Saturday, September 27, 2008

Andy Warhol: Pop Politics at Manchester's Currier Museum of Art

Andy Warhol: Pop Politics at Manchester's Currier Museum of Art


Andy Warhol, Vote McGovern, 1972, Founding Collection, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. © 2008 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / ARS, New York.

MANCHESTER, NH.- Andy Warhol—one of the most influential American artists of the twentieth century—captured the likeness of some of the most visionary and powerful political leaders of the 20th century. Images of John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Queen Elizabeth II, and Mao Zedong, among others will hang side-by-side when the Currier Museum of Art presents Andy Warhol: Pop Politics from September 27, 2008 through January 4, 2009.

“For the first time ever, you will see Warhol’s political works together in this exhibition,” notes Sharon Matt Atkins, curator of Andy Warhol: Pop Politics. “His prints, paintings, drawings, and photographs of political figures reveal intriguing insights into Warhol’s own celebrity status and political leanings.”
Warhol’s portraits of American presidents and presidential candidates, queens, Communist dictators, and other political figures comment on the interrelationships between politics and celebrity culture in the late twentieth century—connections that remain ever present today. Time to coincide with the 2008 presidential election, this exhibition offers a probing and entertaining look through the eyes of America’s most famous Pop artist at the leaders who shaped the twentieth century.

Pop Art and Political Leaders - Warhol (1928-1987) rose to fame in the 1960s and became synonymous with Pop art and American culture of the period. He played upon the increased bombardment of advertising and media images to develop a signature style that employed commercial subjects rendered in bold, graphic designs and colors using mass production processes. In capturing the rebellious spirit of the time through his work and personality, Warhol created a body of work that transformed our understanding of art by blurring the boundaries between art and popular culture and shaped a new aesthetic that came to symbolize the counterculture. His now iconic work has influenced subsequent generations of artists and continues to resonate with audiences today, both young and old.

Building upon a long history of political portraiture dating back to Egyptian pharaohs, Roman emperors, and European monarchs, Warhol pictured twentieth-century politicians in his graphic style which likened them to commercial products like Campbell’s soup and Coca-Cola. In so doing, Warhol connected his images of these leaders to America’s fascination and consumption of all aspects of contemporary culture. His portraits are not just records of the individuals; they also position the leaders within the context of cultural taste and political values.

A dedicated portraitist, Warhol captured the likeness of an astonishing number of individuals including those of friends, artists, actors, athletes, and world leaders. His depictions of John F. Kennedy, Mao Zedong, Queen Elizabeth II, and others were derived from widely circulated official or media photographs. Warhol’s appropriation of these stock images signaled his interest in how political leaders ascended to celebrity status as a result of their constant representation in the media.

America’s “Royal Family” - The exhibition highlights Warhol’s fascination with America’s “royal family”—the Kennedys—through his images of President John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy and Senators Robert and Edward Kennedy. Struck by the media coverage of President Kennedy’s assassination, Warhol created a series of works based on news images of Jackie, both as glamorous First Lady and as grieving wife. Seven of these paintings will be shown alongside rare preparatory studies. The exhibition features a recent Currier acquisition: Flash—November 22, 1963. Produced five years after the assassination and exhibited now at the forty-fifth anniversary of the tragic event, this print portfolio includes eleven screenprints based on related news images including the book depository, Lee Harvey Oswald, and President Kennedy’s campaign poster—making it the only work by Warhol to depict the President. It also reproduces the teletype text from the four days between the President’s assassination and funeral, with the sheets bound like a book. Accompanied by archival materials and unique trial proofs related to this project, another major highlight is a one-of-a-kind, never-before exhibited screenprint of Senator Robert Kennedy that Warhol did not include in the final edition of the Flash portfolio. Also featured are excerpts from a 1965 reenactment of the assassination filmed in Warhol’s New York City loft known as the Factory. These works are shown for the first time alongside Warhol’s 1980 portraits of Senator Edward Kennedy.

In addition to selecting certain leaders as his subjects, Warhol was also commissioned by political hopefuls such as Edward Kennedy and Jimmy Carter. Their patronage of Warhol was intended to help position them as contemporary and progressive. That these projects—like his print Vote McGovern featuring a green-faced Richard Nixon created to support George McGovern’s presidential campaign against the incumbent—were produced to raise funds for candidates’ presidential campaigns, illuminates an active, even if veiled, political agenda by Warhol, who claimed he only voted once. Warhol’s elevated status in American society also gave him entrée into the world of politics including invitations to governors’ mansions and state dinners at the White House. The exhibition highlights these portrait commissions through photographs, drawings, prints, and paintings of each subject.

Warhol’s Artistic Process - Central to the exhibition’s focus is Warhol’s process for creating his portraits. The artist was more directly involved with his portrait commissions than with any other works. Rather than manipulating images he found in mass media outlets, Warhol began his commissions by taking dozens of Polaroid images of his subject. After selecting one or more of these photographs, Warhol transformed the sitter’s likeness into his signature style, often first producing drawings and then prints and paintings. This exhibition presents these Polaroids alongside related works of a single subject, capturing Warhol’s process as well as the repetition of images that became a hallmark of his work. This repeated image is further underscored with the inclusion of a large section of Mao wallpaper that the artist created for a gallery presentation of his work in 1974.

Ever the multimedia artist, Warhol also produced and directed films and created his own television shows. These projects helped shape his presence in American culture. The exhibition also includes excerpts from several of Warhol’s film and television programs that include political content: Since (1965), The Life of Juanita Castro (1965), Afternoon (1965), and an episode of Andy Warhol’s T.V. featuring an interview with New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1983).

