Royal Opera House’s $16.8 M. Hockney Stars in Christie’s $118 M. Paris-London Series

To get the backstory behind buyers and sellers in Christie’s Paris and London October evening sales, read Colin Gleadell’s detailed Art Market Monitor report available to AMMpro subscribers.

On Thursday, Christie’s brought in a total of £90.3 million ($118 million) with buyer’s premium across four sales at its Paris and London headquarters. In the auction series, titled “20th Century: London to Paris,” the house deployed the live-streamed format, with Christie’s France president Cécile Verdier and its Europe president Jussi Pylkkänen at the helm.

The total hammer price was £77.9 million ($101.9 million), landing at the low end of the pre-sale estimate of £76 million ($99.4 million). With premium, the sales generated a total £90.3 million ($118.4 million), achieving a solid 84 percent sell-through rate.

Still unable to host large live audiences, auction houses have engineered new set-ups that focus attention on the bidding dynamic across specialists and auction staff—which acts … Read the rest

To get the backstory behind buyers and sellers in Christie’s Paris and London October evening sales, read Colin Gleadell’s detailed Art Market Monitor report available to AMMpro subscribers.

On Thursday, Christie’s brought in a total of £90.3 million ($118 million) with buyer’s premium across four sales at its Paris and London headquarters. In the auction series, titled “20th Century: London to Paris,” the house deployed the live-streamed format, with Christie’s France president Cécile Verdier and its Europe president Jussi Pylkkänen at the helm.

The total hammer price was £77.9 million ($101.9 million), landing at the low end of the pre-sale estimate of £76 million ($99.4 million). With premium, the sales generated a total £90.3 million ($118.4 million), achieving a solid 84 percent sell-through rate.

Still unable to host large live audiences, auction houses have engineered new set-ups that focus attention on the bidding dynamic across specialists and auction staff—which acts … Read the rest

Textural Sculptures by Artist Jessica Drenk Use Junk Mail, Book Pages, and Q-Tips to Explore Materiality

“Dendrite” (2019), Q-tips and plaster. All images © Jessica Drenk, courtesy of Galleri Urbane, shared with permission

Montana-born artist Jessica Drenk (previously) employs simple materials, like shopping flyers and standard No. 2 pencils, to create organic sculptures that are chaotic and arresting explorations of the substances themselves. Bundled Q-tips spread across a site-specific installation like the roots of a tree, a carved section of plywood reveals concentric patterns, and strips of junk mail are plastered together in long waves.

While Drenk’s latest series, titled Transmutations, is diverse and ranges from wall pieces to cavernous sculptures, each artwork explores materiality and how disparate shapes and textures combine to create forms that are new both physically and conceptually. The artist explains in a statement:

In treating everyday objects as raw material to sculpt, I practice a form of conceptual alchemy: through physically manipulating these objects their meanings become

Read the rest

Marian Goodman on Closing Her London Gallery: ‘Brexit Has Changed London’s Role’

Earlier today, Marian Goodman Gallery revealed that it would shutter its London space and pivot its British operations to a new exhibition model called Marian Goodman Projects. Citing uncertainty related to Brexit and the pandemic, the gallery, which also runs spaces in New York and Paris, said it wanted approach that would allow it to be more flexible in London. To hear more about the decision, ARTnews spoke with gallery founder Marian Goodman by email.

ARTnews: What was the rationale behind closing the London space? Did it have anything to do with Brexit or the Covid crisis and the economic fallout from it?

Goodman: Our rethinking of London actually began with Brexit and assessing its impact on the U.K.’s role in the greater E.U. market. We opened our gallery in Paris in 1995 and have been building our presence in Europe ever since. Our long-term investment in Paris has been … Read the rest

Overflowing with Flora and Fauna, Collaged Paper Installations Comment on Earth’s Dwindling Biodiversity

“Intimate Immensity” (2016). Photograph by Trevor Good. All images © Clare Börsch, shared with permission

Sprawling across paint-chipped walls and tiny alcoves, the collaged installations of artist Clare Börsch mimic overgrown jungles and whimsical forest scenes. Layers of flora, fauna, and the occasional gemstone or human figure comprise the amorphous paper artworks as they transform spaces into fantastical ecosystems.

In a note to Colossal, Börsch shares that she began her artistic practice as a way to translate her dreams, which are often lucid and informed by memories and a strong tie to nature, into physical objects that others could immerse themselves in. “Growing up in Brazil, I had the ocean, rivers, and jungles that always existed in stark contrast to the industrial cities (I lived in Sao Paulo). So my earliest and most formative memories are of lush, humming tropical ecosystems —and the encroaching industrial landscapes of Brazil’s cities,” she … Read the rest

How Jacob Lawrence Used Painting to Powerfully Tell the Histories of Black Americans

Jacob Lawrence, who is known for his vibrant figurative paintings focused on Black Americans’ experiences, daily life in Harlem, and events from U.S. history, is one of the most celebrated painters of the 20th century. He once said that his works “express my life and experience. I paint the things I know about and the things I have experienced.” With Lawrence’s series “Struggle: From the History of the American People” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York until November 1 (a missing painting from the series was just found by the museum), ARTnews looked back on the artist’s pioneering career and some of his most acclaimed artworks. The guide below traces key milestones in Lawrence’s life.

