Art Market

10 In-Demand Works on Artsy This Week: December 7, 2020

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.

Jean Michel-Basquiat, Milk and Asbestos (1980–84)

This unique work by Jean Michel-Basquiat garnered immediate interest when it was uploaded to the platform by Mandarin Fine Art Gallery in late November. Featuring one of the legendary street artist’s iconic skulls, this painting was created during one of Basquiat’s most fruitful periods; 1982 is the strongest year for his work at auction. This past summer, an untitled 1982 Basquiat head sold for a hammer price of $13.1 million at Sotheby’s, setting a new record for the auction house’s highest online sale at the time.

Genesis Tramaine, Catching Fish (2020)

Prior to selling, demand for this recent painting by Brooklyn-based artist Genesis Tramaine was through the roof. The work was part of Richard Beavers Gallery’s presentation at this year’s online-only UNTITLED, ART Miami Beach. Gaining renown for her characteristically expressive work reclaiming Eurocentric interpretations of Christianity, Tramaine was recently featured in a solo exhibition at the Rubell Museum. Titled “Sanctuary,” the show included a series of eight paintings created during Tramaine’s six-week residency at the museum.

Amoako Boafo, Sibi (2018)

This portrait by the sensational Amoako Boafo was uploaded as part of TRESART’s presentation at Art Miami and CONTEXT Art Miami’s combined online fair. This now-sold painting received a surge of inquiries—not surprising, given the frenzy surrounding Boafo’s market this year. Named one of Artsy’s most influential artists of 2020, Boafo has consistently shattered auction estimates this past year, and his work has been acquired by major institutions including the Guggenheim, LACMA, and Vienna’s Albertina Museum. The Ghanaian artist is also planning to open his own gallery and studio complex in his native Accra.

Kehinde Wiley, Portrait of Nelly Moudime II (2020)

This recent Kehinde Wiley painting, which was included in Stephen Friedman Gallery’s online viewing room for Art Basel in Miami Beach, has seen a flurry of inquiries. The portrait—depicting model and former manager of the legendary New York City eatery Pastis, Nelly Moudime—is part of a series of works Wiley began in 2019, exploring the continuing resonance of ’90s hip-hop culture in New York. Heralded as one of the most influential African American artists of our time, Wiley is renowned for his regal depictions of Black men and women, the most famous of which is his 2018 official White House portrait of President Barack Obama.

Adrian Ghenie, Nevermore (Portfolio of 7 artworks) (2020)

A portfolio of seven recent collaged prints by Romanian artist Adrian Ghenie has been seeing significant collector interest since being uploaded to Artsy by Munich’s Kunzt Gallery. Ghenie’s famously grotesque, richly textured works are also now on view at Pace’s New York gallery, in an exhibition titled “The Hooligans.” The show’s works, all created within the last year, explore the crucial role of rebellion in the creative process.

Edgar Plans, Dream Team (2020)

Another artwork that received a surge of attention at Art Miami and CONTEXT’s virtual fair is this now-sold mixed-media painting by Spanish artist Edgar Plans. Uploaded as part of Galería Casa Cuadrada’s booth, Plans’s work is showcased alongside similarly cartoon-inspired paintings by Colombian artist and works by fellow Spaniard and Portuguese textile artist , among others.

Glenn Ligon, Runaways (1993)

Glenn Ligon
Runaways, 1993
Artsy x Wright
One of Glenn Ligon’s most celebrated works, this portfolio of 10 prints is currently available as part of the Artsy x Wright sale “Modern and Contemporary Visionaries.” This powerful series of lithographs—editions of which are included in the collections of prominent museums such as the Whitney and the Metropolitan Museum of Art—was initially inspired by 19th-century wanted posters for runaway slaves, written by slave masters. The disturbing and intimately detailed descriptions in these posters led Ligon to ask 10 of his friends to describe him as though they were filling out a missing person’s report. The resulting texts are printed in these works, offering prescient contemporary commentary on perception and race.

Olafur Eliasson, Your Reserved Berlin Sphere (2016)

Also included in Artsy x Wright’s “Modern and Contemporary Visionaries” sale is this work by the revered Danish-Icelandic conceptual artist Olafur Eliasson. Part of an edition of 40, the piece was originally created in order to raise awareness and funds for the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Eliasson’s work features circular elements that change color based on the time of day, the ambient light, and the viewer’s position.

Kara Walker, Carry Thru (2020)

Carry Thru
Kara Walker
Artists For a New Georgia Benefit Auction
As the upcoming runoff election for Georgia’s Senate race inches closer, Artsy has partnered with Artists for a New Georgia to host a benefit auction raising funds for the New Georgia Project Action Fund. Included in the sale is this new monotype by Kara Walker, which departs from her iconic silhouettes but continues her explorations of slavery-era folklore. Founded by former state representative Stacey Abrams in 2014, the New Georgia Project Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization that works to register, organize, and mobilize voters in Georgia.

Toyin Ojih Odutola, Untitled, from the Exquisite Corpse suite (2014)

This lithograph by Toyin Ojih Odutola is a quintessential example of how the artist explores and treats skin as topography, intricately rendering Blackness in exquisite, infinitely layered detail. Part of an edition of 45, the print is currently included in Heritage Auctions’s “Trending Contemporary” sale. Following a breakthrough year of exhibitions at London’s Barbican, Jack Shainman, and the ICA Boston, Odutola was recently named one of Artsy’s most influential artists of 2020. Her Barbican exhibition, “A Countervailing Theory,” is scheduled to travel to the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Denmark this February.
Beatrice Sapsford
Shannon Lee is Artsy’s Associate Editor.