Thursday, July 31, 2008

Irish Artist James Coleman Exhibit Opens at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

Irish Artist James Coleman Exhibit Opens at the Irish Museum of Modern Art


James Coleman, Background, 1991-94, Projected images with synchronised audio narration. Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchased, Heritage Fund, 2004. Photo: Courtesy of James Coleman ©.

DUBLIN.- The first showing in Ireland of the slide installation Background, 1991-94, by the internationally-acclaimed Irish artist, James Coleman, opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Friday 1 August 2008. Background is one of a trilogy of pioneering works by Coleman from the 1990s, acquired by IMMA through funding from the Heritage Committee of the National Cultural Institutions in 2004. This work, to be presented in the Great Hall at IMMA, completes the trilogy, following the successful showing of I N I T I A L S, 1993-94, in 2006 and Lapsus Exposure, 1992-94, in 2007. It is a forerunner to a major exhibition of Coleman’s work in a collaboration between IMMA, Project Arts Centre and RHA Gallagher Gallery in 2009.

Coleman has been associated for over 30 years with a range of media that dominate large areas of current art practice. He uses photography, projected still images with soundtracks, film, video and performance, as powerful means of conveying his reflections on the meaning of image and language. Communication, subjectivity and the use of media are central concerns in Background. Using the slide-tape format, Coleman continues his investigation of the psychological, social and historic conditioning of perception.

Commenting on the showing of the final part of the trilogy and on the major exhibition in 2009, Christina Kennedy, Senior Curator: Head of Collections, IMMA, said, “With Background we complete the presentation of this important triumvirate of works by James Coleman, one of the most respected artists in the world today. They pave the way for the first major exhibition of his work in Ireland in 2009 that will range across his career from the early 1970s onwards, and will include a number of works which will be shown in Ireland for the first time”.

James Coleman was born in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, in 1941. By the mid-60s Coleman had already begun creating works using photography and video, and later developed a number of live performed works in Ireland , Portugal and Holland . Since the 1970s, Coleman has exhibited extensively in international museum and galleries, including the Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1994-95), Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucern (1995), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1996), Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona (1999), Kunstbau Lenbachhaus, Munich (2002), Sprengel Museum, Hannover (2002), and Museu do Chiado, Lisbon (2004-05). In 2003, Coleman developed a unique project at the Louvre in Paris for the exhibition Léonard de Vinci: dessins et manuscrits. Coleman has also participated in many international group exhibitions and recently in Documenta 12 in Kassel , where he premiered his new work Retake with Evidence, 2007.

James Coleman, Background, 1991-94, continues until 31 August 2008.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

IVAM Presents Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibit Based on Traditional Techniques

IVAM Presents Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibit Based on Traditional Techniques


Zhang Guiming, Lu Fusheng, Dai Mingde, Yang Yan, Consuelo Císcar, Yang Zhengxin, Cheng Jialig, Yang Jianzhong. Photo: courtesy IVAM.

VALENCIA.- This exhibition forms part of the agreement that IVAM and Shanghai International Culture Association subscribed, which last year presented at IVAM an exhibition of contemporary painting made by Chinese artists. This exhibition is a selection of 30 paintings made by 5 artists - Yang Zhengxin, Chen Jialing, Zhang Guiming, Dai Deming, Lu Fu Sheng- who, having been formed in the traditional language of the Shanghai school, have evolved to new forms of expression. In all of them the aesthetics and Chinese spirit has been constituted as the generating element of the transformation of their language. For example, the colors Zhang Guiming uses are derived from the masks the Beijing Opera uses, Chen Jailing has spent his life investigating paper and how it absorbs ink, Dai Ming De starts off into abstraction through Chinese calligraphy, Lu Fusheneng simplifies symbols and signs from the landscape to express silence and the essence of life, and finally Yan Zhengxin starts his renovation through the study of native Australian art. The catalog from the exhibit contains texts written by Chen Xiejun, director of the Shangai Museum; Lang Shaojun; Pan Gonkai; Wang Chong; Dong Lu; Pan Yuechang; Pen Lai; and a selection of brief texts made by Zhang Ping; Xie Chunyan; Zhang Piecheng, and Fan Jinyuan.

The drawings made with ink and watercolors occupy a distinguished placement in the world of painting. Maybe traditional ink and watercolors seem too static and isolated if they are compared with western oil paintings. Even then, at this moment, the world of ink and water is object of continuous praise and controversy.