Throughout the exhibition, works are accompanied by rarely seen archival materials from Warhol’s “time capsules.” Beginning in 1974, Warhol collected papers, photographs, correspondence, business records, and other objects in cardboard boxes, amassing over six hundred boxes by his death. Highlights relating to the exhibition include a solicitation from President-Elect Nixon for recommendations for his administration, an invitation to Nixon’s inauguration, a signed letter from Senator Robert Kennedy expressing his thanks for Warhol’s support, and a handwritten note from First Lady Nancy Reagan. These materials yield new insights into Warhol’s connection to the political celebrities he portrayed and how those relationships extended beyond his portraits of them.

Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1928. He studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh from 1945 to 1949, before moving to New York and working as a commercial artist and illustrator. In the 1960s, he rose to fame as a central figure in the Pop art movement. Responding to images from popular culture—particularly advertisements—Warhol began creating works that first shocked audiences by their similarity to commercial images. He accented this comparison by adopting technical processes used by professional printers. He further distanced himself from the physical production of the work by employing the help of studio assistants at his New York City loft called The Factory. His most famous works include series of images of Marilyn Monroe, Campbell’s soup cans, and Coca-Cola bottles.

In 1965, Warhol announced his retirement from painting to focus on filmmaking. However, he later continued to paint and produce monumental print editions. He also collaborated with The Velvet Underground rock band to produce multimedia events with light and film projections. On June 3, 1968, Warhol was shot by Valerie Solanis, founder and sole member of SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men). In 1969 he began publishing Interview magazine. In the 1970s, Warhol increasingly focused on portrait commissions, capturing the likeness of celebrities, politicians, and high society elite. He also created two cable television shows, Andy Warhol's T.V. in 1982 and Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes for MTV in 1986. Warhol died in 1987 following a routine gallbladder operation. A lifelong devout Catholic, a memorial service was held in his memory at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and attended by more than 2000 people. In 1994, The Andy Warhol Museum was founded in Pittsburgh and now houses an extensive collection of his works and archives.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

First Major French Retrospective of the Work of Jacques Villeglé at Centre Pompidou

First Major French Retrospective of the Work of Jacques Villeglé at Centre Pompidou


Jacques Villeglé, Rues Desprez et Vercingétorix – La Femme, 12 March 1966. Torn posters mounted on canvas 251 x 224 cm. Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany © Adagp, Paris 2008.

PARIS.- The Centre Pompidou presents the first major French retrospective of the work of Jacques Villeglé, an artist who since 1949 has succeeded – using one single material, the torn poster – in producing a very substantial body of work of astonishing formal richness.

Bringing together some hundred works dating from the 1940s to the present, the exhibition adopts a thematic approach to the artist’s work, from the typographical explosions and colored abstract compositions of the beginnings to the recent rhythmical juxtapositions derived from concert posters.

Villeglé is not a creator of readymades, even if he does nothing (except lend the occasional “helping hand”) to the posters he finds in the streets and then mounts on canvas. He sees himself rather as a flâneur, and his work is to reveal among the urban chaos the beauties hidden in the layered paper torn and sometimes written on or otherwise marked by anonymous hands.

Villeglé’s work offers a seismographic record of our shared reality as it finds expression in the urban space whose history it returns to us in the distinctive history of its walls. It reveals how much our way of seeing is conditioned by this everyday visual environment, reactivating our memory to critical yet at the same time playful ends.

Combining elements of the practice of such now “historic” movements as the New Realists, the Lettrists and the Situationist International, Villeglé’s work, rooted in the contemporary, is held in high regard by many of the younger artists of today.

Another important thread in the artist’s work is his “socio-political alphabet,” used in a whole series of works (on posters, canvases, school writing slates, etc.) and derived from the modified lettering often found in graffiti (e.g. the encircled A of the anarchists). These works are shown in a parallel display.

The exhibition also includes Villeglé’s work in experimental film, which incidentally offers parallels in sound to his own work, the soundtrack to Étude aux allures (1950-54) being a work of concrete music by Pierre Schaeffer, that to Un Mythe dans la ville (1974-2002) a piece by the poet Bernard Heidsieck. This interest in music can be seen too in a recent series of posters on the theme of amplified music, produced in collaboration with the Atelier d’Aquitaine (an informal workshop set up in 1997 to promote the gathering of posters in different regions of France), and again in the juxtaposition of Villeglé’s work with music by composers such as Pierre Henry, with whom he has collaborated on three occasions, and who, for this exhibition, offers a first performance of a new work.

Organization of the Exhibition

1. Introduction
It was in February 1949, in Paris, where he would move a few months later, that Jacques Villeglé, together with Raymond Hains – with whom he had become friends in 1945 – peeled from walls the materials for their Ach Alma Manetro – his first torn-poster work. The gesture inaugurated a practice of appropriation to which Villeglé would remain attached throughout his career: the recuperation of posters from the urban environment. Composed of debris from the ‘Atlantic Wall,’ recovered in 1947 from the port of Saint Malo, his sculpture Fils d'acier – Chaussée des Corsaires (Saint-Malo), a ‘drawing in space,’ as he called it, can be seen as foreshadowing this approach. During the 1950s, Villeglé and Hains would experiment with film, obtaining the images for Pénélope by filming colored motifs through reeded glass. The sound version of the film, produced in collaboration with the artists by composer Pierre Schaeffer in 1960, takes its name from the latter’s composition, Études aux allures. The fragmentation and distortion of the motif is applied also to letters, recalling the Cubist and Futurist explorations of lettering and the programmatic claims of the Lettrists whom Villeglé and Hains were close in the early 1950s. Hitherto unpublished studies for the book Hepérile éclaté, a reworking of a poem by Camille Bryen, attest to the thoroughness of the two friends’ artistic researches as they developed their new vision. Their artistic collaboration ended in July 1954.

