Inka Essenhigh: 10 Standout Lots Sold in Artsy Auctions in 2022

Ayanna Dozier, Artsy, December 15, 2022


In the three years since the COVID-19 outbreak, the art world has embraced a hybrid way of working that interweaves physical shows, auctions, and art fairs with online platforms that enable discovery, learning, and purchasing. As a result, online auctions have become a key avenue through which both novice and established art collectors can buy sought-after artworks with relative ease. 


From post-war and contemporary sales to benefit auctions, Artsy Auctions reached new heights in 2022, enabling collectors to acquire works by leading artists and to support social impact organizations along the way. Prominent names like Salman ToorIssy WoodNorman LewisAlice Neel, and Eddie Martinez are among the artists whose works were sold in Artsy Auctions over the course of the year. 


Here, we share 10 of the standout works and their results. (Prices include fees.)


This article is part of The Art Market Recap 2022—a look at the major sales, trends, and artists that made an impact this year.


Inka Essenhigh, Estuary, 2022

Sold for: $84,000
Estimate: $20,000–$30,000


Inka Essenhigh’s Estuary (2022) became one of the artist’s top auction results when it sold for $84,000 (more than four times its low estimate) in the “Impact: Artists in Support of Refugees from Ukraine” sale in April. Organized by Artsy and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, the emergency benefit auction provided support for refugees fleeing Ukraine, with a portion of the buyer’s premium going to the nonprofit USA for UNHCR.


Essenhigh is known for her vivid, uncanny landscape paintings that unearth the fantastical side of nature. Her works often render ordinary environments through a dreamlike gaze, lending them an extraordinary emotional depth. While Essenhigh’s early style drew on the work of Salvador Dalí, her more mature paintings like Estuaryrepresent an original, uncanny twist on botanical motifs. Essenhigh’s work can also be found in the collections of ​​major museums including the Tate, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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