With all the buzz circulating the international art world, how can one gauge which artists are hot—i.e., garnering the attention of the most avid collectors—and, just as importantly, which are starting to warm up? Welcome to the first edition of the Heat Index, a new recurring Artspace report that tests the market temperature of in-demand artists by means of an (unscientific) combination of auction results, gallery chatter, fair sales, and other indicators. Here are a few artists who are burning up the charts, along with the numbers to prove it.
– The young upstart artist Adam Pendleton has already watched his prices go on the rise—a silkscreen on canvas went for $15,000 at Phillips late last year, more than three times what a larger painting fetched in 2011. Now his primary-market works are said to bring in much more, boosted, no doubt, by the attention surrounding his first solo show at Pace earlier this year, and his plans to unveil a massive vinyl collage on the façade of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum later this week.
– Had he lived to see it, German art provocateur Martin Kippenberger probably would have been enjoying his 60th birthday year. His $4 million auction record was demolished at Sotheby’s London in February when a 1990 self-portrait sold for $5.1 million—plus, the Hamburger Bahnhof currently has a major retrospective of 300 works surveying Kippenberger’s career on view through the summer.
– Jacob Hashimoto has been commissioned to create a permanent installation at the Fendi flagship in Milan this fall—a high-profile turn for the artists, who turned market heads in 2010 when a bamboo-and-paper work fetched $52,000 on a $4,000-$6,000 estimate at Bonhams.
– The Yoshitomo Nara single-artist sale at Sotheby’s Hong Kong earlier this month was a knockout success. The house expected to do about $2.4 million in sales, but raked in more than $9.6 million, propped up by two seven-figure paintings and an 89 percent sell-through rate.
– Scott Ewalt, longtime chronicler of pre-Giuliani New York, sold a “digital painting” depicting sometime collaborator Kembra Pfahler to fellow artist Kenny Scharf for $3,000 at Participant Inc., where his splashy showcase of Times Square sleaze closed yesterday.
– Pedro Reyes, subject of a current show at Lisson Gallery in London, was the talk of Mexico City’s annual Zona Maco fair last week, thanks to his display of musical instruments constructed from machine guns that he gathered from high-crime communities. Labor Gallery was reportedly selling the works for $20,000 apiece at the fair.
– Hot off the heels of his MoMA PS1 exhibition, French mixed-media artist Cyprien Gaillard made his auction debut last week with a strong showing at Phillips, surpassing high estimates on both a pair of photographs (£10,625, or $16,300) and a set of collaged postcards (£8,750, or $13,400).
– Diego Giacometti, the lesser-known brother of Alberto, set a new auction record with the $1.76 million sale of a bronze-and-glass table, which tripled its presale estimate of $400,000-$600,000 at Doyle New York auction house last week.
– Adriana Lara was the surprise first pick at SculptureCenter's annual "Lucky Draw" raffle earlier this month, where the winning collector chose a striking silkscreen-on-plastic work by the Mexico City-based painter over dozens of other pieces by stars like Carol Bove and Rachel Harrison.
– Auction darling Jacob Kassay can still command six figures on the secondary market. Last week the painter once again bypassed estimates at Phillips's "Under the Influence" sale with a silver monochrome going for £121,250 ($186,000) — well above its £90,000 ($138,000) high estimate.