🔥 Lots to Watch - 15 May 2024

Works of Shara Hughes, Daniel Richter, Gertrude Abercrombie and Genieve Figgis

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Thanks for all the great feedback from the lots I shared last Wednesday!

📈 Top Picks from the Last Issue:

I’m excited to share 4 artists and lots worth checking out for this week.

Note: The Christie's website was hacked, so some of the links are not working. I've been waiting to see if they would fix it, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Today’s issue is sponsored by Betterment, your next-gen finance ally, revolutionizing investing, retirement, and corporate financial wellness for you and your business.

1) Shara Hughes

Shara Hughes, Going Off, 2018

💭 My 2 Cents: Shara Hughes' "Going Off," from 2018, is a standout piece with her usual bold colors and imaginative style. Hughes is hot in the art world right now, showing everywhere from the Whitney Biennial to the Aspen Art Museum. Big names like the Whitney and Met collect her work, which shows her serious credibility. Her market stats are impressive: average lot values jumped 137.6% this year, and she has a solid sell-through rate of almost 80%. This piece, estimated at $80,000-$120,000, is a solid buy, especially considering her auction results often beat estimates by a huge margin. If you’re looking to invest, Hughes' rising popularity and strong market performance make "Going Off" a smart choice.

2) Daniel Richter

Daniel Richter, Wenn wer dt. Meister oder wer wird deutscher Meister, 1999

💭 My 2 Cents: Daniel Richter's "Wenn wer dt. Meister oder wer wird deutscher Meister" from 1999 is coming to auction. This piece is full of punk rock energy, with Richter's signature chaotic style that shows rebellion and surreal scenes. His market's pretty solid—61.04% of his works go for more than the low estimates, and a good chunk sells above high estimates. That average lot value? Around $64,808.27, not too shabby. The sell-through rate of 76.71% also tells us his works are in demand. But let's be real, the market for him has been a bit bumpy. In 2024, there was a 7.11% dip, so things are cooling off a bit after a hot streak. This piece, 220 x 180 cm in oil, lacquer, and spray paint, was part of the 1999 Scorpio Rising show and has a strong provenance from Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin. The estimate is between $70,000 and $100,000. Given his track record and the history of this piece, it’s a good pick for collectors who want something edgy and thought-provoking. Plus, his works often exceed expectations at auction, so there could be some upside.

3) Gertrude Abercrombie

Gertrude Abercrombie, The Truant, 1956

💭 My 2 Cents: Gertrude Abercrombie’s “The Truant” (1956) is hitting the auction block with a $50,000 - $80,000 estimate. Abercrombie, a key figure in Chicago's mid-20th-century art scene, blends surrealism with American rural themes. Her pieces sell for about 3.42 times their low estimates on average, showing strong demand and maybe low initial estimates. The sell-through rate is an impressive 95.36%, and 71.24% of her works go above high estimates. But watch out—the market dipped 34.24% in 2024, so things are a bit shaky. Considering Abercrombie’s track record, "The Truant" is a solid pick. Its provenance is tight, and it fits her popular themes. However, recent market volatility means you should keep an eye on upcoming auctions and market trends to make a smart buy.

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4) Genieve Figgis

Genieve Figgis, A Social Portrait, 2014

💭 My 2 Cents: Genieve Figgis’s "A Social Portrait" (2014) is hitting the auction block with a $60,000 - $80,000 estimate. Figgis’s work is all about that eerie humor and those ghostly figures. Her market is strong—average lot value is $93,131, sell-through rate is 86.4%. Demand is there. Sure, the market’s been up and down lately, but Figgis’s pieces usually smash estimates (hammer ratio of 2.57). This painting's got good provenance—Almine Rech to Phillips, Hong Kong in 2019. Collectors should jump on this. Figgis’s unique style and critique make her pieces stand out. If the market picks up, this could be a smart buy.

Glossary: The hammer ratio represents the relationship between hammer price and the average pre-sale auction estimate. This ratio determines how a lot performed in relation to its presale estimate. The better performing a lot is, the larger the hammer ratio. Any ratio above 1.2 indicates a high bidding intensity that exceeds expectations.

See you next Wednesday!

P.S. Want to promote your business to my community of 10,000+ art lovers & collectors? Advertise in Frame&Flame.

🔗 Market Stories

Christie's makes $94.6m in New York contemporary sales despite cyberattack and star lot's withdrawal (link)

Phillips's evening auction in New York notches $72.3m, buoyed by two fresh Basquiat paintings (link)

Why defining exactly who is and isn’t an artist matters: exploring official definitions and real-world impacts (link)

How to buy art on a $3,000 budget: tips for new collectors on making smart, personal purchases (link)

Explore how the art market is adjusting to new price realities and lower auction estimates post-2021 highs (link)

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