🍷 Twombly's Bacchus: Buy or Bye?

+ Gribbon's Gendered Gaze Skyrockets + Rothko's Colorful Ascent + Picasso's Cubist Stability

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The Hammer is a series from Frame&Flame that reviews past auction performances and upcoming lots to identify artists whose markets are 'heating up.'

This week’s The Hammer includes:

  • 📈 Heating Up: Jenna Gribbon's star is on the rise, with skyrocketing auction prices and a high sell-through rate solidifying her as a new power player in the contemporary art scene.

  • 🔍 Lots to Watch: A triple-threat November auction showcases Cy Twombly's promising rarity, Rothko's color-filled investment lure, and Picasso's Cubist market anchor.

Read Time 05 minutes

📈 Heating Up

Jenna Gribbon is a name that has been resonating in both private sales and exhibitions. With a strong showing in museums around the world, this Brooklyn-based painter has redefined the act of looking through her paintings.

She brings a provocative intimacy into her works, captured through her keen eyes and agile hand. As markets notice her work, it's time we dissect the data to understand her market value.

Jenna Gribbon, Pollyanna Wrestlers (2018)

🔴 Market Signals

Averages Over the Last 36 Months

  • Yearly Lots Sold: 8

  • Sell-through Rate: 92.5%

  • Average Sale Price: $89,000

  • Price Over Estimate: 117%

These metrics suggest an increasingly positive trend for Jenna Gribbon's works. The hammer ratio of 3.04 only solidifies her market credibility.

🦞 Recent Auction Highlights

  • Set List Focus, 2020: Auctioned at Christie's in May 2023, it sold for $403,200 against a $40,000–$60,000 estimate. That's a hammer ratio of +706%.

  • Limpid pools like me, 2021: In June 2023, it fetched $299,598 against a $60,000–$80,000 estimate, a +242% increase over the estimated price.

  • Pollyanna Wrestlers, 2018: This piece surprised everyone when it went for $283,830 in a Christie's London Evening Sale in October 2023, crossing its estimate by +127%.

However, not all lots see the same fortune:

Upgrade to unlock the full story behind these numbers, including upcoming auctions of the artist, price points, top lots performance, and more…14-day trial available.

🔍Lots to Watch

Cy Twombly, Untitled (Bacchus 1st Version II) (2004) estimated at $18 million

Cy Twombly's Bacchus painting, specifically "Untitled (Bacchus 1st Version II)," is slated to hit Christie's auction block on November 7th with an estimated value of $18 million. To set the scene, the only other portrait-orientation Bacchus by Twombly sold for $15.3 million seven years ago. If you're looking at landscape orientations, one fetched $46.4 million in 2017 and another commanded $41.6 million last year. Keep your eye on the portrait-format; this $18 million estimate might even look conservative, given the hammer ratios for Twombly's larger landscape Bacchus works.

💭My 2 Cents: The Bacchus series from Twombly isn't just visually arresting—it's also a structured play across three different sets, each commanding different levels of market interest. The work up for auction comes from the first set, notable for its rarity and textual inscriptions. Given the seven-year gap since a portrait Bacchus came to auction and the escalating prices in the landscape-format counterparts, there's a numeric indication that this painting has a strong upward trajectory for collectors. If you're looking for an market signal in Twombly's oeuvre, the hammer ratios and temporal gaps between sales are compelling markers. While it's not about betting on a sure thing, the data suggests a robust value proposition.

Upgrade for the full batch of lots for this week, including works by Mark Rothko and Picasso…14-day trial available.

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