An art market boom generally catapults a relatively unknown artist into the major league, with suitable price tag. I think I know who the next superstar will beby Ben Lewis / January 27, 2010 / Leave a comment
Published in February 2010 issue of Prospect Magazine
Guillermo Kuitca, Mozart-Da Ponte I (1995), oil, pastel and graphite on canvas: “a visual drama running from the stalls to the upper circle…”
Some great artists achieve fame and fortune early in their careers, like Picasso or Jackson Pollock. Others labour in poverty, recognised only after their death, like Modigliani. But there is a third story—of artists who are widely-known, highly regarded and whose work is even expensive from a relatively early point in their career, but whose reputation is, at some point, radically revised upwards. They move, so to speak, from the top 100, into the top 20. Francis Bacon, for example, has long been seen as an important British painter—and a good painting would have cost you £1-3m a decade ago—but it is only in the last five years that he has become one of the greatest postwar painters, with price-tags to match Rothko and Pollock. Lucio Fontana and Yves Klein are similar artists who have shot up the pecking order during the contemporary art boom of the last decade.