Chen Jialing, Zhang Guiming, Yang Zhengxin, Dai Mingde and Lu Fusheng are five modern masters of the ink and water who reside in Shangai. Their works seem distant with respect to the traditional, brush strokes and distribution which remembered the traditional values which are deconstructed and reinterpreted from a totally new perspective, they are works that are inspired modern artistic forms.

The five artists in this exhibition have followed the same process of learning the ancient achievements for change. They use the same tools that their ancestors used (the brush, ink, and paper) but take on aesthetic culture with totally different ideas, methods and techniques.

Chen Jialing once said in an interview, “It does not matter if you drink from tradition or if you rise from tradition, the process is intense and difficult. Your worst enemy is yourself, because you have to conquer the way of thinking that was implanted with the education from the past, to abandon habitual techniques, and to experiment repeatedly before the light of success illuminates you.

Zhang Guimin’s innovation resides in the breaking away from the traditional starting from the distortion and decoration of classic elements to the reconstruction of a new scheme, in which he simplifies and signals the abstract ideas of painting through bright colors.

Yang Zhengxin, shows in his paintings, Majestic and mystical, with strong and bold brushstrokes, his explosive force. Under the premise of maintaining the essence of traditional Chinese painting with ink and water, part of western technique from the traditional enchantments arriving at the modern.

Lu Fushen allows us to see a modern and intellectual meditation in her works of art. The language and the figures that are represented in the paintings are the spontaneous expression of education, the tolerance and tastes of the artist.

If we look at the works of these five artists, we can clearly feel their meditation process and their rise to perfection, an artistically refined process that takes a long time, of a hard and complicated fight, from the purest and most humble scenes. It is not about only an accumulation of sensibility with ink and brush or of dexterity with the figurative languages, but also the importance of the mind and spirit.

The art of the ink and water has been one of the contributions of Chinese culture to the world, and also a characteristic of oriental civilization. Today, it has gone into the world of art, which contributes to the liberty and renaissance of the ink and the brush which elevates the history and culture to a superior level. It belongs to the Chinese nation, but it has also belonged to the world, and to all human beings.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sotheby's Releases More Details on Damien Hirst Sale

Sotheby's Releases More Details on Damien Hirst Sale


Damien Hirst, Beautiful Love Demelza Painting with Beautiful Butterflies, butterflies and household gloss on canvas 213.3 by 213.3cm. 84 by 84in. (including frame): 238.5 by 236 by 16cm.; 93 7/8 by 92 7/8 by 6 1/4 in. Executed in 2008. © Damien Hirst PHOTO Credit: Prudence Cumming. The proceeds from this work will be donated exclusively to the ‘Demelza, Hospice Care for Children’. Three other paintings have been donated in aid of ‘Strummerville’, ‘Kids Company’ and ‘Survival International’. Est. £400,000 – 600,000

LONDON.- Work on Beautiful Inside My Head Forever – a major auction of new works by Damien Hirst - has progressed and the full scope of this ground-breaking auction can now be revealed.

Including a whole new body of work that covers the complete range of Hirst’s output and more, the auction will run over two days, commencing with an Evening Sale on Monday, 15 September, and continuing throughout the following day (Tuesday, 16 September) with a morning and afternoon session. The two day sale, which will include 223 lots, is expected to realise a sum in excess of £65 million. Estimates will range from around £15,000-20,000 (for a range of new drawings) up to the £8,000,000-12,000,000 estimate attached to The Golden Calf –the monumental and arresting centre-piece of the sale. Among the works to be offered will be new and exciting variations on many of the key themes that have defined Hirst’s work to date.

Damien Hirst said: “After the success of the Pharmacy auction, I always felt I would like to do another auction. It’s a very democratic way to sell art and it feels like a natural evolution for contemporary art. Although there is risk involved, I embrace the challenge of selling my work in this way. I never want to stop working with my galleries. This is different. The world’s changing, ultimately I need to see where this road leads.”

