ArtistsAuction Houses 16-05-2017

May 16 | At Christie’s, a Brancusi bronze fetches a record-breaking $57.4 million

With the buzz of the Venice Biennale behind us, the art market returns to its everyday business. Christie’s inaugurates a week of Spring auctions with record-breaking sales, whilst one of Austria’s leading feminist artists receives a deserved prize.

Christie’s kicks off Spring auction week with record-breaking Brancusi sale

Constantin Brancusi’s bronze ovoid sculpture of a sleeping woman’s face, La muse endormie (1913), sold for a record-breaking $57.4 million, (with premium) easily surpassing the artist’s $37.5 million previous record, set at Christie’s Yves Saint Laurent sale in 2009. The bronze had previously been part of a private French collection for 60 years and was estimated at $20-30 million (without premium).

The Modern Art sale marked the beginning of Christie’s jam-packed Spring auction week in New York, with five evening sales of Impressionist, Modern, and contemporary art packed into just four days. The evening sale totaled $289.2 million, with a portrait of Picasso’s lover Dora Maar, Femme assise, robe bleue (1939) coming in at $40 million. The final price was just over $45 million (with premium) leaving the total amount gained for the four Picassos on sale at $82.5m (with premium). Details via The Financial Times.


Brancusi, La muse endormie (1913)



Renate Bertlmann awarded the prestigious 2017 Grand Austrian State Prize

Leading feminist avant-garde visual artist Renate Bertlmann, has won the 2017 Grand Austrian State Prize (German: Großer Österreichischer Staatspreis). Awarded by the Minister of Culture on behalf of the Republic of Austria, the prize commends individuals who have contributed significantly to either literature, music, visual art or architecture.

Represented by the Richard Saltoun Gallery in London, Bertlmann will be the third female artist to receive the award since its conception in 1950, following in the footsteps of Brigitte Kowanz (2009) and Maria Lassnig (1988). Born in 1943, Vienna, Bertlmann’s work focused on issues such as sexuality, love, gender and eroticism within a social context, with her own body often serving as a medium. Her breakout show came in 1975 with the radical feminist MAGNA: Feminismus exhibition, curated by Valie Export in Vienna. She is currently the subject of a major solo exhibition at Sotheby’s S|2 Gallery, London (through June 1, 2017).


Renate Bertlmann, Verwandlungen (1969) (detail) Image courtesy of Richard Saltoun Gallery | Renate Bertlmann, Exhibitionismus (Exhibitionism)



Jessica Silverman Gallery picks up two young new artists

Sculptural artists Matthew Angelo Harrison and Woody De Othello are now to be represented by San Francisco’s Jessica Silverman Gallery.

Matthew Angelo Harrison, from Detroit, is known for his satirical look at “the primitive” through hybrid sculptures made of a combination of 3D printouts and organic materials such as zebra bone and marble. Exploring issues of race design, mortality and industry, Harrison is currently preparing for a solo show at Atlanta Contemporary, debuting August 26, and a group show at ICA Miami, scheduled for December.

Woody De Othello, from Miami, is known for his ceramic work, turning mundane everyday objects into peculiar anthropomorphic sculptures. Jessica Silverman first showed his work at the 2017 Armory Show, and is currently preparing for a solo exhibition at the gallery scheduled for March 2018.  

Matthew Angelo Harrison | Woody De Othello. Image courtesy of Jessica Silverman Gallery.
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