leslierankow

Contemporary and Modern Art Advisory Service

Revisiting Abstract Expressionism: Edward Dugmore, opening tonight at Loretta Howard Gallery

EDWARD DUGMORE 1961 B-3, 1961 Oil on canvas 95 1/2 x 83 1/4 inches

EDWARD DUGMORE
1961 B-3, 1961
Oil on canvas
95 1/2 x 83 1/4 inches

ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM, AN IMPORTANT AND INTRINSICALLY AMERICAN ART MOVEMENT DOMINANT IN THE 50s AND 60s,  ESTABLISHED AMERICA AS THE CREATIVE AND INTELLECTUAL CENTER OF THE POST-WORLD WAR II ART WORLD. ITS SPONTANEITY, EMOTIVE MAGNETISM AND ENERGETIC SPIRIT EXEMPLIFIED AMERICA’S GREAT ECONOMICAL AND CULTURAL POST-WAR BOOM.

WHILE THE CIRCLE OF FIRST GENERATION OF ABEX ARTISTS IS ETCHED IN OUR ART HISTORICAL LEXICON, A SIGNIFICANT GROUP OF SECOND GENERATION ABEX ARTISTS ALSO MERITS RECOGNITION AND CRITICAL ACCLAIM.  EDWARD DUGMORE, AN ABSTRACT PAINTER WITH TIES TO BOTH COASTS, WAS REPRESENTED BY THE DISTINGUISHED STABLE GALLERY IN NEW YORK IN THE 50s, HOWARD WISE IN THE 60s, AND GREEN MOUNTAIN GALLERY IN THE 70s. AS A STUDENT AT CAL ARTS UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST MASTER, CLYFFORD STILL, DUGMORE ALSO ENJOYED A PRESENCE IN THE WEST COAST ART WORLD.


lorhow_sf
LORETTA HOWARD GALLERY, LOCATED IN A BEAUTIFUL GROUND FLOOR SPACE IN CHELSEA AT 521 WEST 26th STREET, SPECIALIZES IN CLASSIC POST WAR AMERICAN ART WITH AN EMPHASIS ON ARTISTS WHO CAME INTO PROMINENCE IN THE 1950s AND 1960s. http://lorettahoward.com/about

IN THE SPRING OF 2014, THE GALLERY CURATED AN IMPORTANT RETROSPECTIVE OF WORKS BY  DUGMORE, ANCIENT EVENINGS: A RETROSPECTIVE OF EDWARD DUGMORE, FEATURING PAINTINGS FROM EACH DECADE THAT TRACED THE ARTIST’S CREATIVE TRAJECTORY OF MORE THAN 50 YEARS.

http://lorettahoward.com/content/ancient-evenings-retrospective-edward-dugmore

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GALLERY INTELL/YOU TUBE INTERVIEW WITH LORETTA HOWARD, May 29, 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCMeTl-dWVw

 

THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO FEATURE LORETTA HOWARD’S  FORTHCOMING EXHIBITION, EDWARD DUGMORE: THE SIXTIES, AN EXHIBIT CURATED FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE ARTIST’S RELATIONSHIP TO THE AMERICAN WEST. FOR EVERYONE NOW IN NEW YORK, OR ARRIVING SHORTLY FOR THE FORTHCOMING AUCTIONS AND ART FAIRS: ADAA’s ART SHOW  AT THE PARK AVENUE ARMORY, http://www.artdealers.org/ AND THE ARMORY SHOW AT NAVY PIERS. https://www.thearmoryshow.com/,

THE EDWARD DUGMORE  EXHIBITION AT LORETTA HOWARD GALLERY OPENS TONIGHT, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd AND CONTINUES THROUGH SATURDAY, MARCH 25th, 2017.

http://lorettahoward.com/content/edward-dugmore-7

 

EDWARD DUGMORE Aspen Quartet, 1961 Oil on canvas 69 1/2 x 85 5/8 inches

EDWARD DUGMORE
Aspen Quartet, 1961
Oil on canvas
69 1/2 x 85 5/8 inches

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Edward Dugmore: The 1960s

February 23 – March 25, 2017

Opening Reception: February 23, 6 – 8 pm

Loretta Howard Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of major canvases by Edward Dugmore from the 1960s. The works on display trace the artist’s engagement with the American West. This affinity developed at an early age in part from an interest in Native American life that began while looking through his fathers National Geographic magazines.

The 1960s marked a period during which the artist turned his field of vision away from the city and mined visual representation for inspiration. For Dugmore, the Rocky Mountains, which he experienced as a visiting artist to the Aspen school of Art in 1961, became a mystic symbol. Dugmore’s mountainous topographies avoid direct visual reference instead embodying the tectonic drama of the landscape as a catalyst for spiritual reflection. This romantic impulse can be traced to English poet and painter William Blake who’s own ambition was to render the contemplation of nature as a transformative experience.

EDWARD DUGMORE Maine #35, 1965 Ink on paper 19 x 24 inches

EDWARD DUGMORE
Maine #35, 1965
Ink on paper
19 x 24 inches

Equally important were Dugmore’s yearly trips to Washington, Maine, where he and his wife purchased land in 1960 along with fellow artists Ernie Briggs and Anne Arnold. A selection of ink drawings from the early 1960s highlights the important influence of this environment on the artist’s paintings of the next ten years. Dugmore sketched, often times interpreting the landscape through its reflection in the Medomak River and nearby saltwater coves.

THE NEXT LRFA POST FEATURES EXCERPTS FROM AN INSIGHTFUL ESSAY ON THE CURRENT EXHIBITION BY HOWARD HURST, DIRECTOR AT LORETTA HOWARD GALLERY AND CONTRIBUTING WRITER AT HYPERALLERGIC.

MANY THANKS TO LORETTA AND HER GALLERY TEAM FOR SHARING THIS EXHIBITION WITH US.

The art market, present and future, with Phillips post-war and contemporary expert, Robert Manley

 

Edward Dolman, second from left, chairman and chief executive of Phillips, with, from left, the house’s art experts Jean-Paul Engelen, Robert Manley and Scott Nussbaum. Credit Alex Welsh for The New York Times

Edward Dolman, second from left, chairman and chief executive of Phillips, with, from left, the house’s art experts Jean-Paul Engelen, Robert Manley and Scott Nussbaum.
Credit Alex Welsh for The New York Times

NEWS OF ONE OF MANY MAJOR SHIFTS IN THE AUCTION WORLD POSTED IN AUGUST, 2015, IN THE ART INDUSTRY’S NEWSLETTER,  JOSH BAER’S BAER FAXT,  ANNOUNCING THE DEPARTURE TO PHILLIPS AUCTION HOUSE OF CHRISTIE’S SPECIALISTS, JEAN-PAUL ENGELEN (POST WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART, CURATOR OF PUBLIC ART AT THE QATAR MUSEUM), HUGUES JOFFRE  (19th AND 20th CENTURY ART) AND ROBERT MANLEY  (DEPUTY CHAIR, POST WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART). WITH THIS TRIUMVIRATE IN PLACE, PHILLIPS MADE ANOTHER LARGE STRIDE AWAY FROM ITS EARLIER MONIKER, “THE THIRD AUCTION HOUSE”, TOWARDS BECOMING TODAY’S POWERHOUSE WITH A GLOBAL PRESENCE.

