Gagosian’s first “Artist Spotlight” viewing room series ended with the sale of a multi-million dollar Jenny Saville painting.
Jenny Saville, Virtual, 2020. Oil on canvas, 78 3/4 x 63 in. © Jenny Saville. Courtesy Gagosian.
The first season of Gagosian’s “Artist Spotlight” initiative concluded last month with the multi-million dollar sale of Jenny Saville’s new painting Virtual (2020). The initiative, which was launched in April in response to the COVID-19 crisis, featured a single work by a different artist every week, focusing on 14 artists whose scheduled shows were affected by lockdown. The works, which were made available for purchase for 48 hours, were preceded by a range of editorial features, including videos, interviews, essays, artists’ playlists, and more.
The first season of Artist Spotlight featured works by artists such as Saville, Sarah Sze, Jennifer Guidi, Titus Kaphar, Mark Grotjahn, Urs Fischer, and Damien Hirst. Notable sales include Grotjahn’s Untitled (Capri 52.56) (2019) for $800,000, Hirst’s Veil of Hidden Meaning (2017–18) for $1.5 million, and Fischer’s Arcimboldo (2019) for $775,000. Gagosian noted that the initiative also led to sales of additional works by many of the featured artists—including a private sale of another Grotjahn painting for $5 million, and another work by Hirst for $2.2 million.
A spokesperson for Gagosian said:
From a sales perspective, the success of Gagosian’s Artist Spotlight series has transcended the individual work offered publicly each week. Fourteen individual works have been offered to the public, but almost 50 works have sold.
As physical gallery spaces reopen, Gagosian has stated it plans to continue the Artist Spotlight series, which will operate independently from its exhibition programming. The second season will launch this fall, and will feature works by John Currin, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, and Ed Ruscha, among others.
Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (Capri 52.56), 2019. Oil on cardboard 43 x 36 1/2 in. © Mark Grotjahn. Photo by Douglas M. Parker. Courtesy Gagosian.