Artnet Auctions Presents: Why This Exemplary Painting by Eddie Martinez Presents an Ideal Collecting Opportunity

We shine a spotlight on one of the most exciting artworks currently available on Artnet Auctions through May 28.

Installation shot of Eddie Martinez, "Cowboy Town." Photo by Prudence Cuming Associates. Courtesy of Timothy Taylor Gallery.

Over the past 15 years, Eddie Martinez has risen through the contemporary art scene to become both a highly regarded painter and a veritable art market star. Since his 2006 New York solo debut with ZieherSmith Gallery, Martinez has continued to push his own brand of expressive, energetic contemporary abstraction forward. Within his oeuvre, his 2014 canvas Clown Amoeba stands as an excellent example of the artist’s evocative handling of paint and color, and we are thrilled to offer this piece in our current Post-War & Contemporary Art online auction.

Martinez’s scribbles, bursts, and dabbles come together in frenetic, all-over compositions. Although he is self-taught, Martinez possesses a deep understanding of the history of painting, and his work is often linked to artistic legacies of Phillip Guston and Arshile Gorky. What’s more, Martinez has had ambitious and successful solo exhibitions in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and proven that his market is strong across three continents.

Eddie Martinez, Clown Amoeba (2014).

To make Clown Amoeba, Martinez used a combination of oil, enamel, and spray paint on canvas in a multimedia approach that is typical of many of his works. The title of the work references both the character of the Joker, a dually comic and tragic figure who is central to the misfit psyche, while the “Amoeba” nods to the spread-out shape of the composition. Clown Amoeba shows Martinez pushing the limits of gesture in a confined space, without allowing the space to feel limiting.

This offering of this work presents an ideal collecting opportunity for anyone looking to acquire an exemplary piece by a contemporary artist whose profile and prices are on the rise. At the beginning of 2019, a larger painting by Martinez on the private market would have likely approached $100,000. By May 2019, a work at Phillips Hong Kong sold for $300,000. Just six months later, a painting shattered that benchmark when it sold for $2 million in Hong Kong.

As of April 2020, Martinez’s total global sales volume has already reached over $4.6 million across a total of 20 lots. In 2019, 30 lots by Martinez amassed a total global sales volume of $8.5 million, making 2020 on track to surpass 2019 in terms of sales volume and number of lots offered. What’s more, only six works by Martinez sold over $400,000 in all of 2019, while four works by Martinez have already passed this mark as of April 2020. For an abstract work by Martinez with a single-owner provenance, Clown Amoeba is exceptionally well-priced, carrying an estimate of $150,000–$200,000.

To learn more about this original work by Martinez, click here to see the lot page on Artnet Auctions.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the specialist for this lot, Jason Rulnick, with any questions. 

Senior Specialist, Contemporary Art

[email protected]

(212) 497-9700 ext. 161


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