HAND-PICKED FROM SOTHEBY’S AND CHRISTIE’S, PHILLIPS HAS OFFERED MANY SPECIALISTS FROM THOSE VENERABLE HOUSES THE PROSPECT OF JOINING A TEAM HEADED BY EX-CHRISTIE’S AUCTION VETERAN, ED DOLMAN, CEO AT PHILLIPS SINCE 2014, AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHAPE A NEW PLATFORM FOCUSING ON THE TASTES AND VIEWPOINT OF THE CURRENT CONTEMPORARY COLLECTOR.

http://www.artnews.com/2015/03/24/ed-dolman-at-phillips-auction-house/

Edward Dolman CEO Phillips

Edward Dolman
CEO Phillips

Dolman’s years at Christie’s coincided with a sea change in collecting habits. “The profile of the collector when I started in this business was someone fairly late in life who had gotten interested in a niche market and would spend 10 to 15 years building that collection,” he said. “But now the profile is completely different. They are much younger, they have much more money to spend, and they want to put together a collection a lot more quickly. They’re a little more impatient, and the supply problem is solved by the contemporary market.”

https://news.artnet.com/market/phillips-three-hires-christies-323427

IT IS A PRIVILEGE FOR THE LRFA BLOG TO CONTINUE ITS DIALOGUE WITH ROBERT MANLEY, DEPUTY CHAIR AT PHILLIPS, WHOSE UNDERSTANDING OF THE ART AND AUCTION MARKETS AND HIS DEEP RAPPORT WITH COLLECTORS BOTH ESTABLISHED AND NASCENT, SETS A HIGH STANDARD.

Robert Manley and Jean-Paul Engelen Phillips’ Worldwide Co-Heads of 20th Century & Contemporary Art

Robert Manley and Jean-Paul Engelen
Phillips’ Worldwide Co-Heads of 20th Century & Contemporary Art

ROBERT, WHAT DO YOU ANTICIPATE WILL BE THE EFFECT OF THE CORRECTION THAT IS TAKING PLACE IN THE ART MARKET? IN WHAT WAYS, CAN COLLECTORS PROTECT THE VALUE OF THEIR COLLECTIONS DURING THESE SHIFTS IN THE MARKET?

I don’t see much effect of the so-called correction on any area of the market, with the exception of works over $20 million. And even in that heady territory, there is still demand, just not quite as deep. The market is alive and well although maybe a bit of the froth has subsided. You might have to fight a tiny bit less for certain works and your place on the waiting list at a top gallery might be a little bit shorter, but fundamentally, things haven’t changed much.

I try to maintain the same outlook whether it is a down market or an up market. At the risk of lapsing into an extended art world cliché, you should buy the things you love and buy as well as you can. It’s also important to put together a collection that has some themes or some kind of focus, that make it more than the sum of its parts. Get some good advice from people you trust, like Leslie Rankow for instance!

BANKSY Submerged Phone Booth 2006 Phillips London Evening Sale October 2014

BANKSY
Submerged Phone Booth
2006
Phillips London Evening Sale October 2014

One important thing to do is decide on personal financial thresholds for your collection. Under a certain amount, you should be buying purely for the love of it, and with no hope or expectation of resale or appreciation of value. Above a certain amount, you expect a work to maintain its value, which in effect, makes it more of an “investment”.  

I hate talking about art as an investment, but if you want to protect the value in your art collection, the best way to do that is to avoid putting yourself in the position of having to sell something quickly. Most quality works of art by established artists can be sold at a price that is commensurate with its quality, if you have a long enough time horizon.

The best investment advice for art is…don’t invest in art. Invest in things that make you lots of money, and then your reward is the art you buy with it. The joy you get from it is your dividend, and if it goes up in value, it’s icing on the cake. Like any form of investing, it’s a pursuit for professionals. It’s a hard business to thrive in, with high opportunity costs and massive capital risk, so I wouldn’t recommend it unless you want to make it your full-time occupation.

Interior view Phillips Auction House, London

Interior view
Phillips Auction House, London

THAT IS VERY GOOD ADVICE.

WHAT IS PARTICULARLY EXCITING ABOUT JOINING PHILLIPS AND WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR GOALS AND RESPONSIBILITIES?

It was a great year on garden leave but I very much looked forward to joining Phillips. I am working side by side with Jean-Paul Engelen, providing strategic planning and vision for the Contemporary department worldwide. Most of my time is spent doing the same things I’ve always been doing, working with top clients and important works of art. Essentially I’ve been doing the same thing for about 26 years, but it never gets old because there are always new things to learn, and great collections to see.

The new challenge I welcome very much is working with Jean-Paul and CEO Ed Dolman, and many others, to create a strong team mentality, with complete trust and transparency. Phillips has put together an incredible team, some of the best and most experienced from all of the top auction houses, in all of the fields that matter to Phillips. The shareholders of Phillips are passionate art collectors themselves, have a long-term vision and are willing to invest in it. We have some innovative ideas about how we are going to organize our auctions and reach into new markets…at a smaller company like Phillips, we can do things that are impossible at a larger corporation. I’m very bullish on the contemporary art market in general and feel Phillips is positioned like no other company to play a leadership role in it.

Phillips New York

Phillips New York

ROBERT, THIS WAS SUCH A VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION TO THE LRFA BLOG. SO MANY THANKS!

IN THE NEXT POST, THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO VISIT THE LORETTA HOWARD GALLERY IN CHELSEA. THE GALLERY SPECIALIZES IN CLASSIC POST-WAR AMERICAN ART WITH AN EMPHASIS ON ARTISTS WHO CAME INTO PROMINENCE IN THE 1950s AND  1960s.  THE FORTHCOMING SOLO EXHIBITION OF MAJOR CANVASES BY EDWARD DUGMORE FROM THE !960s OPENS ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd AND CONTINUES THROUGH MARCH 25th, AT 521 WEST 26th STREET, IN CHELSEA, NEW YORK.

UNTIL THEN, THANKS FOR FOLLOWING THE LRFA BLOG!

 

The hierarchy of the auction world with Robert Manley, Deputy Chair of Phillips

auctions-1

THE FIRST RECORDED AUCTION ACTIVITY TOOK PLACE IN GREECE IN 500 BC WHERE WOMEN WERE AUCTIONED OFF AS BRIDES BY THEIR FAMILIES. ACCORDING TO THE RESEARCH POSTED IN THE TELEGRAPH, IN A BLOG BY CHARLOTTE ZAJICEK, IN OCTOBER 2016, THE ROMANS, AS WELL, WERE ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN THE AUCTION PROCESS, REGULARLY SELLING OFF THE SPOILS OF WAR, SLAVES AND DEBTORS’ HOLDINGS BY THIS MEANS.

Roman Slavery Auctions

Roman Slavery Auctions

AFTER A LULL OF SEVERAL CENTURIES, THE AUCTION HOUSE, IN A FORM SIMILAR TODAY, BEGAN TO MULTIPLY, THE FIRST, THE STOCKHOLM AUCTION HOUSE APPEARING IN 1674, FOLLOWED BY SOTHEBY’S, FOUNDED IN 1744 AND THEN CHRISTIE’S, IN 1766.  IN RECENT DECADES, MODERN TECHNOLOGY HAS TRANSFORMED THE PROCESS OF AUCTIONING, INITIALLY WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF TELEPHONE BIDDING AND AND CURRENTLY REVOLUTIONIZING THE AUCTION PROCESS WITH ONLINE AUCTIONS DURING A PERIOD WHEN THE CONTEMPORARY ART MARKET HAS EXPLODED TO A FULLY GLOBAL SCOPE.

