10 In-Demand Works on Artsy This Week: February 4, 2021
In this weekly series, Artsy’s Curatorial and Editorial teams offer a look at the artworks that are currently gaining traction among collectors on Artsy. Looking at our internal data, we share a selection of works that Artsy members are engaging with through inquiries, page views, and saves, plus promising lots in current auctions. The following pieces are culled from recent online auctions and art fairs hosted on Artsy, as well as exhibitions and works added by our gallery partners.
Shirin Neshat, Identified (1995)
An early work by the internationally renowned Iranian artist Shirin Neshat, this black-and-white print explores many of the thematic threads that are still present in her work today. Neshat began making images that explore gender, identity, and politics in Muslim countries when she returned to Iran in the 1990s and was shocked by the cultural shifts that occured since she left nearly 15 years prior, just before the Iranian Revolution. Her most recent series, “Land of Dreams,” focuses on the landscapes and people of the American West and is the subject of a current solo show at Gladstone Gallery. Neshat was also recently featured in the most recent installment of Artsy and BMW’s “Future of Art” video series, discussing the importance of embracing uncertainty.
Peter Saul, Raccoon Story (2018)
This relatively recent work by the American Neo-Surrealist and Pop art pioneer Peter Saul has been attracting interest since it was uploaded to the platform by the Moscow-based Gary Tatintsian Gallery in late January. Best known for his brightly colored, often satirical depictions of political history and pop culture, Saul creates work that reflects the surreal, high-octane absurdism of contemporary life.
Megan Rooney, Like Son (2020)
This canvas by the Canadian painter Megan Rooney sold after racking up a significant number of inquiries this past week. This recent demand for Rooney’s work came shortly after news of her new gallery representation with Thaddeus Ropac broke in late January. Rooney held a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto in 2020, “Hush Sky Murmur Hole,” which was her first major institutional show in Canada. For it, Rooney transformed an entire floor of the museum with an all-encompassing mural.
Ayako Rokkaku, Untitled (2009)
A favorite among Artsy users in the past several years, Ayako Rokkaku created this piece with her signature method of finger painting, applied directly onto a piece of torn cardboard. The work was recently put on hold after receiving a steady stream of inquiries. This demand for Rokkaku’s work follows recent auction successes; in fall 2020, a 2017 work by Rokkaku sold for a whopping HK$2.7 million (US$357,000), far exceeding its high estimate of HK$400,000 (US$51,000).
Nelson Makamo, Untitled (2020)
Part of “Black Voices: Friend of My Mind,” the inaugural exhibition at Ross-Sutton Gallery, this portrait by the South African artist Nelson Makamo is one of the show’s 70 works by 40 artists exploring rest, wellness, introspection, and self-care as radical acts of survival and resilience. Adored by the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King for his moving portraits of children in rural South Africa, Makamo has quickly garnered international recognition. Makamo’s work was also featured as the cover of Time magazine’s “Optimists” issue in 2019.
Mercedes Maduka, Immigrant (2019)
Painted onto repurposed checkered plastic bags, this work by Nigerian artist Mercedes Maduka recently sold at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair’s inaugural Paris edition. The four-day fair, which closed on January 23rd, offered what is currently a rare opportunity for Parisians to visit an art fair in person.
Richard Anuszkiewicz, Untitled (Annual Edition) (1977)
This intimately sized Richard Anuszkiewicz painting has received several bids that have pushed its current price to its low estimate at Wright’s upcoming “Art + Design” auction. A leading figure within the Op art movement, Anuszkiewicz created vibrant works that explore how we perceive movement, depth, and color. His 2D works often appear to be sculptural, nearly popping off the canvas. He passed away in May 2020.
Timothy Curtis, Hee Hee on the Ha Ha (AP) (2018)
A Timothy Curtis silkscreen currently available as part of Artsy and Tate Ward’s “Street to Studio” sale has steadily climbed up the bidding ladder, placing it well above its high estimate. The print, which depicts Curtis’s signature loosely rendered egg-like cartoon faces, is part of an edition of 50 and is an excellent opportunity to purchase the self-taught Brooklyn-based artist’s work.
Banksy, Morons (Sepia) (2007)
This tongue-in-cheek Banksy print depicts a canvas being sold at auction featuring the words “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this shit.” Ironically, the piece is currently on pace to hit its $50,000 high estimate in Heritage’s “In Focus – Banksy” sale. The gesture is reminiscent of other self-aware jabs Banksy has made at the secondary art market, the most notable of which was the $1.1 million sale of his coveted “Girl with Balloon” image at Sotheby’s London that shred itself immediately after the gavel struck.
John Botz, Cote d’Azur (1997)
Bidding on this paradisiacal work by John Botz has been competitive, with many bids placed in small increments pushing it generously over its estimate. Part of the Laguna Art Museum’s “California Cool” benefit auction, the painting reflects Botz’s Francophilian approach to the idyllic landscapes of Laguna Beach with clear influence from masters like Henri Mattisse and Raoul Dufy.