50 Under 50: The Next Most Collectible Artists, Part 2

(Illustration by BLOUIN ARTINFO)

This is the second part of Art+Auction's “50 Next Most Collectible Artists.” To see the first part, click here.

To see works by the artists mentioned here, click on the slideshow.

 

Nathan Mabry

Collectors looking for clever humor might turn to the sculptures and drawings of West Coast native Mabry, who enjoyed his first solo outing at New York’s Sean Kelly gallery this past spring. (He is also represented by Cherry and Martin, in Los Angeles, and Praz-Delavallade, in Paris.) “He takes modernism and plays with it, mixing it with different ethnographic sources,” says Kelly. The show’s mashup of stylistic references included pre-Columbian iconography, the sculpture of Donald Judd and Richard Serra, and surf culture. Setting Mabry apart from his peers, according to the dealer, is “something that seems simplistic: quality.” Prices ranged from $40,000 to $75,000, and several pieces sold in the show’s first weeks. Mabry’s strong Los Angeles collector base is enhanced by a roster of fans in Europe and Korea. A solo show at the Nasher Sculpture Center, in Dallas, opened last April, and prices for the commissioned work featured in that show started at $350,000. —Eileen Kinsella

Tala Madani

Born in Tehran, trained at Yale, and now living and working in Los Angeles, Madani is among an ever-growing faction of young female painters who are expanding the boundaries of the medium with a?style and a language of their own. “It’s this really wonderful, painterly treatment?of humanistic and cross-cultural moments that can be rough and raw and quite dynamic,” says Phillips specialist and former New Museum curator Benjamin Godsill. “We’re seeing a lot of interest?in the work.” Madani exhibits with Pilar Corrias, in London, and last year her work was the subject of solo exhibitions at?the Nottingham Contemporary, in the U.K., and Moderna Museet, in Malmö, Sweden. Her paintings are “just starting to peek into the secondary market,” Godsill adds. “The top pieces are commanding very respectable prices and interest from very respectable parties.” Prices realized at auction range from $9,375 to nearly $40,000. —Rachel Wolff

Jason Martin

Mining the very plasticity of paint, this 43-year-old Brit renders luminous, seemingly effortless compositions. “They are soothing and spiritual,” says L.A. Louver director Kimberly Davis, “and at a time filled with anxiety, people enjoy living with them.” Large-scale paintings range from £50,000 to £95,000 ($77–147,000), and Martin’s six international dealers, including London’s Lisson Gallery, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris, Galerie Forsblom, in Helsinki, Madrid’s Galería Javier López, and Anima in Qatar, maintain this rate in?sterling. His auction sales are in line with the primary market—?Thresh, 2007, sold last year at Christie’s London for £61,250 ($97,000) on an estimate of £35,000 to £55,000 ($56–87,000) — but, according to Davis, collectors seem reluctant to part with the?best pieces. Martin’s work is regularly seen on the fair circuit: Lisson released Boadicea for £70,000 ($105,771) at the Armory Show in March. —Deborah Wilk

Kris Martin

Don’t be fooled by the prankster performances, such as smashing and reconfiguring the same object each time it is exhibited, as he has done with a seven-foot-tall reproduction Ming vase. Martin’s conceptual work seriously probes the cerebral and profound. Discovered by countryman and curator Jan Hoet in 2001, the Belgian architect-turned-artist became an art fair darling after insisting on a moment of silence at 2007’s Frieze London, causing an actual hush on the typically cacophonous festival floor. “Collectors are attracted by the strong conceptual basis combined with witty and often unexpected forms,” says Daniel von Schacky, a contemporary art specialist at the Berlin auction house Villa Grisebach. At the Armory Show booth of Düsseldorf’s Sies + Höke gallery, Martin’s Festum, 2010, made with more than 200 found Christ figurines, sold for $50,000. —Sehba Mohammad

Julie Mehretu

One of the few female artists to break the million- dollar mark at auction—The Seven Acts of Mercy, 2004, sold for $2.3 million at Sotheby’s New York in 2010—the Ethiopia-born, New York–based artist is an established market favorite and a perennial good buy. Her often large-scale work, much of it blending architectural imagery and energetic abstraction, has an international following, says Alexander Branczik, head of contemporary art at Sotheby’s London. In fact, the house offered her characteristic Rising Down, 2008, at its contemporary art auction last April in Doha, where the 8-by-12-foot painting met its high estimate with a price of $3,077,000. Mehretu is represented by Marian Goodman in Paris and New York and White Cube in London; past solo exhibitions include the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Opera House, and the Guggenheim Museum. She appeared in Documenta 13. RW

