10 In-Demand Works on Artsy This Week: August 12, 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.
Chiharu Shiota, Red rope (2016)
The Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota is renowned for her colossal installations—typically constructed with black and red thread and interwoven with found objects such as shoes, dresses, and suitcases—that are strung across entire spaces to create an immersive and poignant experience for visitors. This 2016 small-scale work on paper, composed with oil pastels and string, offers Artsy users an excellent opportunity to collect a more accessible version of the artist’s monumental sculptures. Featuring a cross-legged red-and-black figure stretching out in mid-air, Red rope continues to receive an influx of interest since being uploaded to Artsy by the French gallery Templon in early March.
Alfonso Albacete, Destiempo 13 - Primera siesta (2017)
While studying with the late Peruvian impressionist painter Juan Bonafé, Spanish artist Alfonso Albacete became fixated on how to translate light and a contrasting color palette into everyday, idyllic scenes. This has led Albacete to create works that reinterpret American abstraction, Russian constructivism, and the Spanish baroque through the employment of expressive color, geometric shapes, and bizarre iconography. The languid and hazy Destiempo 13 - Primera siesta, representative of Albacete’s style, was uploaded by Marlborough Madrid & Barcelona and has attracted a significant amount of attention with a number of collectors placing inquiries.
Marina Perez Simão, Untitled (2021)
A captivating mix of abstraction and figuration, this delicate watercolor by Marina Perez Simão is racking up serious demand this week on Artsy. The sun-soaked painting—depicting an unknown, sumptuous landscape—was exhibited in the recently closed group show “Days of Inertia” at Mendes Wood DM in the Netherlands, and saw a flurry of inquiries as soon as it was added to the platform by the gallery in early August. Comparable works by the artist, also included in the show, have either already sold or been placed on hold.
Tania Marmolejo, Colmadito (2020)
The Dominican-Swedish American artist Tania Marmolejo draws on her background in graphic design and illustration to paint exaggerated portrayals of bug-eyed, anonymous women who are reminiscent of artist Margaret Keane’s gleaming portraits. Colmadito, which sold after being uploaded to Artsy in late July by Santo Domingo’s Lyle O. Reitzel, highlights Marmolejo’s love of cartoons from the 1950s to the 1980s, as well as the emotions of expressionism.
Sthenjwa Luthuli, Indawo Yami (2021)
Unit London is currently presenting the South African artist Sthenjwa Luthuli’s first solo show with the gallery. Titled “Imfumbatho,” the exhibition is on view through September 4th and presents a series of painstakingly carved and painted wooden reliefs and woodcut prints that feature ambiguous, headless bodies in twisted poses. The large-scale artworks pay homage to the patterns and practices of Zulu dress and design, which are often composed of vibrant and intricately woven beads. In Indawo Yami, two figures wrapped up in cloth and adorned with beads are superimposed onto a hallucinatory background. The 2021 work has garnered a steady stream of inquiries since it was uploaded to the platform in early August.
Robert Nava, TBC (2021)
This exuberant drawing by the highly coveted Robert Nava acquired a notable amount of buzz from collectors this past week. TBC, which is now on hold, is reminiscent of cave paintings and showcases the Indiana-born, Brooklyn-based artist’s ability to build bright, fantastical worlds through frenetic strokes and hybrid mythological animals. The drawing is one of three new works by Nava currently exhibited in “Sunburst,” a group show presented by Various Small Fires in collaboration with Night Gallery at the former’s Seoul outpost.
Igor Moritz, Bench (2021)
This introspective, color saturated work by the self-taught artist Igor Moritz has received a number of inquiries. Portraits are emblematic of Moritz’s practice, where he produces intimate and visceral depictions of friends and family members. Moritz’s energetic, gestural marks and electric color palette in oil paints and colored pencils capture his subject’s elusive thoughts and feelings. New works, including Bench, by the Polish-born, London-based artist were recently exhibited at Thierry Goldberg Gallery this past March in a solo show titled “Roses and Castles.”
Katerina Hatzi, La piscine (2021)
As summer begins to wind down, this oil on linen work by Katerina Hatzi sold shortly after it was uploaded to Artsy by nord. in late July. The Greek painter most likely found inspiration for La piscine, or “the swimming pool” in French, from the 1969 psychological thriller of the same title. The film, directed by Jacques Deray, follows four people vacationing in the Côte d’Azur who are forced to answer questions from an investigator after one of them suddenly drowns. Hatzi’s recurring water motif—used to examine themes related to death, rebirth, pain, catharsis, and life—nods to the artist’s career as a clinical psychologist.
Cecily Brown, Untitled (2020)
A surge of competitive bidding sent this fragile work by Cecily Brown to nearly double its high estimate of $600 at Heritage’s “Urban Art” auction. This editioned, untitled piece executed on fine bone china is a signature work by the London-born, New York-based artist, who explores sexual imagery in a gestural abstract expressionist style with sensual colors and fragmented bodies.
Banksy, Walled off Hotel (2017)
Given the frenzied demand for the street artist’s work, this quintessential Banksy print unsurprisingly sold for more than five times its high estimate at Heritage’s “Urban Art” sale. The digital print, which references Israel’s annexation of Palestinian lands, is meant to act as a souvenir poster of the Banksy-owned and -designed Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem. The boutique hotel, which opened in 2017, is located directly beside Israel’s 26-feet-tall concrete barrier in the occupied West Bank and has, as the artist described, “the worst view of any hotel in the world.”