Online auction

Online auction

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG WELCOMES BACK ROBERT MANLEY, DEPUTY CHAIR AND WORLDWIDE CO-HEAD OF POST WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART AT PHILLIPS, FOR A DETAILED ANALYSIS OF THE AUCTION HOUSE DEPARTMENT HIERARCHY, FORM AND FUNCTION. THANK YOU, ROBERT, FOR TAKING THE TIME TO JOIN US!

HOW DOES CHRISTIE’S STRUCTURE ITS DEPARTMENTS? WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A JUNIOR SPECIALIST, SENIOR SPECIALIST AND DEPARTMENT HEAD?

At the top, you have the International Head (or Co-Heads) who provides the vision and overall direction of the department worldwide. Then there are the local Heads of Department in New York and London, who report into the International Head. Then there are Sale Heads: Evening sale, Day Sale, Off-season (such as First Open), and Online sales. These Sale Heads are in charge of virtually every decision related to their sale, and they report into the local Department Heads. Junior specialists/cataloguers generally report to Sale Heads. 

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Then there are various senior colleagues who report to International Heads, who work on various important deals and assist important clients. We also had a separate Private sale department within the department, with its own team of specialists and administrators. This was the general structure about 1 year ago. In many ways, all specialists do the same things—we work on appraisals, price and evaluate artwork, help bring in business, help manage consignments, and work with collectors and dealers when it comes to buying and selling art.

Working side by side with the International Heads and Department Heads are Business Managers, who make sure everything runs smoothly and help manage everything on a day to day basis. They are the unsung heroes of the departments, in some ways, along with the various administrators who help manage the mountains of paperwork and logistics.

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HOW MUCH INVOLVEMENT DID YOU AND YOUR TEAM HAVE IN THE WRITING OF THE CATALOGUE LOT NOTES, A RICH AND HUGELY ACADEMIC CONTRIBUTION NOT JUST TO THE SALE BUT TO THE UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE LOTS COMING UP FOR SALE.

When I started in 2000, the specialists on the team wrote all of the notes. I wrote a fair amount of the Evening sale essays in my first 6 years at Christie’s and it was an important part of my learning experience. I remember on more than one occasion, being at Christie’s at 3AM as we were finishing the Evening sale catalogue, and having Brett Gorvy (the International Head of Christie’s) ask me to write or rewrite a quick catalogue note. The catalogue deadline period is a bit like being in graduate school, and working insanely long hours was (and still is) a regular occurrence.

I forget the exact date but it wasn’t until about 2008 or so that we finally hired a proper full-time writer…by the time I left, we had a small team of writers (and a pool of freelancers) writing most of the essays. Brett Gorvy was a writer before he joined Christie’s and he took the texts and catalogues very seriously, obsessing about the comparables we would use, and the catalogue layout. He wrote many of the texts himself and still writes on the things that are important to him. In this regard, he was very much an inspiration and I learned a great deal from him.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS IN TERMS OF CONSIGNING WORK FOR SALE? HOW DOES THE SELECTION PROCESS OF WHICH SALE WOULD BENEFIT THE CONSIGNEE THE MOST TAKE PLACE?

Another great question, impossible to answer quickly. It really depends on the object. For 90% of the works, the choice is clear—all sales have a general band of minimum and maximum values and most artists have a clear track record of having performed well in those venues. And as I said before, my personal philosophy is that the auction estimate is what matters, more than the venue.

But there are situations in which a work of art can arguably be put in more than one sale and that is a decision that is generally made by a Sale Head. When it involves an Evening sale, the Sale Head typically gets input from their senior colleagues. We treat one-off consignments differently than a collection. You might not put a $100,000 Warhol in an Evening sale, but if it comes in with a nice group of higher value Pop Art, you might.

andy_warhol_christies_triple_elvis

There is also an intangible quality, a bit hard to define, but you are looking to put as many “special” works as possible in the Evening sale. Unlike a day sale, you can only have a finite number of works in an Evening sale and since it is the only Sale that the press will cover, it needs to be both interesting and commercially successful.

Personally, I think the distinction between an “Evening sale lot” and a “Day sale lot” is a false one. Every situation is different. I remember putting some great works by the Canadian Color Field painter, Jack Bush, into an off-season sale in July 2013 (from the collection of Andy Williams)…a move that some people in the trade were second-guessing. The three works in the sale remain three of the four highest prices ever paid for the artist, including the current world record, which sold for over $600,000 against an estimate of $30-50,000!

Jack Bush Red Side Right (Right Side Red) 1965

Jack Bush
Red Side Right (Right Side Red) 1965

YOU REACHED THE STATUS OF DEPUTY CHAIRMAN AT CHRISTIE’S PRIOR TO YOUR DEPARTURE? WHAT WERE THE RESPONSIBILITIES IN THAT ROLE AND IN THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ON WHICH YOU SERVED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY DEPARTMENT?

Essentially I did the same job I always did…working with top clients on top consignments. The only difference was that on the Executive Committee (and other committees I served on), I was involved with the strategic planning and overall vision of the department.

THE ART MARKET ENTERED A CORRECTION PHASE AT LEAST TWO YEARS AGO, AND WITH EACH PASSING SEASON OF AUCTION RESULTS, CONTINUES ITS REVISIONIST TREND. ROBERT MANLEY IS CERTAINLY ONE OF THE MOST EXPERIENCED AND SEASONED VETERANS OF THE AUCTION WORLD AND, IN OUR NEXT POST, THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO HAVE HIM AS OUR GUIDE.

PLEASE JOIN US!

 

 

The art of auction with Robert Manley, Deputy Chair at Phillips

Christie's London: Robert Manley and colleague with Ed Ruscha's 'Mint (Red)' (R) and Willem de Kooning's 'Untitled XVII' (C)

ANDY WILLIAMS: AN AMERICAN LEGEND Robert Manley and colleague with Ed Ruscha’s ‘Mint (Red)’ (R) and Willem de Kooning’s ‘Untitled XVII’ (C)

A SINGLE OWNER SALE AT AUCTION OFTEN REPRESENTS A LIFETIME OF COLLECTING, A FIERCE COMMITMENT AND DEDICATION TO A PERIOD OF ART,  A PASSIONATE UNENDING SEARCH, ATTENDING AUCTIONS, ART FAIRS, AND GALLERIES, VACUUMING UP KNOWLEDGE FROM EVERY DEALER, SPECIALIST AND CURATOR. EACH AUCTION HOUSE COMPETES AGGRESSIVELY  FOR A SIGNIFICANT ESTATE OR COLLECTION OFFERING GUARANTEES, PREMIUM CATALOGUE PLACEMENT, SOMETIMES A SEPARATE PUBLICATION, AS WELL AS EVENTS PREVIEWING THE WORK, TRAVELING HIGHLIGHTS TO THEIR RESPECTIVE AUCTION HOUSES AROUND THE WORLD.