2. The Lacerated Letter
Consisting mainly of posters for musical performances and neighborhood cinemas, this series deploys the letter and the fragmented word in a new visual register. “The type swarms in such profusion,” says Villeglé, “that its interactions, by inducing its vibratory quasi-disappearance, take us into the domain of the happily illegible, of the Mallarméan ineffable.” From the great frieze of Nymphéas to the Tapis Maillot (which gets it name from its being displayed on the floor at Villeglé’s exhibition “Lacéré anonyme” at François Dufrêne in 1959) and the ABC shown at the first Biennale des Jeunes in Paris that same year, the letter and the word, amputated and distorted, create a “a lexical assemblage ‘contradictory and almost perverse,’ comparable to the assemblages of Picasso, the collages of Max Ernst, the hubbub of Dada, the objectively fortuitous encounters of automatic writing, the disjointed successions of Apollinaire’s Fenêtres (a revelation to James Joyce), the broken sentences of Céline…”.

3. Images
Reacting to critics of the time who saw in his work of the 1950s only an abstraction in the tradition of Cubist collage, Villeglé produced a series deploying figurative images culled from the advertising posters that began to spread everywhere in the 1960s. It is no doubt this series of cheerful and often large-scale works that leads to Villeglé’s being sometimes seen as a precursor of Pop Art. Yet his approach, outlined in his foundational text, Des réalités collectives (1958), written in the wake of his first, misunderstood, exhibition at Galerie Colette Allendy in 1957, is distinguished by the critical distance introduced by the tearing of the posters by anonymous hands, which brings something new to the gesture of appropriation.

4. Torn Color
Bringing together a number of the artist’s characteristic themes, among them “No Letters, No Figures” and “Transparency”, this section presents one of the most immediately attractive phases of Villeglé’s work. He focuses here on the wide band of color that until the mid-1960s was often used as a border for advertising posters. The surface may be fragmented into a kaleidoscope of colors, divided into large areas of monochrome, or it may reveal an unexpected motif. In other works, Villeglé exploits the effects of the rain, which can result in a thin layer of paste being left on the poster beneath when the poster above is peeled off, toning down the colour and giving a somewhat vaporous aspect to the whole.

5. The Socio-political Alphabet
It was in 1969 that Villeglé produced his first graphic work using an alphabet drawn from the modified lettering often used in graffiti, an alphabet in which “A is anarchistically encircled, a star and crescent C faces a rounded-out D with a horizontal bar, the cross and circle of the Celticising [nationalists] (...) E becomes Chakhotin’s three arrows, counterattacking the swastika of the F, the creative whirlwind catastrophically hijacked by the Nazis, likewise N and Z, G is a hammer and a sickle with its star, within the H are inscribed I and S, I is stripy, J remains untouched, K, P and R become chrysm for the propagation of the faith.” After a period of further gestation lasting to the late 1970s, this vocabulary then returns in different forms to occupy – in accordance with the same logic of appropriation that governs the posters – all kinds of supports (synthetic canvas, paper, school writing-slates etc.). Today it represents the bulk of the artist’s production, now that he has stopped collecting torn posters.

6. Politics
“This brings together,” says Villeglé, “posters evoking international tensions, government policy, and village council elections – manoeuvres great and small, as the playwright Arthur Adamov might have put it.” This jarring display, culled from a graphic corpus both familiar and disturbing, offers a political history of France across the decades. Here the angry and destructive gesture of the passer-by takes on a particular resonance, while the obliterations and bucklings of the images effect a troubling critique.

7. Un Mythe Dans La Ville
In 1974, Villeglé was commissioned to produce an art film. In this he planned to combine views of Paris – more particularly of the “trou des Halles” and of the Centre Pompidou then under construction – with shots of an ‘unpublishable’ book created especially for the film by Denise Aubertin and shots of photographs and collages, together with various animations (some using the ‘socio-political alphabet’), a sequence on self-tearing posters, and finally a series of works based a poster for a Dubuffet exhibition. With the bankruptcy of the production company, these materials were set aside, finally to be assembled together, thanks to the assistance of the Film Department of the Musée National d’Art Moderne, only in 1998-2002. Villeglé offers a critical look at the Paris of the 1970s that is seconded by poet Bernard Heidsieck’s soundtrack, planned to accompany the piece from the very beginning, which intercuts one of his own texts with snatches of sound from the events May ’68 and extracts from debates in the French National Assembly.

8. Villeglé and the Hourlope
Hourloupe is the overall title of a series of works not by Villeglé but by Jean Dubuffet, composed jigsaw-fashion of flat, often hatched, cells in white, blue and red. Dubuffet ended the series with a group of paintings that he showed at the Centre National d’Art Contemporain in 1975. Villeglé was captivated first of all by the invitation-card, and then by the posters for the exhibition, which he started collecting from the walls. This led to the production of forty works, most of which would be used in the film Un mythe dans la ville. The Dubuffet figure which appears on the poster reminded Villeglé of a character from a novel by Jarry, a writer whom he had always admired for his audacity in reworking an existing text to produce his masterpiece Ubu roi. In the film, Dubuffet’s little man also embodies the figure of the walker, open to a wide range of critical interpretations. This series inspired by Dubuffet was exhibited for the first time in 1985.

9. Decentralization & The Atelier d'Aquitaine
The regulation of poster-advertising changed the face of Paris and by the early 1990s had made it impossible for Villeglé to find his materials there, forcing him to turn to other French cities: “In the 1980s, because fly-posting threatened the legitimate poster business, the professionals joined with local councillors to ensure that the law was enforced in the capital. So in 1991 I began to systematically decentralise my activities.” 1997 saw the establishment of the Atelier d’Aquitaine, a small, informal group that assisted Villeglé in collecting posters – mostly on the theme of rock music – in different regions of France, but also in Barcelona and Buenos Aires. The Atelier’s expedition to South America marked the end of Villeglé’s poster-collecting, and he now devotes himself almost exclusively to work with the socio-political alphabet.

Serpentine Gallery Presents Major New Work by Gerhard Richter: 4900 Colours: Version II

Serpentine Gallery Presents Major New Work by Gerhard Richter: 4900 Colours: Version II


Gerhard Richter, 4, 16, 64, 256, 1024 Farben (4, 16, 64, 256, 1024 Colours) 1974. Lacquer on canvas © 2008 Gerhard Richter.

