Top results for young artists and designers



In Artprice’s fortnightly series of auction rankings, today’s Friday Top looks at the best auction results since the beginning of 2016 for artists and designers under 40.

Top results for young artists and designers
Rank Artist Price Artwork Sale
1 Adrian GHENIE $4,500,013 The Sunflowers In 1937 (2014) 2016-02-10 Sotheby’s Londres
2 Adrian GHENIE $2,590,000 Self-Portrait As Vincent Van Gogh (2012) 2016-05-11 Sotheby’s New York NY
3 Tauba AUERBACH $1,305,827 Enfold/Fold (inner)/Enfold/Fold (outer) (2010) 2016-02-09 Phillips Londres
4 Tauba AUERBACH $970,000 Untitled (Fold) (2010) 2016-05-12 Sotheby’s New York NY
5 WANG Guangle $552,120 Terrazzo 2004.2.7 – 2004.4.5 (2004) 2016-04-03 Sotheby’s Hong Kong
6 Joris LAARMAN $500,972 Important ‘Bone’ chair (2006) 2016-04-27 Phillips Londres
7 Nate LOWMAN $365,000 White Escalade (2005) 2016-05-08 Phillips New York NY
8 Adrian GHENIE $285,414 Untitled (Elena Ceausescu) (2010) 2016-02-11 Sotheby’s Londres
9 Jonas WOOD $229,635 All Blue Australian Open (2012) 2016-02-12 Christie’s Londres
10 Alex ISRAEL $221,000 Untitled (Flat) (2011) 2016-02-29 Phillips New York NY
copyright © 2016


Young, but already fetching millions…

For the first months of 2016, the strongest young performer on the secondary market is Adrian Ghenie with three results in our top 10 Under-40 ranking. At 38, the Romanian-born painter has already integrated the permanent collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the SMAK in Ghent and the MOCA in Los Angeles, amongst others. Supported by the powerful Thaddaeus Ropac gallery (solo exhibition last autumn in Paris), the market appears to be besotted with Ghenie and has given him two new auction records since the beginning of the year. Both results were for paintings that make direct and strong references to Vincent Van Gogh: at Sotheby’s London in February his The Sunflowers In 1937 sold for $4.5 million and on 11 May his Self-Portrait As Vincent Van Gogh fetched $2.59 million against an estimate of $200,000 – 300,000 … Note that the latter work was shown at the last Venice Biennale, a top pedigree for collectors.
Even younger, Tauba Auerbach (born 1981) is today one of the most sought-after Contemporary artists in the world. In the last 10 years, her work has been exhibited at Jeffrey Deitch, Larry Gagosian, Gladstone, Paula Cooper (to name only the big galleries) and in several major museums including the MoMA in New York. Her auction record has not been renewed in 2016, but last February at Phillips in London she scored her seventh million-plus result. For now, her record stands at $2.285 million after her painting Untitled (Fold) sold at Phillips New York in November 2014.


The design of the ranks of Fine Arts

As designers have constantly proved since the 1940s, functional objects are sometimes also improbable sculptures… Nowadays, fresh examples of this phenomenon are being produced by Joris Laarman, the darling of Dutch design over the last decade. Born in 1979 in the Netherlands, Laarman studied Fine Arts and then went to the famous Eindhoven Design Academy. Highly in-tune with latest technology, he has earned a reputation as an innovator and the Groninger Museum gave him a retrospective exhibition last year (22 November 2015 – 10 April 2016). A few days after the closure of the exhibition, his iconic Bone Chair soared to a record of $444,000 when offered at Phillips in London… that was more than 10 times the asking price 10 years ago when 12 examples of the technical prowess were produced in polished aluminum (in 2006, the Barry Friedman gallery was offering the Bone Chair for $32,000). So what makes this flowing and living chair-sculpture so innovative? Essentially, the fact that it is made using a process optimization software created by the Opel car group to adjust the amount of material depending on the distribution of forces: material is added or removed from support and tension points as needed. Few designers ever reach this price level, especially so young…


Young Americans…

Still high in the rankings, the American artists Nate Lowman (American artists under 40), Alex Israel (The Best First Auctions) and Jonas Wood have been closely monitored by US art market ‘insiders’ for a number of years and their collaborations with prestigious galleries has attracted attention from powerful collectors. The newest on the market is the young Californian Jonas Wood and since last year his work has been much in demand at auctions. Supported by Larry Gagosian, Jonas Wood generated 11 results above $100,000 in 2015 reaching a peak of $840,000 on 16 October 2015 at Christie’s in London with his canvas Untitled (M.V. Landscape). Last year was therefore a turning point for the young artist who had never sold in six figures before. In 2016, he has already generated six more results above the 100,000 threshold.