Wangechi Mutu

The Nairobi-born, New York–based artist is best known for haunting, meticulously constructed collages of creatures that appear to be part woman, part beast, part celestial being. As of late, Mutu—who shows with Barbara Gladstone in New York, Susanne Vielmetter, in Los Angeles, and Victoria Miro, in London—has expanded her practice to include sculpture, video, and installation. Curators worldwide have taken notice: Mutu has solo exhibitions scheduled this year at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, in Sydney, and at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. “She’s someone you see in the homes of some of the most active and interesting collectors,” says Phillips specialist Benjamin Godsill. “People on the cutting edge have been looking at her and collecting her for the past decade, and now there’s a second generation of collectors looking at the work. She’s on a steady climb into the art history books.” Mutu remains in high demand on the primary market, and last November, My Strength Lies, 2006, sold for $260,500 at Sotheby’s New York, working back toward her $400,000 record, set in 2008. —RW |

Ernesto Neto

The popular Brazilian artist “is a perfect poster child for a generation of contemporary artists taking up the heritage and the tradition of the Neo-Concretes in Brazil,” says Laura González, a specialist in Latin American art at Phillips. Neto has had solo exhibitions that have taken over the Museo d’Art Contemporanea Roma, the Park Avenue Armory, and the Museum of Modern Art, and he is represented by Tanya Bonakdar in New York, Tomio Koyama in Tokyo, and Fortes Vilaça, in São Paulo. Although known for his immersive installations of nylon, netting, Lycra, and foam stretched and sculpted into quasi-organic forms, domestically scaled pieces have fetched as much as $74,500 at auction, and his appeal among collectors continues to grow. “A collection of Latin American art without Neto is not complete,” González asserts. “And I think that is starting to extend over to the general contemporary market as well.” —RW

Eko Nugroho

Although already one of the most prominent and in-demand young artists from his region, Nugroho continues to gain international recognition for his work, both in museums and?in the marketplace. The Indonesian artist’s bright, illustrative, street-art-inflected paintings have been acquired by Deutsche Bank, the Asia Society Museum, in New York, and the Singapore Art Museum, and by such major Indonesian collectors as Oei Hong Djien and Budi Tek. In a solo exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris last year, his figures sprawled across walls and floors and were rendered into three-dimensional forms. Nugroho’s work, notes Ingrid Dudek, a senior specialist in the Asian 20th century and contemporary art department at Christie’s, “is representative of a robust young art world in Indonesia.” Nugroho exhibits with Arndt in Berlin and Singapore, Ark Galerie, in Jakarta, Pékin Fine Arts, in Beijing, and Lombard Freid Projects, in New York, and his works have sold for as much as $55,000. —RW

Laura Owens

Owens is a painter’s painter, a rigorous practitioner whose lively compositions toy with color, figuration, abstraction, collage, and the confines of the canvas itself. The Los Angeles–based artist is represented by Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, in New York, and Sadie Coles, in London, and her work is held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Centre Pompidou. “She has her own language she’s honed for ages now, this signature style that’s very playful and light but also has a serious edge running through it,” says Darren Leak, a specialist in postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s London. “When she debuted [in the late 1990s] she was superhot; then it kind of dipped down a bit,” he adds. But there has been a palpable resurgence, and over the past few years, her prices have occasionally reached into the low six figures at auction. “You can feel it,” Leak says. “All the right people are buying the work.” —RW

Adam Pendleton

Some might call Pendleton a force of nature. Having work collected by Sol LeWitt and MoMA, initiating his Black Dada manifesto, which promises to revive the moribund form, and joining the blue-chip Pace Gallery all by the age of 28 seem to be signs of a career on the fast track to superstardom. Yet despite multiple references and complex configurations, Pendleton renders objects so polished, it’s hard not to wonder if they’re simply bait to lure the uninitiated into an ideological conversion. (His breakout moment is widely considered to be The Revival, a mock ministry staged at Performa in 2007.) “His work asks probing questions about how we understand the present through multiple layers of cultural artifacts from history, taking them apart and reconstructing them in elegant and novel formats,” says Dominic Molon, chief curator of the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis and a longtime Pendleton champion. The artist’s work is currently casting its spell on the public through the collections of the Studio Museum in Harlem, Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The response to his first Pace exhibition at the gallery’s London venue, where pieces ranged from $15,000 to $75,000, was enormously positive. After his outing with Shane Campbell at Frieze New York last month and by the time his show opens at Pace New York next year, his following will only have grown. DW

