Art Market

Inside the Market: Antonia Showering’s Paintings Continue to Shatter Estimates at Auction

Brian P. Kelly
Jul 6, 2022 9:47PM

Antonia Showering, We Stray, 2020. Image courtesy of Phillips.

The latest

British painter Antonia Showering set an auction record last week when her painting We Stray (2020) sold for £239,400 ($290,000), 379% over its £40,000–£60,000 estimate, during Phillips’s London sales. The work features the artist’s usual style—dreamlike figuration built up with layers of oils, featuring a mountain landscape that has become a recurring motif—and is the latest of several estimate-exceeding auction sales, an indication of the high demand for her work which now extends to the secondary market.

Key figures

  • Showering made her auction debut in March 2021 with Who do you follow? (2021), a painting that sold at Phillips’s “Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon” sale for £35,000 ($48,058), nearly nine times its low estimate of £4,000.
  • Following that sale, and group shows at Stephen Friedman Gallery, Baert Gallery, and others—as well as an online solo show with White Cube—Showering gained representation with Timothy Taylor in late 2021. In January 2022, she opened her first solo show at the London gallery.
  • In March 2022, in Phillips’s 20th-century and contemporary art day sale, her work It Wasn’t to Be (2017) shattered expectations, selling for £226,800 ($300,000)—a whopping 20 times its estimate.
  • On Artsy, Showering’s number of followers grew at more than twice its usual rate in the month following her 2021 auction debut and more than three times its usual rate following the March 2022 auction.
  • Showering’s work is currently on view at Kasmin’s West 27th Street location in New York in “Dissolving Realms,” a group show curated by Katy Hessel, on view through August 12th. There, she’s being exhibited alongside peers and the likes of Leonora Carrington, Lee Krasner, and Howardena Pindell. She will also be included in Timothy Taylor’s exhibition “A Thing for the Mind,” which places 12 contemporary artists in dialogue with Philip Guston. That show opens July 6th and runs through August 19th at the gallery’s London space, and features several firmly established artists such as George Condo, Carroll Dunham, and Maria Lassnig.

The takeaway

Showering’s latest auction result speaks to two trends we’re seeing across the market. The first, established at New York’s spring auctions and evident throughout this year’s fairs and major sales, is that the appetite for work by women artists has never been higher.

The second is the rise of artists—especially figurative painters—who make waves on the secondary market very quickly after establishing a primary-market profile. Yet while there are plenty of examples of young artists who have made news at auction then quickly faded from the headlines, Showering’s recent gallery representation and the fact that she’s being shown alongside well known art-world elders suggests that there’s a long road ahead for her career.

Brian P. Kelly