LONDON.- Gerhard Richter is one of the world’s greatest living artists. Since the early 1960s, he has tirelessly explored the medium of painting at a time when many were heralding its death. He has produced a remarkably varied body of work, including photography-based portrait, landscape and still-life paintings; gestural and monochrome abstractions; and colour chart grid paintings.

The Serpentine Gallery presents 4900 Colours, a major new work comprising bright monochrome squares randomly arranged in a grid formation to create stunning sheets of kaleidoscopic colour. The 196 square panels of 25 coloured squares can be re-configured in a number of variations, from one large-scale piece to multiple, smaller paintings. Richter has developed a version comprised of 49 paintings especially for the Serpentine Gallery.

4900 Colours is parallel to Richter’s design for the south transept window of Cologne Cathedral, which replaced the stained glass that was destroyed in World War II. The window, unveiled in August 2007, comprises 11,500 hand-blown squares of glass in 72 colours that are derived from the palette of the original Medieval glazing. The seemingly arbitrary distribution of colours was generated using a specially developed computer programme and this renewed interest in using chance to define composition led the artist to develop the concept for 4900 Colours.

Richter produced the first in his series of grid paintings in 1966 in which he replicated, in large scale, industrial colour charts produced by paint manufacturers. As with his photo-paintings, the use of found material as a source removed the subjective compositional preferences of the artist, however, the Colour Chart Paintings took this a step further, eradicating any hierarchy of subject or representational intent, and focusing on colour to create an egalitarian language of art.

Since 1964, Richter has had more than 100 solo exhibitions worldwide. He represented Germany at the 36th Venice Biennale in 1972 and was the subject of a major touring retrospective, Forty Years of Painting, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2002.

The Serpentine Gallery exhibition is curated by Gallery director Julia Peyton-Jones, co-director Hans Ulrich Obrist, and exhibition curator Rebecca Morrill. It precedes two other major presentations of the artist’s work in the UK in 2008 and 2009: at the National Gallery Complex, Edinburgh from 8 November 2008 and at the National Portrait Gallery, London from 26 February 2009.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Damien Hirst / Jeff Koons – Artistes et managers

Damien Hirst / Jeff Koons – Artistes et managers

Les deux artistes les plus médiatiques et les plus chers de l´art contemporain ont d´autres points en commun. Ils bénéficient d´une actualité de premier ordre, font polémique, ont enregistré leur record respectif aux enchères en 2008… et connaissent bien les rouages de la communication, voire de la finance. Le mois de septembre 2008 a consacré les deux artistes à cinq jours d´intervalle. L´Américain Jeff Koons, artiste vivant le plus coté aux enchères, se frottait à la Grande Histoire, inaugurant son exposition au Château de Versailles (10/09/2008 au 14/12/2008), tandis que Britannique Damien Hirst défrayait la chronique en passant directement par Sotheby´s pour vendre ses œuvres…

La crise des subprimes, les banques en faillite, les troubles de Wall Street… rien ne fit frémir les collectionneurs et marchands venus participer au bal d´enchères le plus médiatique de la rentrée 2008. Sotheby´s Londres, les 15 et 16 septembre dernier, se substituait aux prestigieuses galeries White Cube (Londres) et Gagosian (New York), qui promeuvent habituellement l´œuvre de Damien HIRST, en lui dédiant deux vacations. Court-circuitant son réseau traditionnel de galerie, Hirst vient d´écrire une nouvelle page de l´histoire des ventes aux enchères et de montrer que le marché est capable de digérer des œuvres au sortir de l´atelier, qui n´ont d´autre pedigree que la signature d´un artiste starisé, et ce malgré un contexte économique alarmant. Le risque pour Hirst d´être boudé par les acheteurs était majeur. Il n´en fut rien, Sotheby´s enregistra 70,5 millions £ le 15 septembre (plus de 127 millions de dollars) et 40,9 milions £ le lendemain, faisant la fortune de Hirst. En devenant son propre manager, l´artiste a trouvé le procédé le plus rentable pour vendre ses œuvres.

Les 11 jours d´exposition avant vacation, drainèrent quelques 21 000 visiteurs selon Sotheby´s. Puis la grande vente du 15 septembre, ordonnée comme un spectacle, fut prise d´assaut. Les mains se sont levées à cette grande fête païenne ou l´on a adoré le Veau d´or, qui devint son œuvre la plus chère, frappée à 9,2 millions £. Plus ostentatoire que ses autres installations, ce veau baigné dans un aquarium de formol, érigé sur un piédestal de marbre et coiffé d´un disque recouvert d´or, fit monter sa cote d´un cran supplémentaire. Le précédent record enregistré pour Lullaby Spring, s´élevait en effet à 8,6 millions de livres sterling ( juin 2007, toujours chez Sotheby´s).

Jeff KOONS, comme Hirst, gère son entreprise artistique de main de maître. Tous deux emploient une centaine d´assistants, sont soutenus par des poids lourds comme la Gagosian Gallery, collectionnent les enchères millionnaires. Le record de Jeff Koons s´élève d´ailleurs à 11,5 millions de £ (22 947 100 $) pour l´œuvre Balloon Flower (Magenta) vendue le 30 juin dernier chez Christie´s Londres. Ce n´est pas tout. Leurs velléités d´indépendance et leurs connaissances des rouages du marché datent des années 80 : le jeune étudiant en art qu´était Hirst en 1988 s´érigeait en champion de l´autopromotion en orchestrant l´exposition Freeze. Il fut alors repérer par le publiciste, collectionneur et marchand d´art Charles Saatchi, celui qui lança en 1997 les Young Bristish Artists. A la même époque, son aîné Jeff Koons était trader à Wall Street. Lancé dans une carrière artistique, il bénéficia lui aussi d´un sponsor de premier ordre : François Pinault.

