Tauba Auerbach Value: Top Prices Paid At Auction

Sheena Carrington
written by Sheena Carrington,
Date of publication3 Jul 2024
Last updated4 Jul 2024
Untitled (Fold) by Tauba Auerbach - Christie's Image © Christie's / Untitled (Fold) © Tauba Auerbach 2011
Leah Mentzis

Leah Mentzis, Partnerships Manager[email protected]

Interested in buying or selling
Tauba Auerbach?

Browse artworks
Tauba Auerbach

Tauba Auerbach

16 works

Tauba Auerbach's artistry delves into complexities and conceptual depth, exploring the speculative theory of tetrachromacy and heightened chromatic perception. Her top works have entered the secondary market just once, predominantly held by private collectors. Debuting in 2012, her folded works fetched nearly $300,000 (USD), underscoring their magnetic appeal. While her paintings are scarce on the market, Auerbach's prints present an enticing opportunity for collectors to engage with her enigmatic aesthetic.

£1.4M for Untitled (Fold)

($2,285,000 (USD))

Untitled (Fold) by Tauba Auerbach - Phillips Image © Phillips / Untitled (Fold) © Tauba Auerbach 2010

Untitled (Fold), from Auerbach's Fold series, appeared at Phillips one year after the below work. Utilising her signature method of manipulating and spray-painting canvas over stretcher bars, Auerbach achieves a mesmerising gradient. These pieces stimulate contemplation on pattern recognition and surface intricacies, prompting curiosity about their deeper significance embedded within the technique. Selling for seven figures, this artwork fetched just below the subsequent piece at £1.19 million, reaching £1.4 million with fees, marking new auction highs for Auerbach's works. This sale showcases the demand for Auerbach's Fold series in the market and her innovative artistic vision.

£1.4M for Untitled (Fold)

Untitled (Fold) by Tauba Auerbach - Phillips Image © Phillips / Untitled (Fold) © Taube Auerbach 2011

Untitled (Fold) (2011) epitomises Auerbach's esteemed artistic approach. Beginning her Fold series in 2009, Auerbach employs a spray-painting technique by crumpling canvas and then stretching it, transforming its three-dimensional folds into a compelling two-dimensional composition. Despite its organic appearance, the underlying pattern is meticulously orchestrated through material manipulation. Auerbach's tactile method renders lines and creases, creating a gradual shift in colour tone achieved by spray application. This results in an interplay of light and shadow, transitioning from warm to cool hues. The artwork's random folding process adds complexity, inviting viewers to contemplate the interplay of intention and chance, challenging traditional artistic forms.This work sold at Phillips in October 2015, hammering at £1.2 million and achieving £1.4 million solidifying Auerbach's auction record.

£1.4M for Untitled (Fold)

($1,835,000 (USD))

Untitled (Fold) by Tauba Auerbach - Sotheby's Image © Sotheby's / Untitled (Fold) © Tauba Auerbach 2011

From the esteemed Macklowe Collection and auctioned at Sotheby's in November 2021, Untitled (Fold) (2011) boasts a rich exhibition history, notably featured in Auerbach's 2011 travelling exhibition, Tetrachromat. This exhibition explores speculative theories suggesting certain women possess four retinal cones, enhancing their chromatic perception beyond the standard three. Auerbach's meticulous study suggests tetrachromats discern dramatic variations in colors, from light to shadow, imperceptible to most. Her Fold series employs luminescent hues, echoing this heightened perception and inviting viewers into spectral possibilities and hyper-spatial realms. Auerbach's intricate technique blends the fabric's two and three-dimensional states, coined by her as the '2.5 dimension'. This work fetched £1.3 million (fees included), underscoring the captivating allure and luminosity of her Fold paintings.

£1.2M for Untitled (Fold) X

Untitled (Fold) X by Tauba Auerbach - Phillips Image © Phillips / Untitled (Fold) X © Tauba Auerbach 2009

Auerbach's seminal Fold works embody a fascinating juxtaposition, blending the apparent spontaneity of natural folds with a methodical approach that creates rhythmic patterns. Untitled (Fold) X (2009) stands out in this series, showcasing fabric's organic folds adorned with warm ochre hues. Auerbach's art, often likened to Renaissance trompe l'oeil, goes beyond by creating optical illusions of depth on a flat surface. These works blur the line between abstract and concrete, challenging historical representations with their intricate spatial complexity. Untitled (Fold) X sold for an impressive £1.2 million (fees included) at Phillips in February 2015, underscoring their allure and conceptual depth.