Formaldehyde ormaldehyde sculptures which have never been seen in public before:

The Golden Calf (lot 13, Evening Sale)
calf, 18 carat gold, glass, goldplated steel, silicone and
formaldehyde solution with Carrara marble plinth
398.9 by 350.5 by 167.6cm
executed in 2008
£ 8,000,000-12,000,000
€ 10,120,000-15,180,000
US$ 15,800,000-23,690,000

The Kingdom (lot 5, Evening sale)
tiger shark, glass, steel, silicone and formaldehyde
solution with steel plinth
214 by 383.6 by 141.8cm.
executed in 2008
£ 4,000,000 - 6,000,000
€ 5,060,000-7,590,000
US$ 7,900,000-11,850,000

The Dream (lot 110, Morning Sale)
foal, glass, steel, resin, silicone and formaldehyde solution
231 by 332.6 by 138.1cm.
executed in 2008
£ 2,000,000-3,000,000
€ 2,530,000-3,800,000
US$ 3,950,000-5,930,000

The Incredible Journey (lot 211, Afternoon Sale)
zebra, glass, steel, silicone, and formaldehyde solution
208.6 by 322.5 by 108.8cm
executed in 2008
£ 2,000,000-3,000,000
€ 2,530,000-3,800,000
US$ 3,950,000-5,930,000

Gold features strongly in the sale, for which Hirst has produced a glittering range of new works:

Aurothioglucose (lot 7, Evening Sale)
household gloss and enamel
paint on canvas
172.7 by 274.3cm.
executed in 2008
£ 400,000-600,000
€ 510,000-760,000
US$ 790,000-1,190,000

Memories of / Moments With You
(lot 11, Evening Sale)
gold-plated steel and glass with
manufactured diamonds, diptych
91 by 137.2 by 10cm.;
executed in 2008
€ 1,020,000-1,520,000
US$ 1,580,000-2,370,000

Unknown Pleasures (lot 206, Afternoon Sale)
engraved with signature, title and date 2008 on the reverse
glass and gold-plated steel with manufactured diamonds
91 by 137.2 by 10cm.
35 7/8 by 54 by 4in.
€ 510,000-760,000
US$ 790,000-1,190,000

The Rose Window, Durham Cathedral
(lot 27, Evening Sale)
butterflies and metallic paint
on canvas in artist’s frame
diameter: 270cm.
executed in 2008
€ 890,000-1,140,000
US$ 1,390,000-1,780,000

A new range of spin paintings, incorporating skulls

Beautiful Helios Hysteria Intense Painting
(with Extra Inner Beauty) (lot 227, Afternoon Sale)
household gloss on canvas
diameter: 45.7cm.
executed in 2008
£ 60,000-80,000
€ 76,000-102,000
US$ 119,000-158,000

The Day Sale
With some 160 or so works to be offered in the course of the morning and afternoon sessions, the Day Sale will bring to the market a wealth of new works – across a wide range of estimates – embracing everything from spot paintings and drawings to butterfly glosses and grids, and more:

Psalm 28: Ad te, Domine. (lot 102, Day Sale)
signed, inscribed 28th Psalm,
dated 2008 and affixed with
Psalm text on the backing
butterflies and household
gloss on canvas
45.7 by 45.7cm.
£ 60,000-80,000
€ 76,000-102,000
US$ 119,000-158,000

1,6 – Hexanediamine (lot 107, Day Sale)
coloured pencil on paper
123.9 by 123.9cm.
executed in 2008
£ 30,000-40,000
€ 38,000-51,000
US$ 59,500-79,000

The Charity Element
Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the celebrated Freeze exhibition curated by Hirst in London, which launched the careers of Hirst and his contemporaries, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever affirms Hirst’s position as a boundary breaker and as an artist who has never worked in the traditional vein. At the same time, the sale re-affirms Hirst’s continued commitment to the support of charitable causes.

In February this year, Hirst joined forces with singer Bono to spearhead the (RED) auction - a recordbreaking sale held at Sotheby’s in New York, whose purpose was to raise money for the United Nations Foundation to support HIV/AIDS relief programs in Africa, conducted by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The sale, which included works donated by artists such as Anish Kapoor, Marc Quinn, Marc Newson, Keith Tyson, Takashi Murakami and Banksy, realised $42.58 million – making it the most successful charity auction of contemporary art ever staged. Continuing that tradition, September’s sale will include four works to be sold to benefit charities especially designated by Hirst. They are:

• Beautiful Love Demelza Painting with Beautiful Butterflies (lot 30, est: £400,000-600,000) to be sold to benefit Demelza, Hospice Care for Children:

