ArtistsFairs 08-03-2017

March 8 | Setting Records for Oehlen, Crosby, Tillmans: last night’s Christie’s

Superb sales at Christie's last night in London signal the good health of the contemporary art market, with many records surpassed. In the rest of the news, the closure of a beautiful Australian photography gallery, and a new museum project in Paris for Bernard Arnault.

London Christie’s Contemporary Auction

Last night’s auction at Christie’s King Street salesroom totaled £96.3 million. 95% of lots were sold, with just three passed over. Focused on post-war, contemporary art, the sale saw a third of works outsell their estimate.

The auction opened with Wolfgang Tillmans’ Freischwimmer 186 (2011) – a huge blue abstract photo – banking on the artist’s current show at London’s Tate Modern. The bet paid off, selling for a record £269,000 ($329,000).

The most staggering sale of the night though, was that of the young Nigerian-born California resident Njideka Akunyili Crosby, with an eight-foot-high portrait of a bespectacled young girl in a patterned dress, The Beautyful Ones (2012). With an estimate of £600,000 ($736,800), the immediate torrent of bids saw the price quickly escalate. Surpassing the £1 million mark, the bid soared to the hammer at £2.1 million–or £2.5 million ($3.1 million) with the buyer’s premium, smashing the artist’s previous record of £876,735, ($1.1 million) set at Sotheby’s New York just last November.

Albert Oehlen too sold far beyond his record, with an awkward figure in Self-Portrait with Palette (2005) selling for £2.96 million ($3.6 million). Peter Doig’s 8-foot-wide, snowy landscape Coburg 3 +1 More (1994), sold to the same buyer who picked up the Rothko, within its estimate at £12.7 million ($15.6 million).

Another promising sale for US-based Iranian artist Ali Banisadr, with pulsating war image Time for Outrage (2011). The painting topped its high estimate, selling for £413,000 ($506,000), approaching the artist’s $557,000 auction high, to Christie’s Andreas Rumbler. For sales info, see art News.



However, the closing of a space... 

In the aftermath of this great success, the auction house will reportedly close one of its two London spaces, that of South Kensington. At the same time Christie's will reduce the number of auctions organized in Amsterdam (from 2 to 1 annually). These announcements could result in 250 redundancies–12% of Christie's global workforce. More info via New York Times.



Palais de Tokyo’s partnership with EXPOCHICAGO

The Roundhouse at the DuSable Museum of African American Art. Photo by Assaf Evron.


The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, in Chicago, will this year host more than 145 international exhibitors at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. Presented annually by Art Expositions, LLC, the exposition will run from September 13 - 17.

The Roundhouse at the DuSable Museum has been chosen as the official location for Palais de Tokyo’s off-site exhibition. Curated by Palais de Tokyo’s Katell Jaffrès, the group exhibition will present emerging artists from both French and Chicago art scenes. Focusing on the dialogue between architecture and artistic process, the project seeks to draw attention to the historic space through the artists’ site-specific works. The artists have not yet been announced. Read announcement on Palais de Toyko’s official website.



A new museum project in Paris for Bernard Arnault

Bernard Arnault's group has a project to rehabilitate the former Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires. A press conference will take place this Wednesday to clarify the details of the project next to the Louis Vuitton Foundation.

The 11-storey building has been abandoned since its closure to the public in 2005. The project looks set to include a space of 1,000 m2 devoted to traditional arts and crafts, another dedicated to exhibitions, a restaurant and a number of event spaces. Details via Le Parisien.



STILLS gallery closes June 30

This morning Stills Gallery in Sydney, announced that, after more than 25 years, the gallery will be closing its doors. Co-Directors, Kathy Freedman and Bronwyn Rennex, stated that the gallery will cease to operate in “its current form” by the end of June this year. The leading Australian gallery, established in 1991, has previously focused on contemporary photography and multimedia art.

Their final solo exhibitions are set to take place from March 8 to April 8, showing Glenn Sloggett “Down in the dumps” and Jane Brown “Sporting Country.” Read the announcement here.



From left to right: Jane Brown, Broken Hill Bowling Club (2014/16), Glenn Sloggett, Inflatable man (2016)



Sotheby’s Institute of Art (New York) appoints Jenny Gibbs as Program Director

Christine Kuan, CEO of Sotheby’s Institute of Art, announced today the appointment of Jenny Gibbs as Director of the Master of Arts in Art Business Program.

Currently the Executive Director of the Elmhurst Art Museum, Gibbs has more than twenty-five years of experience leading organizations in the non-profit sectors of the arts. She previously served as Executive Director of the Bard College Lacoste School of the Arts in France.


Founder Patrick van der Vorst buys back Value My Stuff

Patrick van der Vorst has repurchased the business he founded, following the closure of parent company Auctionata. Van der Vorst launched Value My Stuff in 2009, having previously worked at Sotheby’s for 12 years. The brand received significant exposure in 2010 after appeared on BBC’s Dragons’ Den, receiving a £100,000 investment from Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis. The online arts and antiques valuation service was set up to render the art appraisal process as straightforward as possible. This morning van der Vorst confirmed he is now “the 100% shareholder.” See more via ATG.

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