The Twitter Generation’s Top 36 Artists at Auction

Since 2009, these are the young artists whose stars have been shining the brightest.

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David Ostrowski
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Tauba Auerbach, "Untitled (Fold)" (2011)
Tauba Auerbach, Untitled (Fold) (2011). American artist Tauba Auerbach (born 1981) has had 83 works sold at auction and her average price at auction is $146,436.
Jacob Kassay, Untitled (2011). American artist Jacob Kassay (born 1984) has had 67 works sold at auction and his average price at auction is $120,888.
Joana Vasconcelos, "Marilyn (in 2 parts)" (2009)
Joana Vasconcelos, Marilyn (in 2 parts) (2009). French-Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos (born 1971) has had 58 works sold at auction. Her average price at auction is $78,619.
Oscar Murillo, "Untitled (Drawings off the wall)" (2011)
Oscar Murillo, Untitled (Drawings off the wall) (2011). Colombian artist Oscar Murillo (born 1986) has had 46 works sold at auction. His average price at auction is $173,625.
Wenas Heriyanto, Protection: Mother and Child (undated). Javanese artist Wenas Heriyanto (born 1986) has had 45 works sold at auction. His average price at auction is $29,886.
Thomas Houseago, "Moon Figure I" (2010)
Thomas Houseago, Moon Figure I (2010). British artist Thomas Houseago (born 1972) has had 40 works of art sold at auction. His average auction price is $112,307.
Lucien Smith, Hobbes, The Rain Man, and My Friend Barney / Under the Sycamore Tree (2011)
Lucien Smith, Hobbes, The Rain Man, and My Friend Barney / Under the Sycamore Tree (2011). American artist Lucien Smith (born 1989) has had 32 works sold at auction and an average auction price of $116,863.
Joe Bradley, "King Jason" (2010)
Joe Bradley, King Jason (2010). American artist Joe Bradley (born 1975) has had 30 works at auction and his average price at auction is $184,230.
Ned Vena, "Untitled" (2012)
Ned Vena, Untitled (2012). American artist Ned Vena (born 1982) has had 30 works sold at auction and has an average auction price of $49,140.
Gunawan Bagea. Penari Legong (2013). Javanese artist Gunawan Bagea (born 1971) has had 27 works at auction. His average price at auction is $23,163.
Flore Sigrist, "Série des miroirs rouges d'Aline" (2006)
Flore Sigrist, Série des miroirs rouges d'Aline (2006). French Swiss artist Flore Sigrist (born 1985) has had 25 works sold at auction. Her average auction price is $66,422.
Huma Bhabha, "Sell the House" (2006)
Huma Bhabha, Sell the House (2006). Pakistani artist Huma Bhabha (born 1962) has had 19 works sold at auction. Her average auction price is $40,321.
Adrian Ghenie, "The King" (2009)
Adrian Ghenie, The King (2009). Romanian artist Adrian Ghenie (born 1977) has had 17 works at auction. His average auction price is $207,224.
Mouteea Murad, Trial No. 81(2012)
Mouteea Murad, Trial No. 81 (2012). Syrian artist Mouteea Murad (born 1977) has had 17 works at auction. His average auction price is $83,167.
Ayman Baalbaki, "Being There (diptych)" (2008)
Ayman Baalbaki, Being There (diptych) (2008). Lebanese artist Ayman Baalbaki (born 1975) has had 17 works sold at auction. His work was included in "Glasstress," an exhibition at the 55th Venice Biennale. His average price at auction is $90,412.
Dan Rees, Artex Painting (2012)
Dan Rees, Artex Painting (2012). Welsh artist Dan Rees (born 1982) has had 15 works sold at auction. His average auction price is $67,184.
Elliott Hundley, "Let the whole house crash, Season IV" (2011)
Elliott Hundley, Let the whole house crash, Season IV (2011). American artist Elliott Hundley (born 1975) has had 14 works sold at auction. His average price at auction is $89,573.
Irwan Widjayanto, Menanti. Javanese artist Irwan Widjayanto (born 1970)
Irwan Widjayanto, Menanti. Javanese artist Irwan Widjayanto (born 1970) has had 13 works sold at auction. His average price at auction is $36,174.
Ryan Sullivan, June 3 - February 12, 2010, 2010 (2009). American artist Ryan Sullivan (born 1983) has had 12 works at auction. His average auction price is $87,745.
Abdulnasser Gharem, "Message/messenger" (2010)
Abdulnasser Gharem, Message/messenger (2010). Saudi Arabian artist Abdulnasser Gharem (born 1973) has had 12 works of art sold at auction. A video by his nonprofit Edge of Arabia was included in the 2009 Venice Biennale. His average price at auction is $147,461.
Jordan Wolfson, "Untitled" (2014)
Jordan Wolfson, Untitled (2014). American artist Jordan Wolfson (born 1980) has has 10 works of art at auction. His average auction price is $55,459.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, "Diplomacy II" (2009)
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Diplomacy II (2009). British artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (born 1977) has had 10 works sold at auction. Her average auction price is $124,412.
Klara Liden, "Bench" (2012)
Klara Liden, Bench (2012). Swedish artist Klara Liden (born 1979) has had 10 works sold at auction. Her average price at auction is $40,419.
Ahmed Askalany, "Kissing" (2011)
Ahmed Askalany, Kissing (2011). Egyptian artist Ahmed Askalany (born 1978) represented Egypt at the 2009 Venice Biennale. His work has been sold 10 times at auction. His average auction price is $39,422.
Alex Hubbard, "Dead in Pompeii" (2011)
Alex Hubbard, Dead in Pompeii (2011). American artist Alex Hubbard (born 1975) has had 10 works sold at auction. His average auction price is $82,550.
David Ostrowski
David Ostrowski. H (2009). German artist David Ostrowski (born 1981) has had nine works sold at auction. His average auction price is $201,138.
Theaster Gates, "Civil Tapestries VI" (2011)
Theaster Gates, Civil Tapestries VI (2011). American artist Theaster Gates (born 1973) has had nine works sold at auction. His average auction price is $96,965.
Israel Lund, "Untitled" (2013)
Israel Lund, Untitled (2013). American artist Israel Lund (born 1986) has had nine works sold at auction. His average auction price is $99,236.
Fredrik Vaerslev, Untitled (Frieze Garden Painting #02) (2011)
Fredrik Vaerslev, Untitled (Frieze Garden Painting #02) (2011). Norwegian artist Fredrik Vaerslev (born 1979) has had nine works sold at auction. His average auction price is $55,887.
Jonathan Wateridge, "Untitled (Mountain Wreck) (in 10 parts)" (2006)
Jonathan Wateridge, Untitled (Mountain Wreck) (in 10 parts) (2006). British artist Jonathan Wateridge (born 1972) has had four works sold at auction. His average auction price is $210,117.
Danh Vō, "Alphabet (M)" (2011)
Danh Vō, Alphabet (M) (2011). Vietnamese artist Danh Vō (born 1975) has had two works sold at auction. His average auction price is $91,375.
Michael Riedel, "Untitled (Td bicolor)" (2012)
Michael Riedel, Untitled (Td bicolor) (2012). German artist Michael Riedel (born 1972) has had two works sold at auction. His average auction price is $242,184.
Alex Israel, Installation view from "Alex Israel" at Peres Projects Kreuzberg (2011)
Alex Israel, Installation view from "Alex Israel" at Peres Projects Kreuzberg (2011). American artist Alex Israel (born 1982) has had two works sold at auction. His average auction price is $803,000.
Naz Kaya-Erdal, Beautifuli Lfe
Naz Kaya-Erdal, Beautiful Life (undated). Turkish artist Naz Kaya-Erdal (born 1974) has had two works sold at auction. Her work is in the Saatchi collection. Her average auction price is $100,249.
Christian Rosa, "Google Maps, My Ass" (2014)
Christian Rosa, Google Maps, My Ass (2014). Brazilian artist Christian Rosa (born 1982) has had one work sold at auction. The price of that work was $168,924.

