10 In-Demand Works on Artsy This Week: September 16, 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.
Qwaya, snowball (2021)
For his stage name, South Korean artist Qwaya combined the letter Q from the words “quest” and “quiet” with the expression “gwaya,” or “overnight” in Korean. Through this pseudonym, the artist recounts still, quotidien stories in his vibrant work. This painting, which frames a brightly lit snowglobe of a jubilant young boy and a snowman against a nocturnal backdrop, is a reflection of the emerging artist’s unique stage name. The piece sold shortly after it was uploaded to Artsy in early September by Seoul’s Atelier Aki, where Qwaya is the focus of an online solo exhibition, “In Our Moment,” on view through September 17th.
Amoako Boafo, Sunflower shirt (2021)
This luminous, contemplative portrait by the esteemed Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo is featured in Mariane Ibrahim Gallery’s presentation at The Armory Show, where it immediately captured the attention of Artsy collectors. Boafo, included in the 2020 edition of The Artsy Vanguard, continues his pursuit of capturing the joyous and complex nature of Black life in this dazzling work through vibrant colors and rich textures. This past August, a commissioned triptych by Boafo was launched into space on the panels of a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket ship.
Genieve Figgis, Royal Friends (2020)
Royal Friends by Irish artist Genieve Figgis was recently shown by Helwaser Gallery at The Armory Show and has since acquired a flurry of inquiries from Artsy collectors. Figgis is best known for her riffs on the opulent art from the Rococo period; she incorporates warped, ghoulish figures into the lavish interiors of aristocratic society. In this work, the artist renders an anonymous group of friends, who appear in position to have their royal portrait done, with thick and loose brushstrokes in a distorted stateroom.
Luke Edward Hall, Bacchus (2021)
This romantic, Cocteau-like drawing by Luke Edward Hall racked up serious interest this past week after it was uploaded by the Athens-based gallery The Breeder, which is showing his work at Liste Art Fair Basel 2021. In 2016, Hall was commissioned by Burberry to create hand-drawn illustrations to feature alongside the British fashion house’s spring/summer ’16 international campaign. Most recently, the British artist collaborated with Diptyque on the release of one of its limited-edition Mediterranean-inspired fragrances. He illustrated the French perfume house’s iconic oval label and packaging with references and odes to the idyllic coastline.
Sarah Crowner, Falling Yellows (2021)
Interest in this geometric painting by Sarah Crowner saw a recent surge following its appearance at the artist’s solo exhibition “Plant Based” at Berlin’s Galerie Nordenhake. The show—Crowner’s first major solo presentation in Germany—features seven sewn-canvas paintings and four organic-shaped sculptures she executed over the course of this spring and summer. Crowner created this abstraction, which is now sold, by rearranging and stitching together shaped pieces of yellow painted canvas, leaving the seams visible. The artist’s singular approach follows the 1960s practice of hard-edge painting and also reflects on her careful attention to production and reproduction in art. Crowner’s work is also featured in Kayne Griffin’s presentation at The Armory Show.
Amanda Baldwin, Heightened Emerald Hillside (2021)
The Seattle-born, New York–based artist Amanda Baldwin walks a fine line between order and disorder in her still lifes, playing with flatness, color, perspective, and patterns. Working primarily in oil and acrylic, Baldwin presents inanimate objects that are richly layered and blown up in order to reveal lifelike attributes. This landscape with a verdant forest is emblematic of the artist’s ongoing practice, and is included alongside works by Soimadou Ali Ibrahim and Han Bing at Galerie Marguo’s presentation at Art Paris 2021.
Aboudia, Sans Titre (2021)
This sprawling acrylic-on-canvas work by Ivorian artist Aboudia has attracted a substantial amount of interest since it was uploaded to Artsy in late August by Galerie Hurtebize in Cannes. This interest in the artist’s graffiti-inspired mixed-media work is consistent with the skyrocketing demand for his drawings on the auction circuit. All of Aboudia’s top 10 auction records have been achieved within the last six months, consistently soaring into the six-figure range.
Banksy, Girl with Balloon (2004)
Banksy’s iconic image Girl with Balloon first appeared in 2002 when it was stenciled onto the walls under London’s Waterloo Bridge. The artist went on to release 150 signed and 600 unsigned prints of the work—offering £150 for the signed editions. This past June, a spray-painted version fetched £2 million ($2.86 million) at auction. A screenprint edition of the work is available in Bonhams’s “Prints and Multiples (London, Knightsbridge)” sale with a starting bid of £85,000, giving collectors an excellent chance to acquire this sought-after piece ahead of the sale’s close on September 22nd. Next month, the infamous shredded version of the work, Love is in the Bin (2018), will be back on the auction block at Sotheby’s with an estimate of £4 million to £6 million ($5.5 million to $8.3 million).
Christo, Surface d’Empaquetage (Packing surface) (1959)
This paint-and-lacquer-on-paper work by the celebrated sculptor Christo is for sale at the Bonhams auction “Wrap It Up: The Legacy of Christo & Jeanne-Claude,” dedicated exclusively to the late collaborative artist duo. Surface d’Empaquetage (Packing surface) has a rich history: It was originally given as a gift by Christo to Dr. Alexandre “Sacho” Todorov, a childhood friend of the artist. The drawing, which was authenticated by Matthias Koddenberg on behalf of Christo’s estate, marks the artist’s shift from figuration to abstraction and coincides with the beginning of his famous “Wrapped Can” series. With a starting bid of $15,000, the textured work offers collectors a unique opportunity to collect a more accessible drawing by the artist. Christo’s preparatory drawings have sold for as high as $2 million, as their market belatedly grows. The renewed demand follows this month’s wrapping of the 164-foot tall Arc de Triomphe in Paris—the husband-and-wife duo’s 24th completed outdoor installation, as well as their first posthumous project.
Alex Katz, Black Dress Portfolio (2015)
At Artsy and Forum’s “Post-War and Contemporary Art” sale, a series of nine life-size silkscreens by Alex Katz are available with a starting bid of $80,000. The 2015 work features the legendary artist’s recurring theme of the black dress, nodding to one of his earliest paintings, The Black Dress (1960), featuring his wife and muse Ada in six iterations of the classic garment. These silkscreens depict nine models Katz has painted over the years in similar casual poses against a stark yellow backdrop, each wearing their own interpretation of the Breakfast at Tiffany’s–esque shift dress. This editioned project is a prime representation of the artist’s monochromatic portraiture, with his signature clean lines and blocks of color.