Aujourd´hui, leur notoriété est telle que les rôles semblent se renverser : on fait appel à Koons pour « dépoussiérer » le patrimoine culturel de Versailles, à des œuvres « fraîches » de Hirst pour renouveler ce que l´on appelle le second marché.


From a culinary perspective, we are told, Beijing is a city of big, shared portions, while Shanghai prefers more European-scaled servings. Similarly, while Beijing is the center of China’s sprawling art world, with a thriving underground and many far-flung art districts, Shanghai’s comparatively modest scene is host to ShContemporary (pronounced, apparently, "S-H-Contemporary"), Sept. 10-13, 2008, the People’s Republic’s play at a swanky, Art Basel-style art fair. (Meanwhile, Art Beijing, Sept. 6-9, 2008, just finished when I was there, was described caustically by one participant to me as "the worst fair ever, anywhere.")

ShContemporary, of course, has European organizing smarts behind it, backed by the folks at BolognaFiere, of Italy’s Bologna Art First fair. This year, some 150 dealers came to the giant Shanghai Exhibition Center -- a vast, wedding cake of a building (originally the "Palace of Sino-Soviet Friendship," a gift of Stalin to Mao) -- despite reports that at last year’s debut sales had been somewhat flat.

On deck were New York heavy hitters like James Cohan and Pace Wildenstein, fresh from opening spaces in Shanghai and Beijing, respectively; Lehmann Maupin, displaying the usual digital loveliness from Jennifer Steinkamp; Jack Tilton, who devoted his booth to a single hideous sculpture of a nude giantess by Xiang Jing, priced at $750,000; as well as Max Protetch, looking comfortable, Moti Hasson and a host of other galleries, with a big bias towards spaces from around the Pacific Rim.

It’s a funny moment for the commercial art market in China. While Western fairs like Art Chicago and Art Cologne are seeing their prestige eroded because of lack of international attention and as a result spend their promotional energy flying in collectors, Shanghai has the opposite dilemma. International money is well enough represented, but the foreign dealers who make the pilgrimage to ShContemporary come to build relationships with the mythical Chinese collectors who may -- or may not -- be slowly emerging from the woodwork.

Psychologically, this coming-out process is probably not helped along by the fact that since the last ShContemporary, the once-explosive Chinese stock market has wilted, losing about two-thirds of its value. The Shanghai Daily refers to the unwinding of a "China equities bubble." It also reports that this year’s Millionaire’s Fair, Oct. 10-12, a get-together targeted at Chinese new money, is changing its theme to focus on philanthropy instead of the luxury goods lifestyle. "A recent survey showed that Chinese millionaires were paying closer attention to wealth management than to luxury goods," Zhong Gang, the fair’s chief, told the paper.

Considerable effort is being put into trying to make these Chinese collectors feel comfortable at ShContemporary. Most productively, this involves the "Best of Discovery" section, a massive hall full of stand-alone projects selected especially to introduce new artists -- and by extension, the pleasures of hunting out new artists -- to the Chinese audience. This time around, the "Discoveries" on hand ranged from Georgian artist Sophia Tabatadze’s large embroidered wall meant to invoke Soviet-era apartment blocks -- an object of subtle intrigue -- to monster-sized, neon-studded fiberglass panties by Wang Zhiyan -- objects of not-so-subtle intrigue. The latter ranged in price from €30,000 to €150,000 for a really big pair.

Beyond this, ShContemporary also wooed local heavy hitters by offering two full days just for VIPs, Sept. 9 and 10. Accounts of the fruits of this extraordinary effort were mixed. "To be honest, it has been a bit sparse," said Thorsten Albertz, New York director of Korea’s formidable Arario gallery, holding court in his gallery’s spacious booth at the end of the second day.

In a follow-up email after the fair, Albertz said that the gallery had nevertheless sold "a few things" to Chinese collectors via the gallery’s Chinese staff, which is a must-have here. "It will be interesting to see which way ShContemporary takes things," he mused, expressing the hope that the fair would focus on attracting the Chinese audience and less on the international crowd. "International visitors are all faired out, and the mad China hype is over," he wrote.

Ace China journalist Barbara Pollock notes that foreign dealers at ShContemporary, burned by a perceived indifference last year to Western art, seem to have opted in 2008 for wares that might be more familiar to their Chinese audience (Pace Wildenstein was showing, among other things, a large Roy Lichtenstein pastiche of a Chinese landscape; "People keep asking if it’s a Chinese artist doing Lichtenstein," a staffer said.) By most accounts, Chinese collectors still favor more traditional Chinese art, are moving slowly into Chinese contemporary, and are still only unevenly interested in the wooly world of international contemporary art.

Still, the works on view in the wide halls of ShContemporary this year were edgy enough. Beijing’s Dong Run gallery, located just inside the entrance in the A Wing of the building, was an exception in showing documentary work -- photos by Xiao Zhuang made for an official news service and depicting scenes from the Cultural Revolution, priced between €2,000-€4,000. The gallery’s Winnie Ma said that interest had been expressed by both foreigners and Chinese, but that on the whole, the works attracted "older people." "Her [Xiao’s] photos remind them of their youth," Ma said.

More commonly, Asian dealers stacked their stands with art that reworks familiar icons of traditional prestige, typically giving them an ironic twist, a formula which no doubt serves a kind of mediating function for a scene straining between a new cosmopolitanism and a still-provincial taste. Thus, the Shanghai Gallery of Art’s booth was taken over by a rambling installation by Shen Yuan (an artist who was seen at the 2007 Venice Biennale) titled Extended Root (2005), consisting of a Lego model of the Great Wall of China connecting several giant, knotty pieces of driftwood. According to a press release, the work reflects "the opposition between what is constructed, rational and man-made versus something that is natural," and not, as I had thought, the pleasures of a family weekend at the beach. It was $75,000.

