Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Auction in London on October 13, which falls on the week of the Frieze Art Fair, will have “an offering of artworks by younger artists including Jacob Kassay,” according to a press release.
That Mr. Kassay’s name is so prominently featured (in that introduction, no other “younger artists” are mentioned) is no accident. The last year has seen Mr. Kassay’s work sell well over its estimated price. This first happened back in the fall of 2010, when an untitled painting by Mr. Kassay sold for $86,500, almost ten times above its estimate of between $8,000 and $12,000. Here is a detailed account of his rapid rise to art market superstar.
The Sotheby’s press release has these laudatory words for Mr. Kassay:
An exciting paradigm defining a new generation of up-and-coming talent is Untitled, a shimmering acrylic and silver depost work on canvas of 2009 by American artist Jacob Kassay. Heralded as a rising star, Kassay’s first solo institutional exhibition opens at the ICA in London in October. The work is estimated at £50,000 to £70,000.
That’s quite a lot of pressure to put on a young artist, but it’s not for nothing that his work sells. That said, those figures at the end of that description show Mr. Kassay’s auction estimates have started to catch up with the selling prices. His so-called “silver paintings,” like the Untitled lot at the Sotheby’s sale, are made through a process of plating. They range from reflective to opaque, some look burnt brown (like the one Ryan Foerster had hanging at the group show at his home in Brighton Beach). Is this high estimate accurate? Will Mr. Kassay continue to exceed expectations or will his bubble burst? We’ll have to wait for October.