Alex Prager

Prager’s glossy, cinematic photographs of carefully styled, noir-inflected vignettes (think Cindy Sherman meets David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive) have been remarkably in demand since her inclusion in the 2010 edition of the Museum of Modern Art’s career-making New Photography series. The artist is represented by Yancey Richardson, in New York, M+B Gallery, in Los Angeles, and Michael Hoppen, in London, and her photographs have been acquired by MoMA, the Whitney, SFMoMA, Kunsthaus Zurich, and Stockholm’s Moderna Museet. In addition to attracting substantial primary market interest, Prager’s work has been successful on the auction block: Annie, from 2007, sold for $30,000 on a $5,000-to-$7,000 estimate at Phillips New York in April. “The secondary market is just developing,” says Phillips specialist Benjamin Godsill. “Young collectors especially have a real feel for the work—it speaks to them quite clearly.” —RW

Seth Price

Price burst onto the scene as a Conceptualist artist-philosopher in the mid-aughts, and his market has recently come into focus thanks in large part to his ongoing series of vacuum-formed tableaus. The works—bomber jackets, knotted lassos, Gerbera daisies, and sculpted breasts in vacuum-sealed shells—have been acquired by?such collectors as Dakis Joannou. One piece fetched $158,500 on a $30,000-to-$40,000 estimate at Sotheby’s New York in May 2012. “His work is very much of the zeitgeist, using unusual materials but still with a reference point to painting,” says Alexander Branczik, head of contemporary art at Sotheby’s London. Price exhibits with Friedrich Petzel and Reena Spaulings Fine Art, in New York. RW

Imran Qureshi

Qureshi shot to fame after winning the 2011 Sharjah Biennial prize for his poetic and political site-specific installation, Blessings upon the Land of My Love, spread across a brick courtyard at the Beit Al Serkal show site. Qureshi’s work, steeped in traditional Mughal miniature painting techniques that make use of squirrel-tail brushes and natural pigments, is infused with the current sociopolitical pathos of his native Pakistan, where he is represented by Canvas Gallery. According to Abha Housego, a specialist at Indian auctioneer Saffronart, “this year he was awarded Deutsche Bank’s Artist of the Year prize, invited to undertake the roof commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and selected for the Venice Biennale, indicating that he is moving from strength to strength.” Adding fuel to the fire was the $35,000 final bid on one of his miniatures at Christie’s New York in March, besting prices for similar works in the Armory Show booth of his London gallery, Corvi-Mora, which ranged from $20,000 to $30,000. —SM

Robin Rhode

Born in Cape Town, Berlin-based Rhode “is unusual in that he has a profile on all continents,” says dealer David Maupin,?who picked up the 37-year-old multimedia artist last year. (He is also represented by Stevenson Gallery, in South Africa, White Cube in London, and L&M Arts, in Los Angeles.) Rhode is currently the subject of a solo show at Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria. His multipanel photos that document street-based performances have nearly doubled in price over five years, costing upwards of $160,000. His auction record, set at Sotheby’s in November, is a bit lower: $92,500 for Street Gym, an 18-panel photograph. Rhode’s sculptures, animations, and videos, many of which comment on colonialism and class, have appreciated less quickly. Sculptures currently hover around $98,000, and videos, which also chronicle his performances, cost $46,000. “I think his early videos are very powerful and will be seen as key works,” asserts art adviser Wendy Cromwell. —Julia Halperin

Michael Riedel

Collectors didn’t quite know what to think of Riedel when he made his New York debut at David Zwirner Gallery in late 2005. What a difference seven years makes. Now the reigning king of Frankfurt’s art scene—who was once heralded for his performance-cum-club nights— Riedel gained wide notice in 2012 when Zwirner devoted its entire Armory Show booth to three of his paintings. They sold out to American, European, and South American collectors within 30 minutes for $50,000 a pop. Today, Riedel’s silkscreens on canvas, often based on texts he finds online and manipulates digitally, sell upwards of $100,000. (Riedel also produces mock art magazines, which collectors can commission to be personalized with nonsense text for $40,000.) The artist, who is also represented by Galerie Michel Rein, in Paris, particularly appeals to collectors looking for cerebral fare engaged with visual and digital media, notes art adviser Wendy Cromwell, who adds, “The fact that there aren’t a lot of painters who are in that space makes him stand out.” —JH

