10 In-Demand Works on Artsy This Week: January 14, 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.
Clare E. Rojas, Freedom Upon Re-Birth (2020)
Interest in this surreal desert scene painted by American artist Clare E. Rojas has been booming. Heavily inspired by folk art traditions, Rojas’s works often challenge traditional gender roles and highlight the power of femininity using symbols from nature, figuration, and abstraction to create poetic narratives. Based in San Francisco, Rojas is slated to have an upcoming solo exhibition at Jessica Silverman this year. She was also included in this month’s “Artists on Our Radar” roundup.
Eniwaye Oluwaseyi, Urban Pretty Boy (2020)
Part of Ross-Sutton Gallery’s current group show in New York, “BLACK VOICES: Friend of My Mind,” this wonderfully sensitive portrait by Nigerian painter Eniwaye Oluwaseyi has seen an explosion of inquiries in the short time it’s been on Artsy. The show, which also includes works by Amoako Boafo, Khari Turner, and Nelson Makamo, explores rest, wellness, and introspection as a radical act of love in the Black experience. This is the first exhibition at the new Soho-based gallery, which was founded by international art curator, advisor, gallerist, and artist manager Destinee Ross-Sutton as a commitment to physical art spaces.
Damien Hirst, Patience (2020)
This print by Damien Hirst is a recent example of the artist’s ongoing “Kaleidoscope” paintings. Describing the butterfly as a “universal trigger” in his 2005 monograph I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now, Hirst explained that just as everyone is frightened of glass or of sharks, “everyone loves butterflies.” Along with Hirst’s spot paintings, the works included in the series are some of the blue-chip artist’s most recognized works.
Jenna Gribbon, Doing Nothing (2020)
Part of the upcoming group show “Contemporary Domesticity” at Taymour Grahne Projects, this disarmingly intimate portrait by Brooklyn-based artist Jenna Gribbon has already received a number of inquiries. Gribbon’s canvases have been compared to those of Jean-Honoré Fragonard and Mary Cassatt in their ability to capture people in private, transient repose—or, as the title of this work suggests, doing nothing. Her recent solo exhibition at The Journal Gallery in New York presented a series of paintings titled “The Artist, Eroticized” featuring portraits of fellow up-and-coming artists including Devan Shimoyama, Doron Langberg, Chloe Wise, Anthony Cudahy, Salman Toor, and Dominique Fung.
Kiki Smith, Promising (2018)
Though she is perhaps best known for her corporeal sculptures exploring wildness and femininity, Kiki Smith is also a prolific and widely celebrated printmaker. This particular print, which is from an edition of 28, features a portrait of a woman with glittering stars radiating from her otherwise stark gaze, echoing Smith’s hallmark sense of wonderment.
Ayako Rokkaku, Untitled (2011)
This expressive canvas by the self-taught Japanese artist Ayako Rokkaku has seen significant demand since being uploaded to Artsy by Amsterdam’s Gallery Delaive. Rokkaku’s richly textured and colorful works are the product of applying paint directly to the canvas with her hands and have earned the artist a growing following of devoted collectors. Last year, a painting from 2017 by Rokkaku shattered its high estimate of HK$400,000 (US$51,000), selling for HK$2.7 million (US$357,000).
Justin Liam O’Brien, I’m Not Brave (2018)
Currently on offer as part of Artsy x Visual AIDS’s “Postcards from the Edge” benefit auction, this work by Justin Liam O’Brien has seen a steady stream of bids. Known for his tender figurative paintings, O’Brien recently joined the artist roster of Los Angeles’s Richard Heller Gallery, which recently exhibited a solo show of the artist’s work. The artist is also represented by Monya Rowe Gallery in New York.
Mark Beard, Untitled Nude Male / On the reverse, seated male nude (2000–01)
This charcoal figure drawing by Mark Beard is another popular work at Artsy x Visual AIDS’s “Postcards from the Edge” auction. Noted for his work as a stage set designer, Beard is also known for developing a number of artistic personas which all have their own distinct artistic practices. Beard’s work is included in many notable institutional collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art.
Leilah Babirye, Abambowa (Royal Guard Who Protects the King) (2020)
This ceramic sculpture by the Uganda-born artist Leilah Babirye has also received a flurry of bids at the Visual AIDS benefit auction. Reflecting the current enthusiasm for “Craft Figuration,” Babirye’s practice repurposes discarded objects and traditional African masks to give greater visibility to the diversity within LGBTQI+ identities. In 2015, Babirye fled her native Uganda for New York when she was publicly outed in a local newspaper. She was eventually granted asylum, and is currently represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery and Gordon Robichaux.
Liu Ye, Girl with Mondrian (2001)
Part of Phillips’s “Evening & Day Editions” sale, this lithograph by Liu Ye is currently on track to surpass its high estimate. Having grown up during China’s Cultural Revolution, Liu utilizes cartoonish simplicity in his work to reflect the innocence lost in Mao Zedong’s China. Liu also frequently borrows inspiration from Piet Mondrian, echoing his color palettes and sometimes, as in this piece, referencing the De Stijl artist’s work directly. The first Chinese artist to be represented by David Zwirner, Liu was recently recognized as one of the most influential artists of 2020 by Artsy as his secondary market continued to surge in the past year.