• Beautiful Love Survival Painting with Beautiful Butterflies (lot 8, est: £400,000-600,000) to be sold to benefit Survival International:

• Beautiful Love Strummerville Painting with Beautiful Butterflies (lot 109, est: £400,000-600,000) to be sold to benefit Strummerville – the Joe Strummer foundation for new music – aiming to create new opportunities for aspiring musicians:

• Beautiful Love Kids Co Twenty-Five to Ten Painting with Beautiful Butterflies (lot 209, est: £400,000-600,000), to be sold to benefit Kids Company - a charity founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh in 1996 in order to provide practical, emotional
and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children and young people:

Alongside these will be:

Bill with Shark (lot 203, est: £200,000-300,000) – an oil painting, to be sold on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, based on a photograph by Jean Pigozzi, showing Bill Gates looking at shark-in-formaldehyde sculpture by Hirst.
Proceeds from the sale of the work will benefit the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which aims to help reduce inequities in the United States and around the world:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Green Light for Turner Contemporary in Margate

Green Light for Turner Contemporary in Margate


View from seafront, image by Imaging Atelier.

LONDON.- Arts Council England (ACE) and the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) will provide £8.1million towards Turner Contemporary, a visionary art gallery to be built on Margate’s seafront.

Designed by internationally renowned architect, David Chipperfield, Turner Contemporary is a world class design. Alongside the best of contemporary art, the gallery will show works by JMW Turner reflecting the famous artist’s links with the South Coast town. The new centre, featuring galleries, a café, conference and studio space, is expected to put Margate on the arts map.

Sally Abbott, Director of Arts at Arts Council England, South East said: ”We are absolutely delighted that SEEDA have confirmed their partnership and commitment to this dramatic and important new gallery in Margate. This will be a landmark building representing a huge achievement for artists and arts development in the south east and beyond. This is an exciting time for the project and we look forward to working with all the stakeholders locally and nationally to make the vision a successful reality.”

Pam Alexander, Chief Executive of SEEDA and Chair of the Margate Renewal Partnership said: "The SEEDA Board is pleased to support this world class opportunity to bring culture-led regeneration to Margate, reinforcing the investments that SEEDA has already made in the town centre. Margate can now move ahead confidently with its plans for Turner Contemporary and this striking new architect-designed building. We see this as a great opportunity to boost the town’s economic development, bringing jobs and business to the community and supporting the cultural and creative businesses that are already making Margate’s old town their home.”

Mike Hill, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Community Services, who is leading the project on behalf of the County Council said: “The Arts Council and SEEDA have been supportive of everything that we are trying to achieve with Turner Contemporary since the outset. These funding agreements demonstrate our partners’ confidence in the project and the impact it is going to have on the whole area.”

Sandy Ezekiel, Leader of Thanet District Council, who have provided the land for the gallery added: “This news is fantastic as Turner Contemporary will be a landmark building and one that will help with Margate’s economic regeneration. The council are working hard to regenerate Margate's old town and it is being transformed into a vibrant new cultural quarter. Much of that work has been because of the prospect of Turner Contemporary, which shows the impact it is already having on Margate and the town's regeneration.”

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Artists Explore the Human Form in Art of the Nude Exhibit at Newport Museum and Art Gallery

Artists Explore the Human Form in Art of the Nude Exhibit at Newport Museum and Art Gallery


'D.D.5a' 1924, by Sir Gerald Kelly (1879-1972).

NEWPORT.- An exhibition of drawings, prints, painting and sculpture guest curated by John Wilson and Roger Cucksey and running until September 20 opened at the Newport Museum and Art Gallery in South Wales. The Art of the Nude THE ART OF THE NUDE frames the artistic genre of the nude and provides a fascinating thread through the history of art. The study of the nude formed the basis of the post-Renaissance academic tradition of "Western Art", whilst the departures of modernism and the avant garde likewise saw a persistence of the nude as a vital genre for the artist's exploration. Whither the nude in today's world of CGI and the Internet?

