The New York Times has declared Mark Grotjahn "the most important artist of his generation" (quoting David Geffen). Grotjahn's 8-figure auction prices are not entirely irrelevant to that assessment; but the Times reports that "art experts say Mr. Grotjahn is likely to endure because his talent is real and significant."
Meanwhile, here's a fantastic sculpture by a somewhat less market-validated L.A. artist, currently on view at the Guggenheim New York. Any guess who the artist is? (Answer)