Art Market

10 Standout Auction Lots on Artsy This Week: February 11, 2021

Beatrice Sapsford and Shannon Lee
Feb 11, 2021 7:01PM

In this series, Artsy’s Curatorial and Editorial teams offer a look at the auction lots we’re currently watching on Artsy. This selection includes hidden gems, popular works with the most bids, and promising lots from the latest auctions.

Omar Victor Diop, Khady (2011)

This regal photograph by Senegalese artist Omar Victor Diop is a strong example of how Diop celebrates Black identity through portraiture. The work is currently available as part of the Artsy for Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) benefit auction. Founded by Bryan Stevenson in 1989, EJI is a nonprofit providing legal representation to those who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. The benefit sale, which also includes works by Jessie Homer French, Jessica Stockholder, Takashi Murakami, and Purvis Young, will run online through February 25th.

Browse available works by Omar Victor Diop.

Keith Haring, Happy New Year New York City (1980s)

Keith Haring
Happy New Year New York City
Tate Ward Auctions

In the 1980s, New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority would paste over expired subway advertisements with sheets of matte black paper. This surface provided the perfect canvas for the city’s burgeoning street artists, the most notable of whom was Keith Haring. With white chalk, Haring embellished subway stations with his signature graphic style. This particular drawing, currently on offer through Tate Ward’s “By Collectors For Collectors” sale, is emblematic of such works and speaks to Haring’s deep love for and connection to the city.

Browse available works by Keith Haring.

Carmen Herrera, Rojo y Negro (Red and Black) (1993)

Carmen Herrera
Rojo y Negro (Red and Black), 1993

Having only risen out of obscurity in recent decades, the now 105-year-old Cuban American artist Carmen Herrera didn’t sell her first painting until she was 89 years old. Since then, her geometric abstractions have gained worldwide acclaim, and Herrera has been recognized as a pioneering forebearer of Op art and Minimalism. This print by Herrera is currently available as part of Bonhams’s “Geometric Abstraction Prints & Multiples” sale.

Browse available works by Carmen Herrera.

Victor Vasarely, Moire Wave (B. 1789) (1980)

Victor Vasarely
Moire Wave (B. 1789), 1980

This silkscreened acrylic box by the Hungarian French artist Victor Vasarely is quite literally making waves at Bonhams’s “Geometric Abstraction Prints & Multiples” sale. This Op art cube has already attracted a number of bidders who have pushed its current price squarely past its high estimate. With more than a week still left in the auction, we can expect that bids on this work will continue to increase.

Browse available works by Victor Vasarely.

Leon Golub, Run (2002)

Leon Golub
Run, 2002

Part of Bonhams’s “Post-War & Contemporary Art” sale, this visceral drawing by Leon Golub has been receiving strong interest with bids already meeting the work’s low estimate. The intimately scaled piece, rendered in chalk and acrylic, is among Golub’s last; the artist passed away in 2004 at the age of 82.

Browse available works by Leon Golub.

Ruth Asawa, Untitled (S.788, Hanging Sphere) (ca. 1960–69)

Ruth Asawa
Untitled (S.788, Hanging Sphere), circa 1960-1969

Given the excitement surrounding Ruth Asawa in the past year, this wire sculpture by the late Japanese American artist is likely to garner interest at Bonhams’s “Post War & Contemporary Art” sale. This small brass wire orb—at just 3.5 inches tall—has a low estimate of $35,000. Last July, one of the artist’s large hanging pieces sold for a record-breaking $5.3 million at Christie’s. With a slate of impressive auction results, a survey at David Zwirner, and a much-celebrated United States Postal Service stamp honoring her career, Asawa was one of Artsy’s most influential artists of 2020.

Browse available works by Ruth Asawa.

Brandon Thibodeaux, Path (2020)

Interest in this recent photograph by the Houston-based artist Brandon Thibodeaux has been high, with a flurry of bids sending the work’s price to nearly double its estimate. Part of the Houston Center for Photography’s 2021 benefit auction, the photograph is representative of Thibodeaux’s ongoing work documenting the American South in somber black-and-white images.

Browse available works by Brandon Thibodeaux.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled (1980)

This diptych by Cindy Sherman will be available as part of the live online bidding portion of Houston Center for Photography’s 2021 benefit auction, which starts on February 18th. The work’s starting bid is currently at $7,000, placing it within range of similar black-and-white self-portraits by the artist that have recently sold at auction.

Browse available works by Cindy Sherman.

Sonia Delaunay, Rhythm Colour no. 1076 (1939)

Part of Rago Auctions’s “Prints + Multiples” sale, this Sonia Delaunay lithograph is already attracting interest ahead of the auction’s live bidding, which will take place on February 17th. The print is one of two works by the innovative artist that are available at the Rago auction; the other is an etching from much later in her career. A pioneer of Orphism—a radiant blend of Cubism and Futurism—Delaunay created works that were bold explorations of color and form. The two works for sale at Rago are a testament to that spirit of geometric experimentation.

Browse available works by Sonia Delaunay.

Robert Rauschenberg, “LA Uncovered #5” from the L.A. Uncovered series (1998)

This screenprint by Robert Rauschenberg from his “L.A. Uncovered” series, printed in collaboration with Gemini G.E.L., is a product of the artist’s long-standing relationship with the legendary print studio. One of G.E.L.’s earliest collaborators, along with Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg made the studio a central part of his practice. This particular print is currently on offer as part of John Moran’s “Winter Modern and Contemporary” sale, with a starting bid of $3,000.

Browse available works by Robert Rauschenberg.

Beatrice Sapsford
Shannon Lee