The selection brings together a diverse body of works with a lively conception of the subject of the nude. The large-scale exhibition of 85 works - 28 drawings, 12 prints, 39 paintings and 6 works of sculpture - includes the following prominent artists: Auguste Rodin, Henry Gaudier-Brzeska, William Blake, Sir Edward J. Poynter, Sir Gerald Kelly, Sir William Russell Flint R.A, Peter Blake, Allen Jones, Sir William Goscombe John R.A. , Ceri Richards, Merlyn Evans, Thomas Rathmell, Harry Holland, Angelica Kauffman R.A, Dame Laura Knight R.A. , Elinor Bellingham-Smith and Gerda Roper.

The show reflects upon: the central place of the nude in the history of art, the nude as a highly productive genre for the artist's exploration and the sometimes controversial role of the nude as a mediator of aesthetic taste and cultural mores across the generations.

The nude occupies a central place in the history of art and has persisted as an absorbing subject for the artist from the Classical to the Renaissance, Modernist and Post-Modernist art worlds.

In recent decades, revisionist art historical studies have unmasked and re-appraised the nude as a genre of art - critically, raising issues of visual representation, gender and social power; and positively, re-connecting with a history of artistic innovation through this abiding genre of the art school and the artist's studio.

In recent years the nude and the life-class have experienced something of a revival in British art colleges, notwithstanding the post-60's “Crisis of British Art”, radical art politics and a rejection of the life-room.

The Art of the Nude is the third project in the Explorations series, which provides a frame to explore the diverse range of artists, genre and art historical periods represented in the Newport Museum and Art Gallery collections.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) - Le design animé

Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) - Le design animé

Le 31 décembre 2007 s´éteignait Ettore Sottsass, chantre du design à contre-courant. Né 90 ans plus tôt en Autriche, Sottsass grandit à Turin à partir de 1929 ou il obtient son diplôme de l´école polytechnique (1939). Il suit alors les traces de son père en choisissant l´architecture comme premier terrain d´élection. Agé de tout juste 30 ans, il ouvre sa propre agence d´architecture à Milan, puis part aux Etats-Unis (1956) où il projette des maisons préfabriquées au côté de Georges Nelson. A la fin des années 50, il s´impose aussi comme designer et multiplie les contrats avec des firmes comme Poltronova, Alessi et Olivetti, reçoit le prestigieux Compasso d´Oro pour l´ordinateur Elea 9003 en 1959.

Les clefs de son succès ? Un design énergique, teinté d´humour, souvent irrévérencieux en regard des standards, emprunt de spiritualité et d´humanisme. Cet ennemi du design uniformisé oppose au rationalisme de l´ère moderne un design sensuel et expressif. Son goût pour l´expérimentation et l´influence de la pensée hindouisme l´entraîne dans le principe de « fertilisation croisée » propre à la culture orientale : il s´exerce à toutes les disciplines (architecture, photographie, design, peinture, sculpture, céramique, verrerie, bijoux), mixe les références culturelles (indiennes, chinoises, occidentales, culture noble et populaire), hybride les genres, réalise d´improbables et poétiques associations de matériaux.

Depuis le début de l´année 2008, les hommages se multiplient via des articles et des expositions à travers le monde, mais aussi via des vacations. Ainsi, Pierre Bergé et associés lui dédiait entièrement sa vente bruxelloise du 22 avril 2008 intitulée Focus on Ettore Sottsass. Toute la gamme de prix était présentée, depuis les céramiques à quelques centaines d´euros jusqu´aux pièces les plus rares proposées entre 20 000 et 50 000 euros, en passant par des meubles vendus entre 2 000 et 3 000 euros comme le guéridon d'appoint "ivorY" ou le lampadaire "treetops".

Nombreux petits vases, boites et coupes en céramique éditées par Bitossi, de même que deux vases en étain poli édités par Serafino Zani, étaient abordables entre 250 et 1 000 euros. Les prix grimpent dès lors que l´édition est limitée. Ainsi, de petits objets en céramique produits à une trentaine d´exemplaires attisent les convoitises et s´échangent autour de 5 000 euros, comme la petite boîte " Merlo", dont il existe trente trois pièces plus quatre épreuves d'artiste, acquise pour 4 200 euros ou le vase "Civetta", une pièce plus grande de même tirage, adjugée 6 000 euros (Pierre Bergé et associés).

