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Art Market

10 Standout Auction Lots on Artsy This Week: March 18, 2021

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 sales.

Jadé Fadojutimi, Untitled (2016)

Bids on this work by the British artist Jadé Fadojutimi quickly skyrocketed well past its £6,000 high estimate at Bonhams’s “Post-War & Contemporary Art” sale. In addition to this work, a 2015 canvas by Fadojutimi is included in the auction, bearing a similar high estimate of £6,000, which it has passed. This demand is demonstrative of Fadojutimi’s market rise in the past year; she was also featured in The Artsy Vanguard 2020. This year, the artist will be receiving solo exhibitions at Taka Ishii Gallery in Tokyo and ICA Miami, in addition to participating in the Liverpool Biennial.

Invader, Home Mars (2010)

Home Mars
Invader
Home Mars, 2010
Tate Ward Auctions
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At Tate Ward’s “Urban & Contemporary Art” sale, there’s a great deal of excitement surrounding this 2010 textured print by the French street artist Invader. Part of an edition of 50, the print is embossed to resemble Invader’s signature geometric mosaic tiles. As of writing, the work has passed its £6,000 high estimate with seven bids.

Toyin Ojih Odutola, Ei in Tokyo (July) (2012)

Ei in Tokyo (July)
Toyin Ojih Odutola
Artsy x Capsule Auctions
The opening bid on this luminous lithograph portrait by Toyin Ojih Odutola has already placed the work close to its low estimate of $3,500. The print is part of Artsy and Capsule Auctions’s “Modern and Contemporary Masters” sale, which closes on March 25th. Until then, the work is expected to continue attracting competitive bids.

Justin Liam O’Brien, Roadtrip (2021)

Roadtrip
Justin Liam O'Brien
Roadtrip, 2021
Bailey House Benefit Auction
This chalk pastel drawing by the emerging New York–based artist Justin Liam O’Brien is likely to sell for at least double its high estimate of $2,250. As of this writing, 20 bids have escalated the work’s price to $3,750 with ample time left in the sale. The drawing is part of a benefit auction for the New York City housing nonprofit Bailey House; the sale closes on March 26th.

Leonora Carrington, Operation Wednesday (1969)

It isn’t too often that a unique painted work by Leonora Carrington is made available on Artsy, making this eerie composition an exciting opportunity to collect work by the Surrealist master. On offer through Bonhams’s “The Mind’s Eye / Surrealist Sale,” the painting is a hallmark of example of Carrington’s wealth of imagination and uncanny ability to render dreamlike scenes.

Josef Albers, Study for Homage to the Square: Deep Warmth (1961)

At the “Artsy x Rago | Wright: Post-War and Contemporary” sale, this study for Josef Albers’s iconic “Homage to the Square” series presents an exciting opportunity. The painting—which will be included in a forthcoming Albers catalogue raisonné—is awash in shades of yellow, a color that Albers was particularly partial to; in 2017, David Zwirner devoted an exhibition in London to Albers’s fluency with the color. In addition to the work’s important standing within the artist’s oeuvre, the painting also bears impressive provenance, having previously been owned by the Pop artist , who passed away last year.

Leonor Fini, Sphinx Ariene (1973)

Another work that’s likely to attract high bids at Bonhams’s “The Mind’s Eye / Surrealist Sale” is this oil and gouache painting by Leonor Fini. Like Carrington, Fini is a long-overlooked female Surrealist artist who has just recently begun to get the recognition she deserves. Last summer, Fini’s 1938 canvas Figures on a Terrace (Composition with Figures on a Terrace) sold for $980,000 at Sotheby’s, setting the artist’s auction record.

Laurie Simmons, Four Petit-Fours (Study for Walking Cake) (four works) (1989)

This set of four confectionery prints by the photographer Laurie Simmons are artist’s proofs printed for New York’s famed Savoy restaurant; they hung in its private dining room from 1995 to 2011. The set is one of several promising lots at Rago Auctions’s “20 | 21” sale, which opens for live bidding on March 23rd. Simmons’s work is also currently included in Aperture’s Women’s History Month exhibition, “In Focus: Women Artists from the Aperture Print Program.”

Ayako Rokkaku, Untitled

Judging by the consistently high demand for Ayako Rokkaku’s work, this painting currently available through Seoul Auction’s “Spring Sale” is likely to do well. The frenzy surrounding the Japanese artist’s work reached a fever pitch last year—a majority of Rokkaku’s top 10 auction records were set in 2020. The most notable was the sale of a 2007 painting that shattered its high estimate of NT$5 million (US$177,100) and set the artist’s record at NT$11.7 million (US$416,600).

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Nets (GKSG) (2010)

This impressive painting from Yayoi Kusama’s seminal “Infinity Net” series is another standout lot at Seoul Auction’s “Spring Sale.” This past December, another painting from the series executed in 2007 netted HK$17.1 million (US$2.2 million) at Phillips and Poly Auctions’s “20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale.” Painted in 2010, the work currently available at Seoul Auction presents a rare opportunity to collect an iconic work by one of the most celebrated artists of our time.
Shannon Lee
Beatrice Sapsford