Analia Saban

“What stands out about Analia’s work is her use of materials and interest in dissecting the process of painting and of artmaking in general,” says Emily Ruotolo, assistant director of Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, where attention from collectors has been steady since the artist’s September 2012 New York solo debut. The Argentine-born, Los Angeles–based Saban, who is also represented by Thomas Solomon, in L.A., London’s Josh Lilley, Praz-Delavallade in Paris, 11x7 Galería, in Buenos Aires, and Sprüth Magers in Berlin, makes sculptural forms from shredded canvases and marks her paintings with arrows indicating the direction of her brush. “She contrasts ideas of negative and positive space, of organic and structural, the personal and the universal,” says Ruotolo. “The crux of it all is what happens in between these territories. It’s what we at the gallery—and a lot of our collectors— enjoy about her work the most.” Prices range from $6,000 to $30,000. —RW

Jason Salavon

Salavon’s works illuminate how new technology infiltrates our culture and consciousness. But it’s his talent for conceptual clarity, matched by an affinity for formal beauty, that earned him such a broad-based following. When L. A.’s Mark Moore Gallery brought several ethereal images Salavon constructed by layering portraits by several Old Masters to the 2010 Pulse Art Fair in Miami, they sold out in just a few hours. “The first buyer was an Asian man new to collecting,” says gallery owner Moore. “The second was the curator of photography at the Met.” That work’s debut in the “After Photoshop” exhibition at the museum last fall provided the latest lift to Salavon’s prices, according to Marco Nocella of Ronald Feldman Gallery, in New York, which hosted a show this spring that ranged from single photographs ($6,000) to a large, unique installation ($85,000). Eric Bryant

Shinique Smith

In Smith’s highly tactile work, abstraction is a force that moves seamlessly from canvas to sculpture: The New York–based artist uses vintage clothing, textiles, and ephemera to add color and delineate line in her hulking three-dimensional forms. Both critically and curatorially adored, she installed a groundbreaking exhibition this year, with support from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, at the city’s Charles White Elementary School, and a major solo show is on the 2014 schedule at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. For James Cohan, Smith’s New York dealer, the work’s resonance is deepening as Smith develops it. “The relationship the pieces have to the body has increased,” he says. And international collectors have been on alert ever since the artist’s debut at Cohan’s gallery this past March, when prices ranged from $15,000 to $50,000. (Smith also shows with Yvon Lambert, in Paris, David Castillo, in Miami, and Brand New Gallery, in Milan.) “We’ve had steady interest from museums in America,” he says, but “now there’s quite a bit of interest in Asia as well,” thanks in large part to the gallery’s presence in Shanghai. —RW 

Raqib Shaw

The Calcutta-born Shaw, who has lived and worked in London for the past 15 years, blends “Eastern mythology, Indian miniatures, and Western painting” in his opulent work, says Arne Glimcher of Pace Gallery, which represents Shaw’s work in New York. (The artist exhibits with White Cube in London and Thaddaeus Ropac in Salzburg and Paris.) His dense compositions, often studded with rhinestones and glitter, place animals, humans, and sometimes hybrids of the two amid lush vistas and ancient ruins. The technique, Glimcher says, “is incredibly refined. But the energy, compositionally, is on the scale of abstract painting.” Demand has been robust he adds, especially among American and European collectors. “Everything we’ve received, we’ve sold immediately.” Works on paper range from $75,000 to $300,000; paintings go from $200,000 to over $1 million. In November Pace will host the artist’s biggest New York exhibition to date, with new paintings and sculptures filling all three of its 25th Street galleries. —RW 

Chiharu Shiota

The capacious installations wrought by this prolific 41-year-old, in which found fragments and objects are suspended in impenetrable webs of wire and wool, mine notions of remembrance for their sentiment. But if their fraught-yet-tender emotion seems to make reference to Louise Bourgeois, the physical tangle of lines owes a nod to Ab-Ex action painting. Shiota’s installation In Silence, on view at Art Basel this month, encloses a charred grand piano and two rows of empty chairs in a network of wool. The artist also renders these compositions in 1-to-3-foot rectangular boxes, which appeared at the 2013 Armory Show booth of her Paris representative, Galerie Daniel Templon, for €34,000 to €40,000 ($44–52,000). “Her prices have increased by 20 percent over the last two years,” says gallery director Anne-Claudie Coric. Installations, priced up to €100,000 ($130,000), are held by Erika and Rolf Hoffmann of Berlin and the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Sydney, according to Matthias Arndt, her dealer in Berlin, where the artist has been living for the last 15 years, since leaving her native Japan.SM

Morgane Tschiember

The French sculptor was offered a solo exhibition at Paris’s Galerie Loevenbruck in 2007, after her friend and studio mate, artist Olivier Mosset, chose her for a group show there. Her contribution was to brick in the gallery’s front window with breeze blocks—lightweight bricks rendered from ash—cemented with pink plaster. A similar mix of playful refusal and provocation characterizes Tschiember’s oeuvre, which tickles Minimalist tropes by introducing opposing elements. Her current “Rolls” series, for example, effects painting by force, pressing oil- and water-based paints through layers of steel mesh. New sculptures of delicate, semiopaque glass bubbles that settle on Tetrisoid concrete shapes attracted admirers at the Armory Show last March. “She belongs to the new generation playing with the history of painting and sculpture, trying to find new territories,” says Loevenbruck director Alexandra Schillinger, who reports that a group of museum trustees in Paris for Tschiember’s solo exhibition at the Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard last year snapped up almost all of the pieces in her concurrent gallery presentation, at prices ranging from $7,000 to $80,000. A curatorial favorite with more than 60 group shows under her belt, Tschiember is virtually assured wider exposure in the coming year. Sarah P. Hanson

Danh Vo

Vo’s family fled Vietnam in 1979, a fact referred to consistently if obliquely throughout the 38-year- old sculptor’s body of work. His transformations of copious artifacts into meditations on identity (as seen in the Guggenheim exhibition for his 2012 Hugo Boss Prize) or stark signifiers of political-is-personal circumspection (as in the concurrent Marian Goodman Gallery show that comprised objects once belonging to former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara) provoke a never-ending discourse among the art-initiated. “Nobody is neutral on this work,” says Hamza Walker, associate curator of the Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago, where the artist had a solo show?last fall. “Everybody has a very pointed opinion.” More will be formed during a solo exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris?in May and when his work appears at this year’s Venice Biennale Arsenale show. His gallery representation includes Chantal Crousel, in Paris, and Isabella Bortolozzi, in Berlin, where he currently resides. His secondary-market record, Mamy Poko Pants Diapers, 2011, beat?an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000 to sell for $33,750 at Christie’s last year. Dialogue be damned, that figure speaks to solid support. DW

Jorinde Voigt

The influence of music and science?on German artist Voigt—a trained cellist who hails from a family of scientists—is palpable. Her collages and drawings, marked by sweeping, lyrical strokes, take inspiration from sources such as Roland Barthes’s A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments and Beethoven’s 32 sonatas. Dealer David Nolan reluctantly admits fairs have played a major role in the international recognition the artist has recently received, including the much talked- about section at his booth at the last ADAA Art Show. Voigt’s collector base expanded from Europe to North America and Asia, with shows at Christian Lethert, in Cologne, Regina Gallery in London, and Galerie Klüser, in Munich. Prices range from $8,000 to $75,000. The Museum of Modern Art and the Centre Pompidou both bought drawings from Nolan before Voigt’s first exhibition at the New York gallery last year. An exhibition in Toronto followed, and she is in talks with several U.S. museums about solo shows. —EK

Brenna Youngblood

Reluctant rising star Youngblood caused some commotion when the acronym that followed from the title of her 2012 debut at L.A.’s Honor Fraser, “The Mathematics of Individual Achievement,” was discovered. Noticed while toiling?for her MFA at UCLA for the clever compositions of her photo collages, Youngblood has shifted gears in the ensuing six years to experiment with formalism, material, and process, proving herself to be as deft a practitioner as her original supporters first observed. But the slickness that marks her early work is now not so much missing in action as abandoned in the course of the artist’s new pursuits. Holding her oeuvre together is an unerring, wry humor that gives even questionable compositions credibility. “Her market is emerging,” says her New York dealer, Jack Tilton, who offers pieces from $8,000 to $18,000. “About 50 percent of what she makes sells quite quickly. Other work is more challenging.” Her collector base is mostly American, “but that will change once we start promoting abroad,” says Tilton. Visibility was boosted by a show at Galerie Nathalie Obadia in Brussels that closed last March, which coincided with an outing at?the Studio Museum in Harlem. Youngblood’s work is also held in the collections of the UCLA Hammer Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. DW