Following October’s $339.5M Frieze Week sales and November’s $1.29B New York auctions, December is a relatively quiet month. But despite having fewer auctions, there are still opportunities to buy work from both emerging artists and art world masters. Here is our selection of some of the best works available this month, all for under $5,000.
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
To be auctioned at Sotheby's New York — Dec. 06, 2018
As of last month, David Hockney set an auction record for the most expensive artwork sold by a living artist. This drawing is of textile designer Celia Birtwell, who was subject of many of his works, most famously alongside her husband in Hockney's double portrait, Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy(1971). Speaking of being Hockney’s sitter, she told the Guardian, “Being a muse is a strand of my life I never anticipated... I am very proud of the series of drawings David did in the 70s: he was very keen on me then and that shows in the drawings. He also did a drawing of me for the cover of French Vogue in the 80s. Posing was the unknown, but it has become part of me, like that painting.” This work is available to bid for online now until Dec 7, with proceeds going towards supporting the fight against AIDS.
2. Isabella Nazzarri, Il Grande Inverno, (2016)
Estimate: $3,823.45 - $6,371.25
To be auctioned at Phillips London — Dec. 05, 2018
Isabella Nazzarri's work is deeply personal. She describes her painting process as "meaningful and ritual", and always about metamorphis and transformation. "I let myself pass through the substance, the color, and what is being evoked by the matter itself." Rather than a specific concept, she says her painting is more about conveying a sense, "they rely on a sensory plane that invites the spectator to participate with his own personal sensibility." Her gestural brushstrokes are at once neat yet gestural, in what's been described by curator Daniele Capra as "a negotiation between control and control and centrifugal anarchic impulses." New to auction this year, this work by Isabella Nazzarri was created just two years ago. It's part of her Movimenti series, consisting of 25 warmly-colored paintings characterized by their neat yet gestural brushstrokes. Previously in a private collection in France, the work will be coming to auction for the first time ever.
3. Kiki Smith, OPEN, (1987-2010)
Estimate: $1,750 - $2,500
To be auctioned at Sotheby's Online — Dec. 07, 2018
Kiki Smith describes herself as “a thing-maker.” Her art often focuses on death and decay, referencing medical labs and dissection, as seen in OPEN. Before creating this work she had studied to become an emergency medical technician, something which had a huge impact on her work. The average price for her top works sold at auction is $253,660, with an average work selling at $15,325 over the last ten years, making this work on paper a more affordable way to get your hands on one of her works.
4. Pablo Picasso, Eight works: Picasso Lithographe I-IV (Cramer 55, 60, 77, 125)
Estimate: $4,470 - $5,748
To be auctioned at Bonhams Knightsbridge — Dec. 05, 2018
With an average Picasso work selling for $202,908 each over the last ten years, prints, multiples and works on paper are a (slightly more) affordable way to own one of his masterpieces. This work is selection of eight original lithographs — authorized copies of original works — including the lithographed covers.
5. Tamina Amadyar, Chinatown, (2018)
To be auctioned at Grisebach — Dec. 14, 2018
Adriaen van Utrecht , Vanitas - Still Life with Bouquet and Skull (2005) acrylic on birch
Appearing at auction for the first time in 2017, Berlin-based artist Tamina Amadyar is relatively new to the market. Since 2015, her work has been featured in six exhibitions, including a retrospective at Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin. Titles like Chinatown reference specific locations, but also reflect internal memories of how she felt at the time.