Pour ritualiser la vie domestique, Ettore Sottsass érige ses meubles comme des figures totémiques. Ses séries de totems monumentaux en céramique sont de véritables tours de force technique. Deux de ces compositions sculpturales constituées de pièces superposées furent proposées, toujours chez Pierre Bergé, dans une fourchette d´estimation de 20 000 à 30 000 euros chacune. Aucune ne trouva preneur à ce prix… un mois plus tard pourtant, l´ensemble de cinq totems monumentaux "Flavia" décrochaient 100 000 euros chez Tajan à Paris.
Lors de l´hommage bruxellois, les amateurs de Sottsass ont préféré aux céramiques des pièces plus fonctionnelles comme le cabinet modèle "mobilo giallo" adjugé 16 000 euros ou la table modèle "Francoforte" (éd. Limitée à 16 exemplaires) vendue 30 000 euros. Le plus beau succès de cette vente fut signé par un "meuble-bar" monumental (240cm) en Jacaranda dont il n´existe que huit exemplaires. Estimé entre 40 000 - 50 000 euros, il fit grimper les enchères à 60 000 euros.

Dans cette gamme de prix de 30 000 à 100 000 euros s´échangent quelques meubles d´exception notamment des bibliothèques sculpturales, conçues comme des invitations à la méditation. La plus chère est une bibliothèque dessinée en 1965 et réalisée en bois laqué blanc, noyer et laiton. Proposée le 4 mai 2007 chez Christie´s Londres, elle enregistrait une enchère record équivalente à de plus de 70 000 euros (£60,000 frais inclus).

Un mois après la vente fleuve chez Pierre Bergé, c´était au tour de Tajan de rendre hommage à Sottsass avec une adjudication notable pour la spectaculaire bibliothèque de milieu " Adesso Pero", de la collection " Ruins" (1992) qui cote désormais 30 000 euros. Une semaine plus tard (27 mai 2008) à Paris toujours, Christie´s dispersait la collection de design d´Anna et Alessandro Pron, dont deux bibliothèques créées pour la galerie Mourmans de Maastricht en 1994 et limitée à six exemplaires : la première, " Furniture N.31" atteignait difficilement son estimation basse de 30 000 euros (€36,250' frais compris). Quelques minutes plus tard, "Furniture N.24", aux étagères asymétriques en aluminium anodisées mises en scène sur un piédestal, déclenchait une belle bataille d´enchères. Moins massive que la première, elle doublait la mise de " Furniture N.31"!

Parmi les belles pièces de cette vacation, la tribu de vases monumentaux de la série "Capricci" (1998) mettait le verre à l´honneur. Chaque vase, produit à 7 exemplaires, affichait une estimation optimiste de 20 000 à 25 000 euros mais les amateurs restèrent prudents : les pièces furent emportées dans une fourchette de 12 000 et 18 000 euros.

En tant que fondateur du groupe Memphis, Sottsass est le chef de file du Design radical italien, et les pièces de cette époque (1981-1985) revêtent un intérêt historique particulier.
Les créations emblématiques du groupe Memphis telles la bibliothèque "Claustra Carlton" (1981), le meuble de rangement "Casablanca" (1981) ou le buffet "Beverly" (1981) sont donc particulièrement prisées. L´année 1981 est un jalon dans l´histoire du design (fondation de Memphis et première exposition du groupe) susceptible d´enthousiasmer les enchérisseurs. Les amateurs sont en effet plus prompts à enchérir sur une pièce « historique » que sur une édition récente.

Ainsi, les écarts de prix pour différentes éditions de l´emblématique bibliothèque Carlton est éclairante : la Carlton produite en 1981 estampillée « Memphis Milano E. Sottsass 1981 Made in Italy » est adjugée autour de 20 000 euros, tandis qu´une édition postérieure est deux fois moins onéreuse (11 décembre 2007, £5 000 frais inclus, Christie´s Londres South Kensington). La Carlton, décrite par Alessandro Mendini comme un objet «parent du langage des hippies, des Hindous, des astronautes et des civilisations disparues », a un statut d´objet culte qui fait parfois oublier aux enchérisseurs l´importance de la date d´édition. Ainsi, certaines pièces récemment produites, portées par l´engouement de l´œuvre et la forte médiatisation de Sottsass, parviennent à doubler leur fourchette d´estimation initiale pour se rapprocher des adjudications de la Carlton « historique ».