THE PASSION OF THE COLLECTOR RESONATES IN A SINGLE OWNER SALE, SUCH AS CHRISTIE’S ANDY WILLIAMS: AN AMERICAN LEGEND.

In addition to music, Williams’s other great passion was art. His collecting philosophy was based on exemplary connoisseurship – taking time to study an artist’s oeuvre and buying only the best examples… with special emphasis on artists working in New York and Los Angeles, some of whom he knew: de Kooning (a favorite), Hofmann, Diebenkorn, Kline, Noland, Ruscha, Motherwell, Oldenburg and Basquiat. ‘I could not imagine a life without paintings,’ he once admitted. ‘I look at my paintings every day… I could not imagine a room without art.’

Damien HIrst: Magnificent Obsession Barbican Art Gallery, London

Damien HIrst: Magnificent Obsession
Barbican Art Gallery, London

THE ARTIST DAMIEN HIRST HAS BEEN AN IMPASSIONED COLLECTOR SINCE CHILDHOOD. IN THE BARBICAN EXHIBIT, MAGNIFICENT OBSESSIONS: THE ARTIST AS COLLECTOR, HIRST SPEAKS ABOUT HIS COLLECTION OF SKULLS, TAXIDERMY AND MEDICAL MODELS AS

…reminders of what life is, and what it might be or will end up being. A collection is deeply personal, and says so much about who the collector is, and what they believe in or are afraid of, but I think it also inevitably ends up speaking of many fundamental and universal truths.

 

DURING HIS 16-YEAR TENURE AT CHRISTIE’S, ROBERT MANLEY, FORMER DEPUTY CHAIR OF THEIR POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY DEPARTMENT, LED SEVERAL OF THE HIGHEST-GROSSING SALES IN AUCTION HISTORY. HE WORKED CLOSELY WITH MANY OF OUR MOST PRESTIGIOUS COLLECTORS AND BROUGHT THEIR WORK TO THE MARKET AS HE CONTINUES TO DO SO AS DEPUTY CHAIR OF PHILLIPS.

THE LRFA BLOG IS PLEASED TO CONTINUE ITS DIALOGUE WITH AUCTION EXPERT, ROBERT MANLEY, ON THE ART OF AUCTION.

 

Robert Manley with Warhol's Silver Liz Looking Forward to the Past 11 May 2015, New York

Robert Manley with
Warhol’s Silver Liz
Looking Forward to the Past
11 May 2015, New York

YOU ARE KNOWN AS A “RAINMAKER”, AND JUSTIFIABLY SO. HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE THAT MONIKER?

I take that as a compliment, but I’m not comfortable with these kinds of descriptions, there is far too much ego in it. I know full well that a fair amount of the business that I’ve done has been a result of my being at the leading contemporary auction house. At the end of the day, the focus should be on the art, the artists, the collectors and the dealers (in that order)…auction house “rainmakers” should be near the bottom of the attention-getting food chain. 

I think of myself as an advisor of sorts, someone who helps people with making smart decisions when it comes to building their collections. If you build trust and confidence with people, they will think of you when it comes time to sell. I also get a fair amount of referral business from people I’ve worked closely with.  Most of the “rain” that I’ve made has come from people who I’ve worked with over the years.

Robert Manley & Leslie Rankow Evening Sale Preview Christie's New York 2010

Robert Manley & Leslie Rankow
Evening Sale Preview
Christie’s New York 2010

 

I admire truly experienced art advisors, who understand the business, know the history behind things and the market. In some ways, people like you are how I model everything I do and that’s not a facile compliment.

IN AN INDUSTRY THAT IS HIGHLY COMPETITIVE, WHAT GUIDANCE DO YOU GIVE A COLLECTOR IN TERMS OF HIS OR HER EXPECTATIONS WHEN CONSIGNING A WORK? AT AUCTION, CATALOGUE PLACEMENT, SALE PLACEMENT, PRIVATE SALES VS. AUCTION, TO NAME A FEW CONSIDERATIONS THAT COME TO MIND.

That is an excellent question, and one could write a book with the answer. I hate to generalize, but I know from experience that the most important thing is that the work must have a sensible and attractive estimate. The rest is essentially window dressing. If you are working with a knowledgeable auction specialist or advisor, put your trust in them and more often than not, you’ll be rewarded with a successful outcome. Don’t be seduced by aggressive estimates.

Regarding private sale versus auction for contemporary art, it really depends on the object, but in general, I think auction houses thrive best with classic examples by big name artists. In general, auction houses are not set up to handle private sales for works of art under $250,000 and they have little success with artworks that are atypical or by artists who don’t have a strong track record.  

imgres-1

One increasingly smart option for collectors is to get both auction and private sale options from an auction house, what we call a “rollover” consignment … an object is consigned for a limited period of time for private sale, and if it doesn’t sell, it immediately goes to auction. In this scenario, consigning a lower priced artwork to an auction house makes sense for all parties concerned.

For a large percentage of the art that is in search of a home, an auction house is not the best place for it. A good auction specialist refers plenty of business to dealers who are better equipped and more knowledgeable about a particular artist. I would rather give clients the best advice, even if it means some business goes elsewhere.  

Jackson Pollock Christie's, 2004

Jackson Pollock
Christie’s, 2004

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SALES THAT YOU CONSIDER THE MOST SIGNIFICANT?

In 2004, Christie’s had the first Contemporary Auction that surpassed $100 million…we had a great Pollock work on paper from MoMA that sold for a world record price for the artist of around $10 million. We all thought there probably would never be another $100 million Contemporary sale, at least not for many years (anyone who tells you otherwise is lying). Little did we know that it would be the beginning of an incredible bull run in the contemporary market, in which every season would be more valuable than the next.

POST-WAR & CONTEMPORARY EVENING SALE SALE 2785 New York, Rockefeller Center 15 May 2013

POST-WAR & CONTEMPORARY EVENING SALE
SALE 2785
New York, Rockefeller Center
15 May 2013

One important landmark was Christie’s May 2013 Post-War and Contemporary Evening sale auction. At $495 million, it which was the highest value sale of its kind, anywhere, in any category. Previously, all of the top value auctions were Impressionist and Modern sales. Now that the contemporary department had surpassed that, it was clear there would be no going back. The disparity between the Contemporary and Impressionist and Modern sales would increasingly grow with each passing season. This isn’t because one market was better or stronger, but simply there wasn’t enough supply of great Impressionist and Modern works.

Henry Darger At Sunbeam Creek/At Wickey Sansia Christie's New York: January 27, 2003 20th Century Self-Taught and Outsider Art

Henry Darger
At Sunbeam Creek/At Wickey Sansia
Christie’s New York: January 27, 2003
20th Century Self-Taught and Outsider Art

One sale that was lower value, but as meaningful as any I was involved with, was the Outsider Art auction that I curated for Christie’s in 2003. Consisting mostly of works from the incomparable Robert Greenberg collection, it was the first standalone outsider auction at an international auction house. I somehow squeezed this project in, in-between my working 80 hours a week at Christie’s East on the 20th Art sales.

