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    Yayoi Kusama, White No.28 (1960)

    Only 13 of the top 100 artists whose works fetched the highest amounts at auction in 2017  were women.  The top female artist was Japan’s Yayoi Kusama, whose works sold for $65.6m (£48.9m) – putting her 13th overall, according to figures from MutualArt. The 13 women in the top 100 accounted for sales of $263m – 7.4% of the overall total of $3.5 billion.

    Leonardo da Vinci was top of the 2017 auction rankings.  His Salvator Mundi made a staggering $450 million last November. Next was  Jean Michel Basquiat – whose works fetched $338 million  in 2017 – then Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly and Roy Lichtenstein.

    At the age of 89, Kusama is the only living woman in the top 50. After her, the top-selling women were Louise Bourgeois, Joan Mitchell and Agnes Martin – who, like Kusama, made their names in 1950s New York.

    Kusama is famed for paintings and sculptural installations that build seemingly endless patterns of polka dots. The Japanese artist was an influence on Pop Art in the 1950s and 60s and, in monetary terms, is far ahead of any other female artist.

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