Similar in spirit were the fake artifacts by Tu Wei-Cheng at the Lin & Keng gallery, which has branches in Taipei and Beijing. Selections from an ongoing project begun in 2001 for which the artist fabricates archeological remains of the fictional "Bu-Num" civilization, the stone sculptures and weathered brick murals look somewhat authentic -- until you notice that the symbols relief-cut into them include multi-armed deities of cell phones and microchips. It’s a cool, if somewhat empty, gesture -- but it is popular. The artist already had a fair amount of success last year at ShContemporary in "Best of Discovery," and was shown in the 2006 Shanghai Biennial. One of the choicer pieces could be had for $60,000, number six in an edition of eight.

More fake deities were to be had at Seoul’s PYO Gallery, which opened a Los Angeles location in July. At ShContemporary, the gallery was offering Taiwanese artist Hou Chun-Ming’s large, black-and-white block prints, elaborate illustrations of an invented cosmology. In one, a feathery, winged cock-and-balls hovers over the head of a fanged skull. The set was $100,000 (a group Hou Chun-Ming prints sold for $340,138 at Christie’s Hong Kong last year). Still, PYO’s Heidi Chang said that most of the attention the booth had attracted was from foreigners -- or at least, it had been when I talked to her.

To be fair, some of the Western art on view specialized in the same ironic fun with symbols -- though in more than one case this had to do less with riffing on the prestige of Western culture and more to do with commenting on its faded glory. After ShContemporary 2007 saw a surplus of Andy Warhols for sale [see "ShConsumer ShConfidence," Sept. 20, 2007] -- apparently with less than spectacular results, sales-wise -- this year, Madrid’s Max Estrella brought giant fake print-outs of Warhols by Javier Arce, streaky, crumpled one-to-one black-and-white copies. A Marilyn could be had for €11,000; crappy paper Elvis was €14,000.

High-production-value eye candy, of course, is a style that is almost universal. Michael Lin -- Taiwanese by birth, Shanghai-based and trained at Art Center in Pasadena -- looked good at the booth of Taipei’s Eslite, which offered an installation-like hang of six of his paintings, each a solid blue field with cartoony flowers peeking into it, against a background of bright, flowery wallpaper. The paintings were €34,500 each. Also slick was a groovy hologram of a woman’s face titled Android (2008) by Hung Tunglu, tucked away in the booth of Han Ji Yun Contemporary Space and priced at $30,000.

At London and New Dehli’s Vadhera Art Gallery, on the second day of the VIP opening, when I asked how things had gone, the woman smiled slyly at her cohorts and said that sales had been "excellent" both days, and that they had already sold "almost everything" in the booth. If this is true, then it would be one of the few examples I heard at ShContemporary of the kind of smashing opening success you hear about at the fairs in London, Miami and New York.

Admittedly, Vadhera had some catchy material. Best of all was Biju Joze’s Swastik Knife, here just $4,000 (part of an edition of 18). Displayed in a small plastic box on the wall, with instructions nearby, the piece offered a Swiss Army knife, the various tools in shapes meant to evoke symbols from Indian mythology.

Back at Arario’s stand, a similar work by another Indian contemporary star, Reena Saini Kallat, caught my eye. On offer for $65,000, the work is an oversized marble sculpture of an iron, the business end studded with a dense thicket of different swords, sickles and tools, in traditional Indian forms.

Thorsten Albertz explained that the piece was meant as a commentary on women’s plight in India. What struck me, however, was how similar its mode was to Joze’s, and, in turn, how similar that mode is to the now-familiar style of the Chinese contemporary stars, a sort of wedding of the tropes of consumer culture with clever riffs on tradition. Maybe this is the style most appropriate to such mercurial markets, so interpenetrated with international collectors.

At the same time, perhaps the fact that Indian contemporary art represents a familiar strategy makes it the ideal gateway vehicle for the Chinese audience towards the international emerging art scene. It’s a thought. (Of course, Albertz also said that the Kallat had failed to sell at fair’s end.)

ShContemporary has certainly become China’s most glamorous art fair -- by a long shot. It looks great. The Convention Center is a terrific location for an art festival, its vast Stalinist spaces, meant to crush the individual, now giving plenty of room for the aggressive spectacles of globalized art world to assert themselves (a fine metaphor for China in general, actually.)

As I exited the fair, the cuisine theme reasserted itself. As I passed through the outdoor lounge just beyond the swanky Sky Vodka cocktail bar, there stood an elegant, slim table, wrapped in white linen with a gold ribbon, loaded with the remains of a fast food feast -- a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Pepsi and McDonald’s cups. Based on what you see on the street here at least, this is now as traditional a Shanghainese meal as any. The image nicely summed up the moment. Provincial no longer, Shanghai is still growing into its tony new profile as a mature art market.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Role of Music in Warhol's Work Explored for the First Time at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Role of Music in Warhol's Work Explored for the First Time at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts


Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli, 1979. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 101.6 X 101.6 cm. The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, Founding Collection, Contribution Dia Center for the Arts. 1997.1.10a ©Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts / SODRAC (2008).

MONTREAL.- For the first time in the historiography of Andy Warhol (1928-1987), the exhibition-event Warhol Live, presented from September 25, 2008, to January 18, 2009, will explore the all-pervading and fundamental role of music and dance in the artist’s work and life. Music is an essential narrative element that is present throughout the exhibition and will guide visitors as they rediscover Warhol’s work. From this unusual angle, viewers will be treated to a chronological and thematic reading, from the film music Warhol discovered in his youth to the disco scene at Studio 54, the legendary nightclub that opened in 1977, where he was one of the most famous regulars. The exhibition will bring together some 640 works and objects, paintings, silkscreens, photographs, works on paper, installations, films, videos, album covers, as well as objects and documents from the artist’s personal archives. It will juxtapose Warhol’s major emblematic works (Elvis, Marilyn, Liza Minnelli, Grace Jones, Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry, the Self-portraits and the Campbell's Soup Cans) with other, lesser-known works (album covers, illustrations, photos and Polaroids). There are also the artist’s films, including Sleep and Empire, as well as the Screen Tests of the musicians of the famous Velvet Underground, Andy Warhol’s TV and video clips produced for groups like The Cars and Curiosity Killed the Cat. The exhibition Warhol Live is produced by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in partnership with The Andy Warhol Museum, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.