Thursday, July 03, 2008

American Impressionist Masterpieces Arrive at Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts

American Impressionist Masterpieces Arrive at Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts


Gifford Beal (1879-1956), On the Hudson at Newburgh, 1918. Oil on canvas. 36 x 58 ½ in. The Phillips Collection, acquired 1924.

MONTGOMERY.- In America, the radical new style of impressionism blended European approaches to painting with American sensibilities and preferences. Celebrated American artists including Childe Hassam, Maurice Prendergast, John Henry Twachtman, and J. Alden Weir transformed the heroic American landscape into a modern idiom. Join the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts with a new exhibition entitled American Impressionism: Paintings from the Phillips Collection, which showcases more than 65 treasured works from the golden age of American impressionism (ca.1880-1920), assembled together for the first time in more than a generation.

"Over the course of a decade, from 1912 to 1922, Duncan Phillips assembled an impressive collection of American impressionist paintings,” says Jay Gates, director of The Phillips Collection. “They formed the very bedrock of the museum and have shaped the development of the collection ever since.”

When Duncan Phillips opened his museum in the fall of 1921, the collection included 237 paintings, of which 87 works by 25 different artists were examples of American impressionism. By far, the greatest number of these were by the acknowledged “mature” masters of the style such as Childe Hassam, Theodore Robinson, John Henry Twatchman, J. Alden Weir, and William Lathrop. The collection also included paintings by Ernest Lawson, Maurice Prendergast, Gifford Beal, and Helen Turner. These artists applied the brighter palette and broken brushwork of French impressionism to the American landscape, focusing on intimate and atmospheric views of parks and beaches as well as urban views and charming interiors. While all of these paintings were crafted with particular interest in the seasons, changing light, and optical effects, American impressionist painters differed from their French counterparts by continuing to imbue their work with larger ideas related to the emotional and spiritual character of the landscape.

Highlights of the exhibition include a range of work by many of the key players of the movement. Focusing largely on landscape painting, American Impressionism features some of the museum’s most treasured paintings. Many were painted in Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, eastern Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.

For Phillips, impressionism was always a question of personal temperament or subjectivity combined with natural phenomena. In the work of both Twatchman and Weir, for instance, Phillips found depictions of the intimate moods of the artists’ Connecticut properties as celebrations of the American countryside and pastoral respite from the modern world. Both artists used the language of French impressionism to explore nature’s emotional effects. Twatchman, whom Phillips considered one of America’s greatest artists, is still thought of as the pre-eminent American impressionist landscape painter. His painting, Summer, is a classic example of his work and Phillips regarded it as one of his best purchases for 1919, outranking all others, including those by Weir, Hassam, and Lawson.

The exhibition also showcases the work of a less well known but equally extraordinary artist, Allen Tucker. Phillips acquired Tucker’s paintings, Red Barns and The Rise, in 1926–1927. Considered by his colleagues to be the “American van Gogh” because of his vigorous and animated brushwork, Tucker captured the attention of Phillips who sought to add an original van Gogh to his growing collection of modern art during this period.

Duncan Phillips was a man of his time in his enthusiasm for American impressionist painting. When he arrived in New York in 1910, with dreams of becoming an art critic, impressionism was America’s popular mainstream aesthetic style. By the end of the decade he could count himself as one of its first collectors. American impressionist works were the foundation of the museum and significantly shaped its development, playing a vital role in Phillips’s maturing appreciation of abstraction.

In the early 1920s, the writings of contemporary critics, such as Roger Fry and Clive Bell, opened Phillips’s eyes to the intent of abstract art, and his collecting in that decade reflected his new understanding. He added very few American impressionist paintings to his collection after 1923. As Phillips became more knowledgeable in his understanding of abstraction, he turned his attention towards other artists. He was drawn not only to the new American realism, but also to the American moderns around Stieglitz and the artists of the School of Paris, including Bonnard, Vuillard, Matisse and Braque.

Phillips’s collecting practices were ultimately driven by his desire to create a cohesive collection. Only artists whom Phillips saw as “modern in mind,” or whose work could be seen as links between the past and present, found a permanent place in the collection.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Christie's Sells Francis Bacon's Triptych for $34.5 M. and Balloon Flower by Jeff Koons for $25.8 M.

Christie's Sells Francis Bacon's Triptych for $34.5 M. and Balloon Flower by Jeff Koons for $25.8 M.


