As the gold rush days of the NFT market fade, major auction houses are looking for new ways to cash in.
For its part, Sotheby’s delves even further into the history of computer art to answer it.
Later this month, the company’s New York branch will dedicate the latest edition of its Natively Digital sales series to generative art, a genre that dates back to the birth of the computer. The online event, which will run from April 18-25, will feature computer-generated works from early practitioners of the art form and those carrying on the legacy today.
“While NFT projects like CryptoPunks and the Bored Ape Yacht Club have made headlines around the world over the past year, few could understand how these NFTs relate to the history of art movements in the world. 20th century, including the first generative artists who paved the way. for computational art and algorithm-based art that has inspired many contemporary NFT projects,” said Michael Bouhanna, Co-Head of Digital Art at Sotheby’s, in a statement.
“Building on this legacy,” he continued, “the current generation of generative artists, with a particularly large proportion of female artists, featured in this curated sale, is growing and redefining the form of the 21st century. “
Headlining the 15-lot sale are three examples of generative art pioneers, each represented by both a historic physical artwork and their very first NFT.
Vera Molnár, a 98-year-old Hungarian considered one of the first female digital artists, will contribute a first plotter drawing of randomly generated squares, titled 1% mess (1976), as well as a new gridded digital illustration, 2% co-op mess #01 (2022), made as a kind of homage to the first.
Both pieces are estimated between $15,000 and $20,000, and $100,000 and $150,000, respectively.
Considered the first figurative computer drawing made in the United States – as well as one of the best-known images of generative art – Chuck Csuri Male sine curve portrait is expected to fetch between $50,000 and $70,000.
Meanwhile, the influential American artist’s only NFT, made just before his death in February, similarly depicts a distorted face. The face of change (2022), as the work is called, is estimated between $20,000 and $30,000 and comes with a metallic print on canvas signed by the artist.
Roman Verostko, a 92-year-old American computer artist, developed custom software to produce his algorithmic artworks from the early 80s. His two works of art in the sale, a pen-and-ink drawing called Manchester Illuminated Universal Turing Machine, #22 (1998) and an NFT titled A Self-Portrait Universal Turing Machine F0.UTM (2022), were inspired by Alan Turing and are estimated at between $10,000 and $15,000 each.
The sale also includes artwork by young crypto artists Tyler Hobbs, IX Shells (aka Itzel Yars), and Dmitri Cherniak. An NFT of this last artist, The difference between subtleties and subtle links (2022), will likely get the highest price at the event. Sotheby’s plans to sell for up to $1.5 million
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