The works come from The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and from leading public and private collections in Europe and North America. A collection of some fifty album covers belonging to Montreal collector Paul Maréchal will be presented together for the first time. It includes The Velvet Underground & Nico, Sticky Fingers (Rolling Stones), Love You Live (Rolling Stones), Silk Electric (Diana Ross), Aretha (Aretha Franklin) and Rockbird (Debbie Harry).

Music: An Essential Part of Warhol’s Work
While Warhol’s interest in music comes across highly anecdotally and briefly in his Journal and his numerous interviews, music and its representation in his work is remarkable and predominant: it is an invisible yet essential component.

From a drawing in 1948 for the cover of Cano – the student magazine at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, which depicts an orchestra in the “blotted line” technique – to the celebrity portraits of Mick Jagger, Liza Minnelli and Prince, Warhol created dozens of portraits of twentieth-century pop icons, from Elvis to the Rolling Stones, from the Beatles to Michael Jackson, throughout his career. From 1949, the year he arrived in New York, to 1987, the last year of his life, he also illustrated some fifty album covers, from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake to Aretha Franklin, Count Basie, Artie Shaw, the Velvet Underground, the Rolling Stones, Diana Ross and Blondie. Attesting to Warhol’s changing commissions and affinities, the thread that runs through this iconography reads like a history of postwar American musical tastes, from classical to jazz, rock, pop and soul, disco and hip-hop.

In Warhol’s world, music goes far beyond mere iconography. Warhol orchestrated the “All Tomorrow's Parties” at the Silver Factory, providing an ideal, ephemeral stage for Edie Sedgwick, his moving muse and first alter ego; he served as a producer for the Velvet Underground; he made an artistic contribution to Merce Cunningham’s choreography Rain Forest; he turned Studio 54 into an extension of his studio. Set to music, the invisible art that animates bodies and situates beings in space and in their time, he imagined the entire work of art that was Exploding Plastic Inevitable. He imagined himself in Sculpture Invisible. He used music in his films and filmed concerts. He produced music videos and met with musicians, notably for Interview, the magazine he founded in 1969. And above all, through the play of mirrors and osmosis he projected on his contemporaries, he himself became a rock star equal to Mick Jagger or Debbie Harry, his final inspiration.

Exhibition Design
Guillaume de Fontenay’s exhibition design will evoke some of the highlights in this relationship between art and music through reconstitutions that, while not exact re-creations like “period rooms,” will provide a closer look at the Silver Factory, with a mise en scène by photographer Billy Name, the multimedia show Exploding Plastic Inevitable to music by the Velvet Underground, Silver Clouds created for Merce Cunningham’s choreography Rain Forest to music by David Tudor, and the musical ambience of Studio 54, a veritable extension of Warhol’s studio from the 1970s to the end of his life.

The exhibition is curated by Stéphane Aquin, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Emma Lavigne, curator at the Musée national d’art moderne/CCI, Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Matt Wrbican, archivist at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. Greg Pierce, assistant curator, The Andy Warhol Museum, put together the exhibition’s film and video programming.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

20/21 British Art Fair Opens at the Royal College of Art

20/21 British Art Fair Opens at the Royal College of Art


Sir Christopher Frayling, Miriam Kramer, Dr. Wendy Baron, Louise Peck, John Humphrys, Paul Hooper (Galleries) (2006).

LONDON.- The 20/21 British Art Fair, the only fair specialising exclusively in modern and contemporary British art, will take place at the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 from 10 to 14 September.

When it started in 1988 - as The 20th Century British Art Fair - the market for Modern British art was comparatively small and work by most of the artists represented could be bought at a fraction of the prices they now command. Few would have predicted the enormous rise of interest – not just in British art but in art worldwide - which has occurred in the last few years and, today, this market has now grown beyond all expectation with record prices regularly being achieved.

At the Royal College of Art, which can justly be called the spiritual home of modern and contemporary British art, almost 60 of the UK’s leading dealers show all the great names of the 20th century: Bacon, Caro, Freud, Frink, Frost, Hepworth, Hockney, Hodgson, Lanyon, Lowry, Moore, Nash, Piper, Riley, Scott, Sutherland and Spencer. Alongside is a large selection of work by contemporary artists, some of whom already have international reputations – Hirst, Emin, Grayson Perry etc. and others who may be the stars of tomorrow.

The dealers are, without doubt, the backbone of the art trade. If you look into the archives of some of the oldest established participating galleries you will find evidence of their early support for many of today’s most sought after artists.

In fact, without the years of nurture and support spent by dealers building up an artist’s career - by mounting and curating exhibitions, organising print editions, publishing catalogues etc - it would be difficult for an artist to establish a reputation.

Major Celebration Heralding Francis Bacon's Centenary Opens at Tate Gallery in London

Major Celebration Heralding Francis Bacon's Centenary Opens at Tate Gallery in London


Francis Bacon, Triptych - In Memory of George Dyer 1971. Fondation Beyeler, Basel © Estate of Francis Bacon. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2008 . Photo: Peter Schibli, Basel.

LONDON.- An exhibition of the work of Francis Bacon (1909-1992) opening in September 2008 at Tate Britain will be a major celebration heralding the artist’s centenary in 2009. As the first UK retrospective since 1985, it will afford a re-assessment of his work in the light of the new research that has emerged since the revelation of his studio and its contents following the artist’s death. Comprising around 60 works and covering the artist’s career, the exhibition will bring together the most important works from each period of his life. It will be the largest display to date to examine Bacon’s sources, processes and thoughts.