Francis Bacon (1909-1992), Three Studies for Self-Portrait; signed and dated `Francis Bacon Paris 1975' (on the reverse of the left and right panels); signed, titled and dated `3 etudes pour auto-portrait 1975 Francis Bacon' (on the reverse of the centre panel) oil on canvas, in three parts; each: 14 x 12in. (35.5 x 30.5cm.) Painted in Paris in 1975.

LONDON.- Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale took place this evening (30 June 2008) and realised $171,879,508 - the highest total for the category at Christie’s in Europe. The top lot of the auction was Three Studies for a Self Portrait by Francis Bacon (1909-1992), a rare self-portrait triptych that the artist painted while in Paris in 1975, which sold for $34,457,475.

18 works of art sold for over £1 million (30 for over $1 million), and buyer activity at the auction (by lot) was 42% Europe including United Kingdom, 48% Americas, 8% Asia and 2% other. The auction saw a total of 9 artist records established, including for Jeff Koons, Antonio Lopez, Gilbert and George and Syed Haider Raza, among others.

Pilar Ordovas, Director and Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s London: “We are very pleased with the results of this evening’s auction which established a record total for the category for Christie’s in Europe and illustrates the continued confidence in the global art market. We were particularly pleased to sell three works for over £10 million as exceptional pieces by Freud, Bacon and Koons attracted the interest of collectors from all over the world. The auction has welcomed thousands of visitors while on public view in London for the last two weeks, and Jeff Koons’ Balloon flower (Magenta) attracted continuous crowds to its special exhibition at St. James’s Square before selling for £12.9 million this evening and setting a world record price for the artist at auction.”

The top 5 prices of the evening:

- Three Studies for a Self Portrait by Francis Bacon (1909-1992), a rare self-portrait triptych that the artist painted while in Paris in 1975 and that had never before been seen in public. It sold for $34,457,475.

- Balloon Flower (Magenta), 1995-2000 by Jeff Koons (b.1955) sold this evening for $25,752,051, a world record price for the artist at auction.

- Naked Portrait with Reflection by Lucian Freud (b.1922), one of the most important works by the artist to be offered at auction, sold for $23,519,891, the second highest price for the artist at auction.

- Nine Multicoloured Marilyns (Reversal Series), 1979-86, by Andy Warhol (1928-1987), sold for $8,117,987.

- Last Supper, 1986, by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) sold for $6,443,867.

The auction offered a selection of Indian art at the London evening sale for the first time, as the international demand for Post-War and Contemporary Indian art continues to grow. The leading highlight was La Terre, 1973, by Syed Haider Raza (b. 1922), one of India’s leading modern masters and a founder member of the revolutionary Bombay Progressive Artist's Group, which sold for $2,537,587. Chinese contemporary art was led by Pape by Yan Pei-Ming (b.1960) which realised $2,046,512, a world record price for the artist at auction.


For any work by the artist:

Lot 12, Jeff Koons (b. 1955), Balloon Flower (Magenta), 1995-2000
Sold $25,752,051,

Lot 17, Antonio Lopez (b. 1938), Madrid Desde Torres Blancas
Sold $2,760,863

Lot 19, Michael Andrews (1928 – 1995), The Cathedral, The North East Face/Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Sold $1,967,939

Lot 25, Jeff Koons (b. 1955), Auto, 2001
Sold $4,992,963

Lot 27, Gilbert & George (b.1943 and b.1942), To Her Majesty
Sold $3,765,275

Lot 38, Nicolas de Stael (1914-1955), Marseille Sous La Neige
Sold £1,721,250, $ 3,430,451, €2,167,053

Lot 40, Syed Haider Raza (b. 1922), La Terre
Sold $2,537,587

Lot 47, Karin Mamma Andersson (b. 1962), Heimat Land
Sold $1,030,879

Lot 57, Yan Pei-Ming (b.1960), Pape
Sold: $2,046,512

This evening’s sale is a highlight of a series of exhibitions and auctions dedicated to Impressionist and Modern and Post-War and Contemporary art taking place from 21 June until tomorrow (1 July) at Christie’s in London, and follows on from last week’s auctions of Impressionist and Modern Art which realised a record $331,089,538 and saw Claude Monet’s Le bassin aux nymphéas sell for $80,451,178, a record price for the artist at auction.

The Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale will take place on 1 July 2008 at Christie’s, 8 King Street, London.