Poly Auction Identify Li Keran Record as Growth Signal  – artmarketblog.com

artmarketblog LI Keran Landscape in Red Poly Auction Identify Li Keran Record as Growth Signal    artmarketblog.comChinese auction house Poly Auction believe that new auction record of US$40,341,000 achieved for Chinese artist Li Keran with the sale of the artist’s Landscape in Red by Poly Auction on the 3rd of June 2012 is an indication that the Chinese art market is about to experience a further period of positive growth.

According to Poly Auction,  the high price paid for Landscape in Red is justified by the fact that it is four times larger than another piece  from the same series sold by Guardian in 1999 and three times larger than another paintings from the series sold by Rong bao zhai 2000. As the largest piece that can be found on the market, the opportunity to see such a work is very rare.

Poly auction also attribute the stimulation of the art market in China after the financial crisis in Asia to the high prices achieved by the two Li Keran paintings in 1999 and 2000.

The largest of seven paintings from a series influenced by Mao zedong’s poem Qin-Yuan-Chun · Changsha which includes the line “Looking at the landscape in red and the forests all dyed”, one of the three large-scale paintings from the series paintings was collected by Beijing Fine Art Academy; another was ordered by Rong bao zhai for the fifteenth anniversary of the foundation of PRC; the third one is the “Landscape in Red” presented in Poly Auction’s 2012 spring sale.

The previous auction record for Li Keran was set by China Guardian Auctions on the 12th of May 2012 when the sold the artist’s Shaoshan-revolutionary sacred place of chairman mao’s former residence for a hammer price of US17,128,800

LI Keran  Landscape in Red

Mounted  Ink and Color on Paper




Inscription:Landscape in red, forests all dyed. Painting the poem of Chairman Mao in the Xishan Mountain of Beijing in the autumn of 1964, Keran.


1. P170-171, “Keran of the Century · Album of Painting for the 100th Anniversary of LI Keran”, JiLin Fine Arts Press,October, 2007.

2. P123,“The National Museum of China the series of the Masters in 20th Century —— The Art of LI Keran”, LV Zhangsheng,Time Publishing and Media Co., Ltd., Anhui Fine Arts Press,March, 2011.

3. P47-67,“The Paintings and Calligraphy of Masters (26) — The Special Album of LI Keran’s Landscape Painting”, XU Liping,Hongkong Hanmoxuan Press,1992.

4. P155,“The World of LI Keran”, WAN Qingli, Xizhitang Press,2000.

**Nicholas Forrest is a Sydney/London based art market analyst, art consultant and writer.  He is the founder of the Art Market Blog (artmarketblog.com) which offers independent commentaries as well as research and analysis on the current art market, and has recently been published in Fabrik magazine, Verve magazine, Visual Art Beat magazine, Australian Art Collector magazine, Art & Investment magazine and many others.  Nic has made several radio appearances (both nationally and internationally) as an art market expert and has received press from the likes of the New York Times, Conde Nast Portfolio and Times of London.

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  • Lydia Thompson

    Do you have confirmation that the auction house has been paid? As you point out in previous blogs, and is now common knowledge, roughly half of all sales in the Chinese art auction market are not paid up.

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