Francis Bacon is widely acknowledged as one of the 20th century’s greatest painters of the figure. His paintings of the 1940s bore witness to the shattered psychology of the time and shot him to prominence that hardly diminished over the next fifty years. He captured sexuality, violence and isolation in his unflinching depictions of the anxieties of the modern condition.

The exhibition will explore Bacon’s philosophy that man is simply another animal in this godless world,subject to the same natural urges of violence, lust and fear that are physically evident in the body. Bacon’s output was dominated by the human body but these works will be displayed, just as they were when they were first made, with a number of representations of animals and visceral landscapes. The exhibition will bring together many celebrated paintings and triptychs including Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, 1944 (Tate Collection), Study after Velázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X 1953 (Des Moines Art Center, Iowa), Crucifixion 1965 (Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst, Munich) and In Memory of George Dyer 1971 (Fondation Beyler, Basel).

Francis Bacon was born in 1909 in Dublin, of English parents. Before the war he spent time in London, Berlin and Paris. After working first as an interior designer, he beganto paint around 1928. He destroyed most of his early works but emerged in 1945 as a major force with his Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion. He soon secured a reputation as one of the most important artists of his generation. He represented Britain at the Venice Biennale 1954 and had retrospective exhibitions at the Tate Gallery in 1962 and 1985, the Grand Palais, Paris, in 1971 and the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1989.

The exhibition is curated by Matthew Gale, Head of Displays, Tate Modern, and Chris Stephens, Head of Displays, Tate Britain. An accompanying catalogue will bring together a range of authors and will serve as a review and development of recent scholarship. The exhibition will tour to Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid from 3 February – 19 April 2009. It will be the first ever major Bacon retrospective in Madrid, the city where he died in 1992 and which houses the great works of the artists he most admired, Velazquez and Goya. It will then travel to the US to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York from 18 May – 16 August 2009.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Lucian Freud's Rarely-seen Portrait of Francis Bacon to be Offered at Christie's

Lucian Freud's Rarely-seen Portrait of Francis Bacon to be Offered at Christie's


Lucian Freud (b. 1922), Portrait of Francis Bacon. Photo: Courtesy Sotheby's.

LONDON.- Christie’s announce that they will offer one of only two oil portraits of Francis Bacon (1909-1992) ever painted by Lucian Freud (b. 1922) at the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 19 October 2008 in London. The last known remaining oil portrait (the other was stolen from an exhibition in Berlin in 1988), the rarely-seen painting offers a tangible and intimate glimpse into the inspirational friendship of two of the greatest British artists of the 20th century. It will be exhibited to the public for the first time in London from 15 to 19 October at Christie’s South Kensington, and is expected to realise £5 million to £7 million. At Christie’s New York in May 2008, Lucian Freud’s Benefit Supervisor Sleeping sold for $33 million / £17.3 million, a world record price for a work by a living artist sold at auction.

Pilar Ordovas, Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s London: “Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon are widely considered to be the most important British artists of the 20th century, and the international appreciation for their work has grown significantly over the last few years. We are thrilled to present to the international art market a rarely seen, intimate portrait which pays tribute to an inspirational friendship, and a key moment in the development of Freud’s career. This incredibly rare painting is one of the highlights of a week in which the international art world will turn their attention to London, and in which we will offer an exciting selection of Post-War and Contemporary art at Christie’s.”

Lucian Freud first met Francis Bacon in 1945 having been introduced by Graham Sutherland, a mutual friend and contemporary artist, who invited the pair to his house for the weekend. The pair formed a close friendship and saw much of each other during the following years. Although their friendship was built on a mutual respect, Bacon had a great influence on the younger Freud and is often credited with liberating his style and fuelling his desire to depict human life. In the early 1950s, the artists compounded their friendship by sitting for each other; Bacon’s first portrait of Freud was painted in 1951, and many other examples were to follow.

In contrast to his quite frequent appearances in Bacon’s portraits, Freud painted Bacon only twice; first in 1952 and again in 1956-57, which is the portrait to be offered at Christie’s in October. The earlier portrait was lent from the collection of the Tate to a Retrospective on the artist at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin in 1988 where it was stolen. In 2001, in preparation for the artist’s great Retrospective at Tate Britain, and echoing the great respect he held for Bacon, Freud designed a wanted poster which was placed around Berlin in the hope that the painting would be recovered in time for the exhibition. Its whereabouts remain unknown, and Freud has never allowed the image to be reproduced in colour.

The present work was painted in 1956-57 and, as with the earlier portrait of 1952, shows Bacon with a downward gaze. Bacon sat knee-to-knee with Freud while he worked on the portraits, and during the three months of sittings for the first work, he is said to have ‘grumbled but sat consistently’. The present work is unfinished, offering a fascinating snapshot into the working methods of the artist at a critical point of his artistic development; Freud had begun to work in a more expansive way using thicker brushstrokes, liberating the paint and creating a more worked complexion, more seasoned and full of life. It is thought that Bacon left suddenly, most likely in order to pursue his lover Peter Lacy in Tangiers.

The portrait was acquired by the present owner from a London gallery in 1972 and has remained in their possession ever since. It has rarely been seen in public, having made rare appearances at Wolfsburg and Tolouse in 2002-03, and in Venice in 2005.

Christie’s will present a series of exhibitions and auctions dedicated to Post-War and Contemporary art and 20th century Italian art from 15 to 21 October 2008, during a week when the international art world will gather in London for a showcase of contemporary art exhibitions and events including The Frieze Art Fair.

Damien Hirst Presents His Works of Art In Historic Sale to be Held at Sotheby's in London

British artist Damien Hirst poses beside his work of art 'The Incredible Journey' at Sotheby's in London on Monday, September 8. Photo: EFE / Andy Rain.

LONDON.- 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: