Thomas Houseago (b. 1972), Untitled, 2008. Plaster, wood, hemp, graphite and oilbar, 70½ x 47? x 40 in (179 x 121 x 101.5 cm). Estimate £25,000-35,000. Offered in First Open Post-War and

10 contemporary artists to invest in right now

A selection of artists whose reputations and markets are on the rise — featuring works offered in our Post-War and Contemporary Art auctions in February

Jordan Casteel

Jordan Casteel (b. 1989), Mom, 2013. Oil on canvas. 48 x 36 in (121.9 x 91.4 cm). Estimate £180,000-250,000. Offered in Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 12 February 2020 at Christie’s in London

Jordan Casteel (b. 1989), Mom, 2013. Oil on canvas. 48 x 36 in (121.9 x 91.4 cm). Estimate: £180,000-250,000. Offered in Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 12 February 2020 at Christie’s in London

Who? In 2010 the Colorado-born Jordan Casteel (b. 1989) typed ‘Best MFA programme’ into Google. Four years later she graduated from Yale School of Art and exhibited her works in a critically-acclaimed solo show at Sargent’s Daughters gallery in New York. Her rich, sensitive portraits are inspired by artists ranging from Jacob Lawrence to Kerry James Marshall and Alice Neel. ‘My intent is to highlight the magic of our existence as black bodies, and the physical spaces we occupy,’ she explains.

In March 2019, Casteel was the breakout star of Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction. Lot 1, Patrick and Omari, her double-portrait from 2015, was fought over by nine bidders before selling for £299,250 against an estimate of £40,000-60,000. It was only the second work by the artist, who had just turned 30, to appear at Christie’s. 

Recent exhibitions: The Baayfalls, The High Line, New York, 2019; Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze, Denver Art Museum, Colorado, 2019; Both, and, Stevenson, Cape Town, 2018.

If you like this artist you might also enjoy: Nicolas Party, Dana Schutz, Loie Hollowell

Lucas Arruda

Lucas Arruda (b. 1983), Untitled, 2011. Oil on canvas. 9 ½ x 11? in (24 x 30 cm). Estimate £50,000-70,000. Offered in Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on 13 February 2020 at Christie’s in London

Lucas Arruda (b. 1983), Untitled, 2011. Oil on canvas. 9 ½ x 11? in (24 x 30 cm). Estimate: £50,000-70,000. Offered in Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on 13 February 2020 at Christie’s in London

Who? The Brazilian painter Lucas Arruda (b. 1983) creates imaginary, semi-abstract landscapes and seascapes that conjure Romantic notions of the ‘sublime’. He mounted solo shows of his intimately scaled pictures at David Zwirner gallery in London in 2017, and in New York in 2019.

Aged 37, Arruda now has works in the collections of the Fondation Beyler in Switzerland, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, the Rubell Family Collection in Miami and Brazil’s Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo. The sale of Untitled  (2011) on 13 February will mark the first time his work has appeared in a Christie’s auction.

Recent exhibitions: Lucas Arruda: Deserto — Modelo, Cahiers d’Art, Paris, 2018; Deserto-Modelo “as above, so below”, Herald St, London, 2015; Lucas Arruda “Deserto-Modelo”, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, 2014.

If you like this artist you might also enjoy: Lorna Simpson, Gerhard Richter, Enrique Martinez Celaya

Henry Taylor

Henry Taylor (b. 1958), She might have loved those summer days but later she cried out!, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 71? x 71? in (182.7 x 182.7 cm). Estimate £120,000-180,000. Offered in Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 12 February 2020 at Christie’s in London

Henry Taylor (b. 1958), She might have loved those summer days but later she cried out!, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 71? x 71? in (182.7 x 182.7 cm). Estimate: £120,000-180,000. Offered in Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 12 February 2020 at Christie’s in London

Who? After a string of odd jobs (including 10 years spent working as a psychiatric nurse at a state hospital), Henry Taylor (b. 1958) graduated in 1995 with a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts. In 2007 he held his first solo museum show at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Inspired by his surroundings in downtown Los Angeles, he paints vibrant portraits of strangers and acquaintances, stirring up references from Manet and Matisse to Beckmann and Basquiat.

In 2017, just weeks before Taylor’s portrait of the rapper Jay-Z appeared on the front cover of The New York Times  style magazine T, his auction record was broken at Christie’s, with Untitled (Symbol) selling for £230,750 against an estimate of £30,000-50,000. A year later, I’ll Put a Spell on You  shattered that record, realising $975,000.

Recent exhibitions: NIECE COUSIN KIN LOOK HOW LONG IT’S BEEN, Blum & Poe, New York, 2019; the floaters, The High Line, New York, 2017; Henry Taylor, MoMA PS1, New York, 2012.

If you like this artist you might also enjoy: Kerry James Marshall, Elizabeth Peyton, Adrian Ghenie

Thomas Houseago

Thomas Houseago (b. 1972), Untitled, 2008. Plaster, wood, hemp, graphite and oilbar, 70½ x 47? x 40 in (179 x 121 x 101.5 cm). Estimate £25,000-35,000. Offered in First Open Post-War and Contemporary Art Online, 7-18 February 2019, Online

Thomas Houseago (b. 1972), Untitled, 2008. Plaster, wood, hemp, graphite and oilbar, 70½ x 47? x 40 in (179 x 121 x 101.5 cm). Estimate: £25,000-35,000. Offered in First Open: Post-War and Contemporary Art Online, 7-18 February 2019, Online

Who? For more than a decade, savvy collectors have been drawn to the monumental white, grey and brown sculptures made by British artist Thomas Houseago (b. 1972) in his large studio complex in Los Angeles. Using a variety of traditional and non-traditional materials — from clay and bronze to concrete and hemp — he infuses his totemic human forms with a poignant sense of vulnerability. 

Houseago’s institutional reputation has recently caught up with his market, with solo shows at the Royal Academy in London and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in the past year alone. 

Recent exhibitions: Thomas Houseago: Summer Exhibition 2019, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2019; Thomas Houseago. Almost Human, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris 2019; Pinault Collection Exhibition, Convent of the Jacobins, Rennes, France, 2018.

If you like this artist you might also enjoy: Tatiane Trouvé, Urs Fischer, Sterling Ruby

Loie Hollowell

Loie Hollowell (b. 1983), Standing in Light, 2018. Woodcut on paper, image 24 x 18 in (61 x 45.8 cm), sheet 28? x 21 in (71.5 x 53.2 cm), number twenty-two from an edition of twenty-five. Estimate £6,000-8,000. Offered in First Open Post-War and Contemporary Art Online, 7-18 February 2019, Online

Loie Hollowell (b. 1983), Standing in Light, 2018. Woodcut on paper, image: 24 x 18 in (61 x 45.8 cm), sheet: 28? x 21 in (71.5 x 53.2 cm), number twenty-two from an edition of twenty-five. Estimate: £6,000-8,000. Offered in First Open: Post-War and Contemporary Art Online, 7-18 February 2019, Online

Who? In September 2019, art-world insiders speculated that prices for Loie Hollowell (b. 1983), which had gone from just a few thousand dollars to more than $100,000 per picture in just three years, could soon pass the million mark. A month later, the artist made her debut in a Christie’s evening sale with one of her psychedelic paintings of curvaceous forms selling for £359,250. 

Described as a modern-day Georgia O’Keeffe, Hollowell evokes sensual experience through abstract geometries, delighting in the erotic overtones of her undulating forms.

Recent exhibitions: One opening leads to another, GRIMM, Amsterdam, 2019-20; Loie Hollowell: Dominant / Recessive, Pace, London, 2018; The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Artists, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, USA, 2018.

If you like this artist you might also enjoy: Huguette Caland, Kenny Scharf, Howard Hodgkin

Tala Madani

Tala Madani (b. 1981), (i) Orange Burn
(ii) Burning Hair
(iii) Pull Over
(iv) Pink Cake, 2006-07. Various media on canvas. Various dimensions. Estimate £20,000-30,000. Offered in Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on 13 February 2020 at Christie’s in London

Tala Madani (b. 1981), (i) Orange Burn (ii) Burning Hair (iii) Pull Over (iv) Pink Cake, 2006-07. Various media on canvas. Various dimensions. Estimate: £20,000-30,000. Offered in Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on 13 February 2020 at Christie’s in London

Who? Iranian artist Tala Madani (b. 1981) creates enigmatic narrative scenes that seek to deconstruct male stereotypes. She graduated with an MFA from Yale School of Art in 2006; 12 years later, her auction record was set at Christie’s in Amsterdam when The House  sold for €60,000. 

This price was no doubt enhanced by two recent solo shows at Pilar Corrias gallery in London, as well as her work being shown at the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial in Melbourne and the Whitney Biennial in New York. With her reputation rising, the group of four paintings offered in London could prove a wise investment.

Recent exhibitions: Oven Light, Portikus, Frankfurt, 2019; Tala Madani: First Light, MIT Visual Arts Center, Massachusetts, USA, 2016; Tala Madani. Rear Projection, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, 2014.

If you like this artist you might also enjoy: Imi Knoebel, Philip Guston, Willem de Kooning

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Genieve Figgis

Genieve Figgis (b. 1972), 17th Century Family, 2018. Acrylic on canvas. 39? x 55? in (100 x 140 cm). Estimate £20,000-30,000. Offered in Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on 13 February 2020 at Christie’s in London

Genieve Figgis (b. 1972), 17th Century Family, 2018. Acrylic on canvas. 39? x 55? in (100 x 140 cm). Estimate: £20,000-30,000. Offered in Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on 13 February 2020 at Christie’s in London

Who? Having been drawn to her ghoulish pictures (which look like Old Masters left to melt in the sun) on Twitter, it was Richard Prince who ushered the Irish painter Genieve Figgis (b. 1972) into the upper echelons of the New York art world. The following year, in 2015, Figgis signed to Almine Rech Gallery, which has outposts in London, Paris, Brussels, New York and Shanghai. 