£1.1M for Untitled (Fold)

Untitled (Fold) by Tauba Auerbach - Phillips Image © Phillips / Untitled (Fold) © Tauba Auerbach 2010

An earlier work in Auerbach's Fold series, Untitled (Fold) (2010) evokes a dynamic interplay between graphic precision and tactile depth. Each fold meticulously crafted, Auerbach reveals a unique and captivating luminosity, challenging our perceptions and expanding conceptual boundaries. Unlike the dizzying optical effects of op art pioneers like Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley, Auerbach offers an enchanting iridescent colour spectrum, prompting contemplation on the intricate topographical relationships between hues. Untitled (Fold) fetched an impressive £1.1 million (fees included) at Phillips in October 2014, underscoring the fascination and aesthetic depth of her Fold series.

£1.1M for Untitled (Fold)

($1,805,000 (USD))

Untitled (Fold) by Tauba Auerbach - Phillips Image © Phillips / Untitled (Fold) © Tauba Auerbach 2011

“I am quite compelled by things that just barely work. The near impossibility is key,” remarked Auerbach speaking of her practice. This philosophy resonates deeply in her Fold paintings, where colours blend seamlessly, evoking a sense of effortless harmony. Yet, Auerbach's true exploration lies in the subtle nuances and hidden shades that challenge ordinary perception. Inspired by tetrachromats, who perceive a broader spectrum, Auerbach invites viewers to unravel the layers of her work, like Untitled (Fold) (2011). What may appear as blue to standard vision reveals complexities of light and shadow upon closer inspection. This piece, selling for for just over £1 million (fees included) at Phillips in May 2014, underscores Auerbach's profound impact in contemporary art.

£954,134 for Untitled (Fold)

($1,445,000 (USD))

Untitled (Fold) by Tauba Auerbach - Phillips Image © Phillips / Untitled (Fold) © Tauba Auerbach 2010

Auerbach's art boldly explores perception and imagination, aiming to redefine how we see and feel. Her works challenge the idea that only recognisable objects can affect us, asserting that art's sensory impact is equally significant. Auerbach articulates her intent clearly, aiming to create images that leave a lasting impression, shaping viewers' future encounters with art. In the depicted work, chartreuse transitions seamlessly into warm blush ochre, captivating observers. This powerful piece, achieving £954,134 (fees included), exemplifies Auerbach's skill in evoking deep emotions through her artistry and the demand for her Fold paintings.

£902,500 for Enfold/Fold (inner)/Enfold/Fold (outer)

Enfold/Fold (inner)/Enfold/Fold (outer) by Tauba Auerbach - Phillips Image © Phillips / Enfold/Fold (inner)/Enfold/Fold (outer) © Tauba Auerbach 2010

In her ambitious exploration of topology and perception, Auerbach presents a unique diptych, both in her artistic practice and the market. The process involves folding and spraying canvases, one inside and one outside, as the title suggests. Close inspection reveals detailed creases that echo each other. Positioned side by side, Auerbach creates a heightened colour gradient, prompting viewers to envision the creative process and the original two-dimensional essence. Enfold/Fold (inner)/Enfold/Fold (outer) (2010) attracted considerable attention, selling for £902,500 (fees included) at Phillips in February 2016.

£824,750 for Untitled

Untitled by Tauba Auerbach - Sotheby's Image © Sotheby's / Untitled © Tauba Auerbach 2010

Auerbach's Fold works blur the line between painting and sculpture, existing as captivating hybrids that dynamically engage with form and dimension. These artworks project a textured, three-dimensional presence from afar, drawing viewers in with their physicality. Yet, upon closer inspection, the fabric's nature unfolds, revealing intricate folds, creases, and undulations that define its sculptural essence. The interplay of light and shadow enriches this experience, adding depth to the vibrant colours across the canvas. Auerbach's pieces expertly balance between painting and sculpture, offering a fresh perspective on the convergence of these art forms. Untitled (2010), a testament to her mastery, fetched £824,750 (fees included) at Sotheby's in September 2017.

£671,531 for Untitled (Fold)

($970,000 (USD))

Untitled (Fold) by Tauba Auerbach - Sotheby's Image © Sotheby's / Untitled (Fold) © Tauba Auerbach 2010

Auerbach's artistic brilliance shines through in the exceptional work above, a hallmark of her pioneering series. Untitled (Fold) (2010) not only showcases her profound talent but also ranks among her top-selling pieces. Auerbach skilfully explores diverse colour fields in this artwork, presenting a serene cool indigo backdrop overlaid with vibrant green and magenta hues. The subtle folds evoke ripples on water, inviting viewers into a tranquil and introspective space. Auerbach's meticulous process and visionary artistry captivate and resonate deeply with audiences. At Sotheby's New York, this masterpiece achieved a sale of £671,531 (fees included), affirming Auerbach's artistic stature in contemporary art.

Leah Mentzis

Leah Mentzis, Partnerships Manager[email protected]

Interested in buying or selling
Tauba Auerbach?

Browse artworks
Tauba Auerbach

Tauba Auerbach

16 works