Art Market Overview: Julie Mehretu is Back

On 18 June 2021, by Vanessa Schmitz-Grucker

Ethiopian-born American painter Julie Mehretu has made a noteworthy return to the auction room.

Her aquatint Achilles (2015) sold for $50,000 at Christie’s on May 14.

Julie Mehretu (b. 1970) ranked among 2019’s top 10 female artists, but after Covid hit her works nearly dropped out of sight. Now they’re back. Her aquatint Achilles (2015) sold for $50,000 at Christie’s on May 14, far surpassing its $14,000 estimate. But since 2019, her prices in the Artprice rankings have plummeted from 15th place to 3,039th in the provisional standings. Nevertheless, demand for her work has clearly bounced back. The United States accounts for 68% of her sales, the rest being shared by the United Kingdom (16%), Hong Kong (10%) and Qatar (5%).

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