In 2019, her auction record moved to $303,663. A macabre quality underpins Figgis’ paintings, which combine idealised bourgeois subjects with dark, surreal humour.

Recent exhibitions: Wish you were here, Almine Rech Gallery, Paris, 2018; Genieve Figgis: Romeo and Juliet, Met Opera, New York, 2016-17; Heavy Metal Picnic, Harper’s Books, East Hampton, 2016.

If you like this artist you might also enjoy: Tschabalala Self, Kehinde Wiley, Jonas Wood

Shara Hughes

Shara Hughes (b. 1981), Water Tower, 2007. Acrylic, metallic paint, spray enamel and glitter on canvas. 48 x 50 in (122 x 127 cm). Estimate £20,000-30,000. Offered in Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on 13 February 2020 at Christie’s in London

Shara Hughes (b. 1981), Water Tower, 2007. Acrylic, metallic paint, spray enamel and glitter on canvas. 48 x 50 in (122 x 127 cm). Estimate: £20,000-30,000. Offered in Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on 13 February 2020 at Christie’s in London

Who? Vogue  has described the paintings of American neo-Fauvist Shara Hughes (b.1972) as ‘ugly gorgeous’, and they already feature in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian and the Denver Art Museum, among others. Inviting comparison with the works of David Hockney, her colourful, imaginary landscapes are simultaneously familiar and disarming, straddling the boundary between abstraction and representation. 

Hughes’ auction record was set at Christie’s last year when Georgia, a large garden scene, sold for $337,500 against an estimate of $60,000-80,000.

Recent exhibitions: Shara Hughes: In Lieu of Flowers, Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, 2019; Shara Hughes: Surprise Anxiety, Pace Prints, New York, 2018; The 2017 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2017.

If you like this artist you might also enjoy: Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Sarah Morris, Frederick Hammersley

Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu (b. 1970), Untitled, 2001. Ink on mylar paper. 18¾ x 19? in (47.6 x 50.5 cm). Estimate £15,000-20,000. Offered in Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on 13 February 2020 at Christie’s in London

Julie Mehretu (b. 1970), Untitled, 2001. Ink on mylar paper. 18¾ x 19? in (47.6 x 50.5 cm). Estimate: £15,000-20,000. Offered in Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on 13 February 2020 at Christie’s in London

Who? Born in Ethiopia and now based between New York and Berlin, Julie Mehretu (b. 1970) creates virtuosic linear rhapsodies that aim to reflect the dynamics of globalisation. Her large, abstract canvases command some of the highest prices on this list — in 2010, Untitled 1  sold at auction for $1.02 million. Four years later, that record was obliterated when White Cube, the artist’s representative gallery, sold Mumbo Jumbo  for $5 million from its booth at Art Basel. 

In 2019, Black Ground (Deep Light) fetched $5.6 million at auction. For those with more modest budgets, however, Mehretu’s smaller works are still relatively affordable, and could prove to be a wise investment.

Recent exhibitions: SEXTANT, White Cube, London, 2018; HOWL, eon (I, II), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2017; In Praise of Doubt, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 2011-13.

If you like this artist you might also enjoy: Kara Walker, Mark Bradford, Cecily Brown

Harold Ancart

Harold Ancart (b. 1980), Untitled, 2013. Oilstick and soot on c-print mounted on Dibond, in artist’s frame. 15¾ x 19? in (40 x 50.5 cm). Estimate £10,000-15,000. Offered in 
First Open Post-War and Contemporary Art Online
, 7-18 February 2020, Online

Harold Ancart (b. 1980), Untitled, 2013. Oilstick and soot on c-print mounted on Dibond, in artist’s frame. 15¾ x 19? in (40 x 50.5 cm). Estimate: £10,000-15,000. Offered in First Open: Post-War and Contemporary Art Online , 7-18 February 2020, Online

Who? In 2018 the Belgian artist Harold Ancart (b. 1980) mounted his first UK solo show with David Zwirner gallery in London. According to one review, a number of big-name collectors came to eye up his bold, abstract canvases, no doubt aware that his auction record had been set at Christie’s two years earlier when Triptych: Untitled  sold for $751,500 against an estimate of $80,000-120,000. 

Frequently compared to the Abstract Expressionist Clyfford Still, Ancart recently completed a monumental site-specific painting for the front window of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, shown as part of the group exhibition Painting the Night  (2018-2019).

Recent exhibitions: Harold Ancart Presents New Sculptural Works in Jaipur, The Sculpture Park at Madhavendra Palace, Jaipur, 2020; Subliminal Standard, Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn, New York, 2019-20; Painting the Night, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Lorraine, France, 2018-19.

If you like this artist you might also enjoy: Henry Taylor, George Condo, Ugo Rondinone

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