Lawrence nurtured his interest in drawing and painting in his school days.
Born in 1917, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Lawrence moved to Harlem at age 12 with … Read the rest

Baselitz, Condo Bring Phillips London Contemporary Art Evening Sale to $34 M., Newcomers See Records

To get the backstory of auction newcomers like Salman Toor and Portia Zvavhera, two of the evening’s best performers, as well as the sellers of the Baselitz, Warhol, Hirst and Tillmans, read Colin Gleadell’s detailed Art Market Monitor report on buyers and sellers available to AMMpro subscribers.

On Tuesday, coinciding with London’s Frieze week, Phillips held its contemporary art evening sale event at its U.K. headquarters. The sale realized a total of £26.3 million ($34.1 million) with buyer’s premium across 36 lots, seeing a 95% sell-through rate. Without premium, the sale hammered at £21.5 million ($27.8 million), putting it just below the low end of the £21.6 million–£30.1 million pre-sale estimate range. Two lots by Jason Rhoades and Wolfgang Tilmans were withdrawn before the sale’s start.

10 of the sale’s lot were guaranteed, with a combined low estimate of £8.9 million ($11.5 million).

The result beat last year’s equivalent sale … Read the rest

How Simone Leigh’s Sculptures Centering Black Women Brought Her to the Venice Biennale

Last week, it was announced that Simone Leigh would make history at the Venice Biennale by representing the United States in 2022, making her the first Black woman ever to do the country’s pavilion at the world’s top art festival. “There’s no better artist for our time,” said Jill Medvedow, the director of the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, the museum commissioning the pavilion. What makes Leigh so important right now, and why has she risen to the status of the one of the top artists working today? Below is a guide to Leigh’s art, her career, and the ideas that guide her work.

Simone Leigh, Las Meninas, 2019.

Black female subjectivity forms the core of Leigh’s art.

Leigh has been upfront about her work’s target audience: Black women, whose traditions, she once told the New York Times, “have been left out of the archive or left out … Read the rest

Strength: Pejac Honors Spain’s Health Workers with a Moving Trio of Interventions

“Overcoming.” All images © Pejac, shared with permission

On the campus of University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla in Santander, Spain, a trio of interventions by street artist Pejac (previously) simultaneously responds to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and offers potential paths for healing. The new series, titled Strength, is Pejac’s direct response to the 50,000 people who have died from the virus in his home country. “The idea of the Strength project arises as a gesture of gratitude to the health workers of Valdecilla, for their work in general and during this Covid crisis in particular. Offering them what I do best, which is painting,” the artist says.

In “Social Distancing” (shown below), a horde of people escape from a crevice in the building’s facade. The trompe l’oei artwork is a multi-layered metaphor for the ways the virus has ruptured society and the necessity of community care and … Read the rest

Here Are 7 Great Books About Painting for Artists and Art Lovers

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During Conceptual art’s height in the early 1970s, critics proclaimed that painting was dead. It wasn’t the first time that painting’s obituary had been prematurely written, and may not even be the last, but for now, such sentiments are exceedingly rare as more artists than ever take up a brush.

Painting’s resilience draws from a rich history that, whatever period or genre is your jam, is best experienced at a museum or gallery. Unfortunately, the pandemic has made visiting either harder to do. Luckily, there’s a next best thing: Diving into a book about painting.

Tomes on the subject are myriad, of course, and come in different flavors, including exhibition catalogs, artist monographs, and critical writings. But they all offer a window into a medium that just won’t quit. … Read the rest

Lustrous Strips of Glass Bisect Debris, Bricks, and Semi-Precious Stones in Ramon Todo’s Sculptures

“Debris” (2016), debris and layered glass. All images courtesy of Art Front Gallery, © Keiso Kioku, shared with permission

Between gnarly chunks of concrete, basalt pillars, and smooth rounds of lapis lazuli, Ramon Todo (previously) positions sleek segments of layered glass. The Tokyo-born artist splices fragments of found objects that otherwise would be regarded as refuse, like a crumbling brick from Iizuka City or coal waste, to repurpose the existing material with a lustrous embellishment.

Whether volcanic rock or chunks of demolished architecture, the resulting juxtapositions carry the original history, although they’re presented anew. “The characteristics of the place. The uniqueness of the place. Like the memories of the place and time,” the artist says in an interview about a recent solo show at Art Front Gallery in Tokyo. “I use the rocks, debris, Bota (stone similar to coal) for my works believing they have such memories … Read the rest