 32w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Screenshot-2021-09-07-12.27.08-PM-48×50.png 48w”></p><p>Lee Ufan, <em>Dialogue</em> (2007). Courtesy of Seoul Auction.</p><p><strong>Final Price: </strong>₩660 million ($566,145)</p><p><strong>Estimate:</strong> ₩520 million to ₩800 million ($446,000 to $686,000)</p><p><strong>Where & When: </strong>Seoul Auction, South Korea, August 24, 2021</p><h4 class=9. William Herbert Dunton, Delivering the Mail (ca. 1915)

"William

Final Price: $525,312

Estimate: $150,000 to $250,000

Where & When: Bonhams Los Angeles, California, August 4, 2021

10. Jan Matejko, Wielki Książę Litewski Witold, Portret Adama Sapiehy (1876)

Jan Matejko, Wielki Książę Litewski Witold, <i>Portret Adama Sapiehy</i> (1876).” width=”901″ height=”1024″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/jan-matejko-wielki-ksiaze-litewski-witold-portret-adama-sapiehy-1-901×1024.jpg 901w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/jan-matejko-wielki-ksiaze-litewski-witold-portret-adama-sapiehy-1-264×300.jpg 264w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/jan-matejko-wielki-ksiaze-litewski-witold-portret-adama-sapiehy-1-44×50.jpg 44w”></p><p>Jan Matejko, Wielki Książę Litewski Witold, <em>Portret Adama Sapiehy</em> (1876). Courtesy of Sopocki Dom Aukcyjny.</p><p><strong>Final Price: </strong>PLN 2 million ($510,621)</p><p><strong>Estimate:</strong> PLN 1.3 million to PLN 1.8 million ($332,00 to $460,000)</p><p><strong>Where & When: </strong>Sopocki Dom Aukcyjny, Poland, August 21, 2021</p><h4 class=11. Park Seo-Bo, Écriture No.050319 (2005)

Park Seo-Bo, <i>Écriture No.050319</i> (2005). Courtesy of Seoul Auctions.” width=”700″ height=”448″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Image-from-iOS-2.jpg 700w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Image-from-iOS-2-300×192.jpg 300w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Image-from-iOS-2-50×32.jpg 50w”></p><p>Park Seo-Bo, <em>Écriture No.050319</em> (2005). Courtesy of Seoul Auctions.</p><p><strong>Final Price: </strong>₩580 million ($497,522)</p><p><strong>Estimate:</strong> ₩580 million to ₩800 million ($498,000 to $686,000)</p><p><strong>Where & When: </strong>Seoul Auction, South Korea, August 24, 2021</p><h4 class=12. Ayako Rokkaku, Untitled (2018)

Ayako Rokkaku, <i>Untitled</i> (2018). Courtesy of Seoul Auction.” width=”700″ height=”543″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Image-from-iOS-1.jpg 700w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Image-from-iOS-1-300×233.jpg 300w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Image-from-iOS-1-50×39.jpg 50w”></p><p>Ayako Rokkaku, <em>Untitled</em> (2018). Courtesy of Seoul Auction.</p><p><strong>Final Price: </strong> ₩560 million ($480,365)</p><p><strong>Estimate:</strong> ₩500 million to ₩800 million ($429,000 to $686,000)</p><p><strong>Where & When: </strong>Seoul Auction, South Korea, August 24, 2021</p><h4 class=

13. Yayoi Kusama, Pumpkin (1993)

Yayoi Kusama, <i>Pumpkin </i>(1993). Courtesy of Seoul Auction.” width=”1024″ height=”625″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Screenshot-2021-09-07-11.26.40-AM-1024×625.png 1024w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Screenshot-2021-09-07-11.26.40-AM-300×183.png 300w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Screenshot-2021-09-07-11.26.40-AM-50×30.png 50w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Screenshot-2021-09-07-11.26.40-AM.png 1051w”></p><p>Yayoi Kusama, <em>Pumpkin </em>(1993). Courtesy of Seoul Auction.</p><p><strong>Final Price:</strong> ₩540 million ($463,209)</p><p><strong>Estimate:</strong> ₩500 million to ₩540 million ($326,000 to $429,000)</p><p><strong>Where & When: </strong>Seoul Auction, South Korea, August 24, 2021</p><h4 class=14. Kim Whan-Ki, 8-VIII-66 (1966)

Kim Whan-Ki, <i>8-VIII-66</i> (1966). Courtesy of Seoul Auction.” width=”687″ height=”1024″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Image-from-iOS-687×1024.jpg 687w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Image-from-iOS-201×300.jpg 201w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Image-from-iOS-34×50.jpg 34w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Image-from-iOS.jpg 1288w”></p><p>Kim Whan-Ki, <em>8-VIII-66</em> (1966). Courtesy of Seoul Auction.</p><p><strong>Final Price: </strong>₩510 million ($437,984)</p><p><strong>Estimate:</strong> ₩320 million to ₩450 million ($275,000 to $386,500)</p><p><strong>Where & When: </strong>K Auction Seoul, South Korea, August 25, 2021</p><h4 class=15. Kim Tschang-yeul, Water Drops (2000)

Kim Tschang-yeul, <i>Water Drops</i> (2000). Courtesy of Seoul Auction.” width=”1024″ height=”625″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Screenshot-2021-09-07-11.29.01-AM-1024×625.png 1024w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Screenshot-2021-09-07-11.29.01-AM-300×183.png 300w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Screenshot-2021-09-07-11.29.01-AM-50×30.png 50w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/09/Screenshot-2021-09-07-11.29.01-AM.png 1051w”></p><p>Kim Tschang-yeul, <em>Water Drops</em> (2000). Courtesy of Seoul Auction.</p><p><strong>Final Price: </strong>₩500 million ($428,898)</p><p><strong>Estimate:</strong> ₩500 million to ₩1.5 billion ($429,000 to $1.3 million)</p><p><strong>Where & When: </strong>Seoul Auction, South Korea, August 24, 2021</p></div><!-- .fl-post-content --><div class=

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