A quick look at Artnet’s price database tells us a little bit about the fairly thin market for Christopher Ofili’s work. Few paintings come to market by Ofili but there’s been some interesting recent activity. Earlier this year, Afro Red Web sold in London for a strong price of $1m within the estimate range.
Ofili’s price record was set in 2010 for a work made late in the last century, 9 of his top 10 prices have come in the last 6 years, including Afrodizzia which sold for $1m in 2005 and came to market last month but sold well below the $2m low estimate for $1.5m with fees.
Here’s Scott Reyburn on the infamous work that will be offered next month:
“The Holy Virgin Mary” will be included in Christie’s June 30 auction of postwar and contemporary art in London, estimated at about $2.3 million. The estimate reflects Mr. Ofili’s status as a respected midcareer artist whose critical reputation has been enhanced in recent years by retrospectives at Tate Britain in London and the New Museum in New York. His auction high is about $2.8 million, paid for the 1998 painting “Orgena” in June 2010.
Chris Ofili’s ‘The Holy Virgin Mary’ to Be Sold (NYTimes.com)