Art Market

Market Brief: Collectors in Asia Are Driving Demand for Loie Hollowell’s Paintings

Shannon Lee
Jun 22, 2021 5:14PM

Loie Hollowell, Linked Lingams (yellow, green, blue, purple, pink), 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Sotheby’s.

The latest

Last Friday, Loie Hollowell’s painting Linked Lingams (yellow, green, blue, purple, pink) (2018) broke the artist’s auction record when it sold for HK$16.5 million (US$2.1 million) at Sotheby’s “Contemporary Curated” evening sale in Hong Kong. That represented a 98% increase over her previous record, set just over a week earlier. In addition to quintupling its high estimate, the result for Linked Lingams also marked a new peak for the recently skyrocketing demand for the New York–based artist’s sensuous abstractions.

Key figures

  • Hollowell’s work first appeared at auction in May 2018, when her radiant canvas Transformation in Green and Red (2015) sold for $68,750—over three times its high estimate—at a Sotheby’s day sale. This successful debut came just a little over a year after it was announced that Hollowell would be joining Pace Gallery’s artist roster, and around the same time that she had her first solo exhibition in Asia, at Pace’s Hong Kong outpost.
  • Hollowell’s second auction appearance, in September 2018, would see her secondary-market highpoint soar into the six figures with the sale of Linked Lingam in blue, gray, pink and copper (2018), which achieved $110,000 against a $30,000 high estimate at Christie’s.
  • In addition to Hollowell’s Hong Kong debut, between 2018 and 2020, Pace held a total of four solo shows of the artist’s work in its New York, London, and pandemic-necessitated online galleries. Within that time, demand for Hollowell’s work continued to build steadily, with primary-market prices reaching as high as $250,000 and secondary-market prices nearing half a million dollars by 2019.
  • Since the opening of the artist’s first major institutional solo show at Shanghai’s Long Museum this past April, the market for Hollowell’s work has surged exponentially, with records shattered at auctions in Asia week after week. A Christie’s sale in Hong Kong in early May saw the artist’s secondary-market record pass the $500,000 mark. Just two weeks later, it breached $1 million with the sale of First Contact (2018) at a Phillips auction in Hong Kong, for HK$10.8 million (US$1.4 million). Friday’s $2.1 million Sotheby’s sale left all of Hollowell’s prior records in the dust.


While the benchmark for Hollowell’s work has been set by collectors in Asia, Pace has established a solid global foundation for the artist’s market. Backed by this enormous momentum, it’s likely that Hollowell’s market will continue to expand along with increasing institutional recognition around the world. Meanwhile, smaller paintings by the artist are still priced at relatively accessible levels—GRIMM sold one for $35,000 at Frieze London’s online edition last year. The artist’s demand on Artsy has paralleled broader market interest, with the number of inquiries on each available work on the platform increasing year over year, and nearly quadrupling in 2019.

Explore more works by Loie Hollowell.

Shannon Lee