Contemporary artists are entering the secondary market at seemingly younger and younger ages. Jacob Kassay was 26 when one of his silver paintings was first sold at auction in 2010. A 28-year-old Oscar Murillo saw his first work sell at auction in 2012: Untitled (Synthetic Trash Paintings) (2011). The meteoric rise of such artists has caused observers to theorize that such fervor is driven by speculators snatching up an artist’s early works—for a relative bargain—and then hoping to cash in on them at auction only a few years later. Other artists have entered the secondary market on a quieter note.

What they share in common—apart from youth, skills, and the dizzying race to the auction block—is that they’ve all entered the market relatively recently. In an effort to scope out other artists of this generation, what we’ll call the Twitter Generation, we came up with a list of the top 50 artists whose first work of art sold at auction in 2009 or after. From that list, we narrowed it down to those artists born in 1970 or later.

An Unsurprising Global List

In this context, many of these artists, like Tauba Auerbach, Alex Israel, and David Ostrowski, are household names, while others, like the handful from Java, are not on the radar of the Western art market. But in an attempt to keep the list an appropriate reflection of the generation that came of age at auction simultaneously with the rise of Twitter, we’re keeping it rooted in the numbers. The list is, unsurprisingly, quite global and includes artists from the US and Britain (like recent Turner nominee Lynette Yiadom-Boakye). It also includes artists from the Middle East, such as Abdulnasser Gharem, whose work first came to the attention of Western audiences at the 2009 Venice Biennale, where he presented a video with his nonprofit Edge of Arabia.

With respect to the Javanese artists, all three included here show extreme jumps in their auction records for their last two or three works sold, and their low-average sales numbers reflect that discrepancy. For example, although Wenas Heriyanto’s top two works at auction each sold for 22,000,000 INR ($367,579) in March of this year, the artist’s next highest work at auction went for $5,359 in 2013.

Parker Ito and Petra Cortright are among those artists who did not make the list. It’s somewhat surprising in the case of Ito and Cortright because their auction debut enjoyed so much fanfare in the press. Other artists on the secondary market—for example Kour Pour—have yet to come to auction (Kour Pour’s work will have its auction debut at Phillips New York next week), and thus are also not on the list.


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