Clyfford Still 1947-R-no. 1 Post War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, November 2006 5,000,000 - 7,000,000 USD Sold 21,296,000 USD Premium

Clyfford Still
1947-R-no. 1
Post War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, November 2006
5,000,000 – 7,000,000 USD
Sold 21,296,000 USD Premium

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SPECIFIC WORKS AND/OR COLLECTIONS THAT WERE THE MOST OUTSTANDING DURING THE TIME YOU HEADED THE POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY SALES?

One of the most memorable experiences was a consignment of a painting by the Abstract Expressionist painter Clyfford Still. Dating from 1947, dramatically painted in red and black, and in the same collection for over 40 years, the painting had all of the fire and jagged energy that you could ask for. It was truly as good a painting as you would ever get on the market, and since the artist sold few works in his lifetime (with the rest locked up in a trust), it was extremely rare. The deal was still being done on July 30, 2006, and as my fiancée was walking down the aisle, I remember taking the call from the consignor (I kept the call brief!). I worked on the deal throughout my entire honeymoon. Estimated at $5-7 million, it sold for over $21 million, a world record at the time.

Right: Collector Anita Kahn with Christie's Robert Manley (Photo: Sarah Thornton)

Right: Collector Anita Kahn with Christie’s Robert Manley
(Photo: Sarah Thornton)

I will also never forget working with Andy Williams and Anita Kahn, and bringing their collections to market when they died. It was bittersweet selling the works of two good friends, but I knew that I honored their collection and their memory in a way that few people could have. The auction results were astonishingly good, both between $70-$100 million, which is a testament to their eye and their passion. 

IN OUR NEXT LRFA POST, ROBERT WILL DESCRIBE THE ENORMOUS SCOPE AND SCALE OF FOCUS AND DEDICATION THAT A SIGNIFICANT POSITION IN THE AUCTION WORLD DEMANDS. ROBERT IS PASSIONATE ABOUT HIS WORK AND ABOUT ART AND HERE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ROLE OF AUCTION SPECIALIST!

Transitions: from gallery to auction, with Phillips Deputy Chair Robert Manley

Thomas Hart Benton America Today Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thomas Hart Benton
America Today
Metropolitan Museum of Art

AS THE ART MARKET, PARTICULARLY FOR POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY WORKS,  HAS REACHED MONOLITHIC PROPORTIONS AND CONSEQUENTLY ENORMOUS PUBLIC ATTENTION, MANY COLLECTORS WHEN DEACCESSIONING WORKS HAVE GRAVITATED TO THE DISCRETIONARY ADVANTAGES OF A PRIVATE SALE. NOW, AS WE FACE A CORRECTION IN THE ART MARKET, MORE COLLECTORS WILL UNDOUBTEDLY SEEK THE PRIVATE SALE SECTOR BE IT AT AUCTION, A GALLERY OR PRIVATE DEALER,  TO PROTECT THE WORKS THEY ARE INTERESTED IN SELLING.

WHEN THE MARKET SLOWS AND COLLECTORS AND AUCTION SPECIALISTS ARE ANALYZING THE BEST VENUE FOR THE SALE OF A WORK, GALLERY EXPERIENCE IS INVALUABLE IN DEVELOPING THE SKILL AND COUNSELING REQUIRED WHEN WORKING INTIMATELY WITH CLIENTS IN THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS.

ROBERT MANLEY, DEPUTY CHAIR  AND WORLDWIDE CO-HEAD OF 20th CENTURY AND CONTEMPORARY ART AT PHILLIPS AUCTION HOUSE, BRINGS BOTH THE THE GALLERY EXPERIENCE THAT ENCOURAGES LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS WITH COLLECTORS AND THE AUCTION EXPERTISE THAT  OFFERS A PROFOUND KNOWLEDGE OF THE MARKET  AND CONTACTS WITH PRIVATE COLLECTORS WORLD-WIDE.

ROBERT, THANK YOU FOR OUR CONTINUED DIALOGUE.

DID YOU WORK WITH OTHER GALLERIES BEFORE YOU JOINED THE AUCTION WORLD? IF SO, WHICH GALLERIES AND WHAT DID THEY FOCUS UPON?

I also worked at ACA Gallery in New York, an art gallery with a rich history that dated back over 70 years. They focused on American Art, especially Social Realism, and had a number of important exhibitions over their storied history, from Joseph Cornell to Romare Bearden…

 

Romare Bearden The Block Metropolitan Museum of Art

Romare Bearden
The Block
Metropolitan Museum of Art

I remember mounting a show of tribal art from Papua, New Guinea in 1989…the Bergens (Sidney, Jonathan and Jeffrey) were always open to new possibilities.

Headdress: Serpent (a-Mantsho-ña-Tshol) 19th–20th century Guinea, Niger River region

Headdress: Serpent (a-Mantsho-ña-Tshol)
19th–20th century
Guinea, Niger River region

I spent a number of formative years at the aforementioned Luise Ross Gallery, which specialized in the work of a number of lesser known Abstract Expressionists (like Herman Cherry and Kimber Smith), as well as Outsider Art/Art Brut. At all of the galleries I worked at, we also had compelling shows of living artists who were mostly living and working in New York.

Herman Cherry 10 Cooper Square Studio 1968

Herman Cherry
10 Cooper Square Studio
1968

WHAT WERE YOUR PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES WITHIN THE GALLERY STRUCTURE? WHICH ASPECTS OF GALLERY MANAGEMENT APPEALED TO YOU THE MOST?

Like most art galleries, especially the modest-sized ones where I worked, it was all hands on deck…I did everything from sweep the floors to curate exhibitions (and I did much more of the former than the latter in the beginning). The first show I curated was a historical survey of voyeurism called “Peep Show”, which included everything from Ray Johnson to Indian Miniatures to Picasso. I will never forget the thrill of reading Holland Cotter’s sympathetic review of it in the NY Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/10/arts/art-in-review-peep-show.html

What I enjoyed most about the business were the dialogues at the gallery. They all revolved around the issues of art, the ideas behind them, their presentation, as well as trying to figure out how to place them in the best collections and getting writers and curators interested in our program. I was utterly broke, but it was a very rewarding and engaging time. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, my first year in the art world, 1990, was when the market crashed and it would take about 10 years to recover.

WHEN DID YOU JOIN CHRISTIE’S AND IN WHAT POSITION? WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO LEARN ANOTHER ASPECT OF THE ART WORLD?

I joined Christie’s East on June 19, 2000 as the Head of the Twentieth Century Art department. Christie’s East sold the lower value works, the equivalent of Christie’s South Kensington today (or back in the day, what Sotheby’s called their “Arcade” sales).  I was overseeing both the Impressionist and Modern Art sales and the Post-War and Contemporary offerings. This sounds a bit lofty, but the works were valued mostly under $10,000 and the entire “department” consisted of me and a stellar Administrator, Aviva Geller, without whom I would have never survived. I catalogued, researched and sold over 1,000 artworks a year and estimated three times that many.

Christie's 20 Rockefeller Center

Christie’s
20 Rockefeller Center

Gallery owners, especially throughout the 1990s when the art world was much smaller, were very much the kings of their castle and they made virtually every meaningful decision. This made it hard for the people who worked for them to grow and develop. There were few directors that had much autonomy to curate exhibitions and there were limited travel opportunities. At the time, working in an auction house gave you much more freedom and autonomy.

Most importantly, I wanted to join an auction house because of the new learning opportunities. At a gallery, you learn everything there is to know about a relatively small number of artists in the gallery stable…whereas in an auction, you need to learn something—fast–about every significant artist of your period. And in the contemporary arena, you are constantly challenged to keep learning about new artists that become relevant, as well as older artists that were forgotten but are being reassessed.

WHAT POSITIONS DID YOU FILL OVER THE YEARS AT CHRISTIE’S? HOW DID THEY EVOLVE AND WHAT WERE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES DURING EACH PHASE AT THE AUCTION HOUSE?

I worked my way slowly up from being in charge of the Christie’s East sales of 20th Century Art, to working on more important works of art and collections. I also did a fair amount of writing for the Evening sale catalogues—this is a time when the specialists wrote the essays. I was promoted to Head of the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening sale in 2007, a position I held for about 5 years.

Robert Manley with Warhol's Silver Liz Looking Forward to the Past 11 May 2015, New York,

Robert Manley with
Warhol’s Silver Liz
Looking Forward to the Past
11 May 2015, New York,

As a Sale Head, whether it is a $1 million or $700 million auction, you are essentially in charge of making sure every detail is done right, from research, catalogue presentation, viewing, marketing, selling. You also need to be a master of psychology, to manage all of the egos that come into play, because all of the sales have consignments from top specialists and top clients. In the end, it was an incredible experience and I am privileged to have worked with knowledgeable specialists, world class objects and the people who owned them.

Shortly into my tenure as Evening sale head, I also became the Head of the Post-War and Contemporary Art Department in New York. I enjoyed working with my colleagues and tried to make the department a smarter, better place. I encouraged collaboration and transparency, two traits not always embraced in the contemporary art market. I held that position for about 6 years or so, when I shifted away from direct management and became Deputy Chairman.

Robert Manley, 2012 at Christie's in front of "Untitled," by Lee Bontecou; "Aluminum-Magnesium Alloy Square," by Carl André in foreground

Robert Manley, 2012 at Christie’s in front of “Untitled,” by Lee Bontecou;
“Aluminum-Magnesium Alloy Square,” by Carl André in foreground

Although I held a number of leadership positions at Christie’s, the focus has always been on art and clients—every day we saw collections, appraised art, organized auctions, met with collectors…the main thing that changed over the years was the value of the art.

IN OUR NEXT LRFA POST, WE’LL HAVE ROBERT MANLEY’S INSIDER VIEW INTO THE INTERNATIONAL AUCTION WORLD. PLEASE JOIN US!

 

Robert Manley, Phillips Deputy Chair, on artists, auctions and the art market

Robert Manley Deputy Chairman Phillips

Robert Manley
Deputy Chairman
Phillips

2016: A YEAR OF SURPRISES, UPHEAVAL AND CHANGE IN EVERY POSSIBLE ARENA: POLITICAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC. CERTAINLY THE SEA CHANGE OF LEADERSHIP AND HIERARCHY AT THE AUCTION HOUSES AND GALLERIES HAS BEEN OF TSUNAMI PROPORTIONS IN THE ART WORLD. AMONG THE MANY SHIFTS OF VENUE, APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS, LAST JULY PHILLIPS ANNOUNCED A SIGNIFICANT COUP; THE APPOINTMENT OF ROBERT MANLEY AS DEPUTY CHAIR OF POST WAR AND CONTEMPORARY FOLLOWING A LONG-STANDING AND BRILLIANT CAREER AT CHRISTIE’S.

ROBERT IS A COLLEAGUE AND FRIEND WHO HAD ADVISED ME ON BIDDING AND COLLABORATED WITH ME ON A MULTITUDE OF TRANSACTIONS, BOTH BIG AND SMALL, AT CHRISTIE’S FOR AT LEAST A DECADE. IT IS NO SURPRISE PHILLIPS HAS WELCOMED HIM AS AN IMPORTANT LEADING FIGURE IN THEIR HIGHLY EFFECTIVE EXPANSION STRATEGY OF THE LAST THREE YEARS MARKED BY THE ARRIVAL OF EX-CHRISTIE’S ED DOLMAN IN 2014.

Phillips New York Park Avenue at 57th Street

Phillips New York
Park Avenue at 57th Street

Phillips Auction House was founded in London in 1796 by Harry Phillips, formerly senior clerk to James Christie. The company descended in his family through the 20th Century until Bernard Arnault, chairman of the French luxury brand, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, and merged his acquisition with the esteemed art dealers Simon de Pury and Daniela Luxembourg.

By 2013, the Mercury Group, a Russian retail and real estate conglomerate, acquired total control from de Pury and has expanded its international presence to include an impressive corner on 57th Street and Park Avenue (450 Park) and a modern, beautifully designed London Headquarters on Berkeley Square in the heart of Mayfair. Phillips has dedicated the last few years to forming a strong and unique presence in the competitive auction world in which Christie’s and Sotheby’s are serious rivals. As the art world has seen significant changes in the collector profile and buying habits, Phillips focuses on the younger, and perhaps edgier collector. 

berkwleysq2048x1536pxfront2IT IS WITH GREAT PLEASURE THAT THE LRFA BLOG OPENS THE 2017 POST WITH ROBERT MANLEY, SHARING HIS PROFESSIONAL HISTORY AND TOUCHING UPON HIS NEW POSITION AS DEPUTY CHAIR AND SENIOR INTERNATIONAL SPECIALIST OF 20th CENTURY AND CONTEMPORARY ART AT PHILLIPS.

ROBERT, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE LRFA BLOG.

I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE OF WORKING WITH YOU FOR MANY YEARS WHEN YOU WERE AT CHRISTIE’S AND LOOK FORWARD TO MANY MORE IN YOUR NEW POSITION AS DEPUTY CHAIRMAN AT PHILLIPS. ALTHOUGH WE’VE KNOWN EACH OTHER A LONG TIME, I KNOW ONLY RANDOM BITS AND PIECES ABOUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL HISTORY. ONE OF THE NICEST BONUSES OF THE LRFA BLOG IS LEARNING MORE ABOUT COLLEAGUES AND FRIENDS SINCE WE TEND TO FOCUS ON THE IMMEDIATE TRANSACTION OR EVENT AT HAND.

 

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ROBERT, WHAT PROMPTED YOUR INITIAL INVOLVEMENT IN ART? WAS YOUR FAMILY INTERESTED. WAS THERE AN ARTIST IN THE FAMILY, OR SOME AMBITIONS IN THAT DIRECTION YOURSELF?

I can date my interest in art to the first day of Art History 101 in college. I had always loved history, but until that day, I never thought of art as vehicle for a dialogue with history, ideas, aesthetics, politics and culture. It was a revelation. That class began an obsession that continues to this day. Learning about art is a bit like trying to put together a never-ending puzzle, and every day I try to fill in another blank space.

Joan Washburn

Joan Washburn

I KNOW THAT YOU WORKED FOR JOAN WASHBURN, ONE OF THE MOST DISTINGUISHED DEALERS IN THE ART WORLD. WHAT PERIOD OF TIME WERE YOU WITH THE GALLERY? WHAT EXHIBITIONS HAD THE MOST INFLUENCE ON YOUR UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATION OF ART?

The one thing about Joan that many people don’t know is that before she became a dealer, she was a top specialist at Sotheby’s…she has a great understanding of the role that auctions play in the art world and the ways in which auction can play havoc. It made me appreciate the responsibility that auction houses have, to artists and their galleries.  

Leon Polk Smith Selections from Miami December 16, 2016 - January 31, 2017 Washburn Gallery

Leon Polk Smith
Selections from Miami
December 16, 2016 – January 31, 2017
Washburn Gallery

Joan has been showing a diverse array of compelling art during her 40+ years in business (and still going strong), but the exhibitions that interested me most were the historical exhibitions we mounted. I was at the gallery in the late 1990s and we had exhibitions of Jackson Pollock, Louise Nevelson and David Smith, all estates with which we had a direct relationship. Joan was a joy to work with and I learned an enormous amount from her, especially the seriousness with which she researched, curated and installed the exhibitions. I also learned from Joan the importance of humor…she has a sharp wit and a great infectious laugh. I hope to one day have half of her energy and grace.

Jackson Pollack Works on Paper Washburn Gallery, NY

Jackson Pollack
Works on Paper
Washburn Gallery, NY

WERE THERE SPECIFIC PERIODS OF WORK THAT ALWAYS RESONATED WITH YOU? HAVE THESE PASSIONS AND ENTHUSIASMS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? DO YOU THINK THAT AS WE ALL SEE MORE WORK, MORE EXHIBITIONS AND NEWER CONTEMPORARY WORKS, THAT OUR OWN EYE AND UNDERSTANDING EVOLVE, OR THAT PARTICULAR ARTISTS THAT ORIGINALLY RESONATE THE MOST STRONGLY CONTINUE TO DO SO?

I think our eye is always developing and our tastes change somewhat, but once you reach a certain understanding of art, it’s more like constructing a building–the things you love are like your foundation, and as you see more, you’re building more floors on top of them. I find my tastes and interests become more catholic with each year.

Manley with Mark Rothko painting

Manley with Mark Rothko painting

I’ve always admired the works of the Abstract Expressionists, the visual power and directness of the best of them.  The historian in me likes the story of the genesis and development of the movement, and how it is inextricably linked with contemporary world events of the time.

Bill Traylor American Folk Art Museum, NY

Bill Traylor
American Folk Art Museum, NY

I’ve also come to appreciate the work of Outsider Art. I was fortunate to work at Luise Ross Gallery, where we showed, among others, Bill Traylor, Minnie Evans and Thornton Dial. Outsider Art is a bit like the Abstract Expressionists, in the way they are very much unmediated expressions. They were trying to find something within themselves and express it to the rest of us. As I learned more about the movements that came in the wake of Abstract Expressionism, I became drawn to Minimalism and Conceptual art of the 1960’s, and the artists in their wake.

Miguel Barcelo Muletero, 1990 Phillips London Evening Sale March 8, 2017

Miguel Barcelo
Muletero, 1990
Phillips London Evening Sale
March 8, 2017

IN OUR NEXT POST, ROBERT EXPANDS ON HIS GALLERY EXPERIENCE AND THE PROFESSIONAL PATH THAT LED HIM TO CHRISTIE’S AUCTION HOUSE. WE HAVE A GREAT EXPERT ON TAP, WITH A PROFOUND KNOWLEDGE OF THE ART WORLD AND MARKET AND A GENUINE PASSION FOR ART AND WELCOME ALL QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS.

UNTITLED, ART VIP ANNOUNCEMENT Preview today in San Francisco

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Untitled, San Francisco with Turon’s travel expert Nicholas Christopher

Untitled, Art San Francisco

Untitled, Art
San Francisco

ART FAIRS HAVE BECOME AS MUCH CULTURAL AND SOCIAL EVENTS AS CONGREGATIONS OF ART DEALERS AND COLLECTORS. THIS DEVELOPMENT HAS ENCOURAGED THE PARTICIPATION OF THE CURATOR AS AN ART FAIR PERSONA AND A CURATOR-DRIVEN FAIR OR EXHIBITOR SECTION WITHIN AN ESTABLISHED FAIR HAS GROWN IN POPULARITY IN RECENT YEARS. CURATORIAL SCHOLARSHIP AND CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE IMBUE THE EXHIBITED WORKS WITH A SENSE OF QUALITY AND VALUE.  THUS, UNTITLED, ART MIAMI, LAUNCHED IN 2012, IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR AND HIGHLY ANTICIPATED STAND-OUT FAIRS DURING MIAMI ART WEEK AND HAS EARNED ITS REPUTATiON AS ONE OF THE MOST SELECTIVE.

FROM JANUARY 13-15, 2017, UNTITLED, ART LAUNCHES ITS FIRST WEST COAST ENDEAVOR– UNTITLED, SAN FRANCISCO. IF THE QUALITY OF UNTITLED, MIAMI IS A BAROMETER, DO MAKE LAST MINUTE PLANS TO ATTEND.

NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER, FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL OF THE ART WORLD’S AGENCY, TURON TRAVEL, IS A FAN AND HAS GENEROUSLY OFFERED TO BE OUR TOUR GUIDE AT THE FAIR, SOME OF THE SPECIAL ART-RELATED EVENTS OF THE WEEK AND MEMORABLE DINING EXPERIENCES IN THE MAGICAL CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO. PLEASE JOIN US.

NICHOLAS, THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION. PLEASE TELL US WHAT TO ANTICIPATE!

The inaugural edition of Untitled, San Francisco will take place at the historic Pier 70 in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood from January 13 – 15, 2017, following the success of Untitled, Miami.  San Francisco is certainly a magnet for forward thinking and innovation so a contemporary art fair is the perfect fit.

What better place than San Francisco to enjoy the inaugural year!

Pier 70 San Francisco

Pier 70
San Francisco

Untitled, Art founded in 2012, is an international, curated art fair that focuses on curatorial balance and integrity across all disciplines of contemporary art. Untitled, Art innovated the standard fair model by having a curatorial team identify and organize a selection of galleries, artist-run exhibition spaces, and non-profits.  The exhibits  are always presented as a dialogue with the architecturally designed venue. For Untitled, Miami 2014, applauded for the quality of the work and diverse range of art, artists and galleries, architects John Keenen and Terence Riley of K/R, formerly chief curator of architecture and design at New York’s prestigious MoMA,  designed a larger tent to house the third edition featuring 110 international exhibitors from 18 countries.

UNTITLED ART Miami

UNTITLED ART
Miami

In San Francisco, the  original team of Christophe Boutin, Omar López-Chahoud and Melanie Scarciglia will continue the innovative curatorial accomplishments that make Untitled Art, Miami, stand out as a not-to-be-missed fair within the satellite constellation of fairs during Miami Art Basel week.  Omar López-Chahoud has been the Artistic Director and Curator of Untitled since its launch in 2012. As an independent curator, López-Chahoud has curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions in the United States and internationally. Curators
 Christophe Boutin and Melanie Scarciglia co-founded the distinguished publishing houses onestar press and Three Star Books in Paris in 2000 and 2007, respectively. They have worked with many well-known artists and have published over 300 books.  Boutin and Scarciglia join Untitled in 2014 as part of the curatorial team.

https://art-untitled.com/san-francisco

Curated art fairs tend to resonate with a  stream of consciousness throughout, the curatorial team adding its unique vision and experience.  Legacy art fairs are also following suit with ‘curated satellite’ programs, but they tend to default to their vetted gallerist perspectives.

SFMoMA

SFMoMA

Now that you are in San Francisco, be sure to visit the newly expanded San Francisco Museum of Art.

In 2016, SF MoMA reopened in 3 years of transformation with the goal of building additional space to celebrate its extensive and first-tier holdings.  SFOMA now has more than three times its original exhibition space;  a floor dedicated to the Pritzker Center for Photography; galleries dedicated to major favorites from the museum’s permanent collection as well as 45,000 sq ft of free public space.  Plenty to enjoy here!

Bruce Conner: It's All True SFMoMA October 29, 2016 - January 22, 2017

Bruce Conner: It’s All True
SFMoMA
October 29, 2016 – January 22, 2017

Be sure to see the Bruce Conner exhibition, It’s All True, before it closes on January 22nd. Conner, a pioneer in experimental film, collage, photography and conceptual works, challenged our preconceptions in every medium, constantly breaking new ground and influencing artists working today.

Lieko Shiga, Tomlinson FC, from the series Lilly, 2005 © Lieko Shiga

Lieko Shiga,
Tomlinson FC, from the series Lilly, 2005
© Lieko Shiga

A compelling exhibition, Japanese Photography from Postwar to Now, memorializes the enormous contributions by Japanese photographers to the art of postwar photography. Noted for their innovative film and camera equipment, the exhibit highlights the considerable holdings of Japanese photography in the museum’s collection and the works from the important donation of the Kurenboh Collection.

https://www.sfmoma.org/exhibition/japanese-photography-postwar-now/

If your time is limited, the overview of the ongoing Fisher Collection will be satisfying in itself spanning America’s important movements, Pop, Figurative and Minimal Art, featuring trophy works by Chuck Close, Philip Guston, Judd, LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein and Warhol, among many others from a period of American art that is legendary for addressing issues of social and political concern, in response to the legacy of Abstract Expressionism

Approaching American Abstraction The Fisher Collection SFMoMA

Approaching American Abstraction
The Fisher Collection
SFMoMA

 

Galleries are opening at a rapid rate in San Francisco.  Why not visit a few whole you are there?

In a major move, prominent gallerists, Larry Gagosian and John Berggruen opened new adjacently located  galleries across from the new Howard Street entrance to SF MoMA, permanently changing the footprint of San Francisco’s art gallery map along with the opening of the Minnesota Street Project gallery space in the Dogpatch neighborhood.

Minnesota Street Project

Minnesota Street Project

The Minnesota Street Project opened fifteen years ago under the auspices of collectors Deborah and Andy Rappaport as an alternative entrepreneurial venture in contemporary art, one suited to the innovative nature of Silicon Valley. Located in San Francisco’s historic Dogpatch district, Minnesota Street Project offers affordable and economically sustainable spaces for art galleries, artists and related nonprofits. Inhabiting three warehouses, the Project seeks to retain and strengthen San Francisco’s contemporary art community in the short term, while developing an internationally recognized arts destination in the long term.

http://minnesotastreetproject.com/

Anne Chu Roman Boy Minnesota Street Project

Anne Chu
Roman Boy
Minnesota Street Project

Through January 7, a retrospective of the work of Anne Chu, who died prematurely at the age of 57 this year, is on exhibit. In materials like porcelain and leather, Chu’s sculptures, sometimes in the form of mobiles, frequently explored animal imagery, depicting horses, bears, and rabbits as well as animal-human hybrids.

“Embedded with ancient and historical influences, including Tang dynasty funerary figures and Austrian marionettes, Chu channeled spirits of cultures past,” wrote Williams in the announcement of the artist’s passing.

John Berggruen Gallery The Human Form Opening January 13th

John Berggruen Gallery
The Human Form
Opening January 13th

The seasoned veteran dealer, John Berggruen is launching an inaugural exhibition at his 10 Hawthorne Street gallery, entitled “The Human Form”, and highlights the gallery’s dedication to the Bay Area figurative artists it has long supported.  Known as the Bay Area Figurative Moment, this group of artists included Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, Elmer Bischoff, and Wayne Thiebaud, who abandoned the prevailing force of Abstract Expressionism to return to figuration during the 50s and into the 60s.

http://www.berggruen.com/exhibitions/the-human-form

Tsuyoshi Maekawa, Untitled, 1977, sewn Burlap, cotton cloth, and acrylic, 36 × 72 inches (91 × 182 cm) © Maekawa.

Tsuyoshi Maekawa, Untitled, 1977, sewn Burlap, cotton cloth, and acrylic, 36 × 72 inches (91 × 182 cm) © Maekawa.

Gagosian San Francisco opens a very special group exhibition on January 12th entitled “Beyond Matter”, featuring eighteen sewn and painted fabric works by Tsuyoshi Maekawa, who emerged as an artist in the Gutai Art Association founded in Osaka. In 1972, Maekawa decided to extend his practice beyond the strict precepts established by its founder Yoshiara Jiro.  The exhibtion offers a global perspective with its inclusion of modern masters exemplary of this pictorial concerns,  such as Alberto Burri, Piero Manzoni, Lucia Fontana and Enrico Castellani.

http://www.gagosian.com/exhibitions/maekawa–january-12-2017

By now you must be starving!

There is a rumor – totally unsubstantiated – that it was a gourmet cook fire rather than Elsie the cow who set a Famous Fire.   Here are a few suggestions on the side of the chef:

Benu

Benu

BENU

First stop, right on Hawthorne Street is Benu, a 3 Michelin Star tradition, a refined minimalist space in black, white and gray that focuses the attention on the mail and not the decor, and well worthwhile that is. When the first course of the prix fixe menu arrives, you know the mail is going to be unique, a juxtaposition of classic Asian ingredients as a springboard to Thomas Keller protegee, Cory Lee’s Western training.

https://www.benusf.com/

Corey Lee – chef/owner – had worked at world acclaimed restaurants for 20 years before opening his James Beard awarded restaurant. His 2015 Phaidon-published cookbook Benu, documents the restaurant’s food, inspirations, and people who make it all possible. Lee has become a goodwill ambassador for his hometown of Seoul, Korea, an honor given to leaders in various fields, in recognition of his work and influence.

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Gary Danko— 1  Michelin star

The cuisine of Gary Danko, the ambassador of contemporary American fine dining, draws on traditions from around the world. Using seasonings from Asia, he adds a pinch of audacity to his French-style technique, creating dishes fit for an international traveler.

Seventeen years after opening its doors in San Francisco’s iconic Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood, Restaurant Gary Danko continues to refine its award-winning combination of classic French cooking, thoughtful and inventive use of local ingredients, and personable yet impeccable service. “You don’t just open a great restaurant,” says Chef Gary Danko, “it’s a constant work in progress.”

Gary Danko

Gary Danko

In a warm, enveloping space overhung with orchids and vibrant artworks, an evening at Gary Danko is both intimate and theatrical—a loving nod to an old world dining experience with its heart thoroughly planted in the new: fresh, locally grown and raised foods drawn from the region’s vast seasonal offerings, prepared with precision and flair.

http://garydanko.com/

The French Laundry

The French Laundry

Don’t miss the legendary THE FRENCH LAUNDRY – 3 Michelin Stars

Chef Thomas Keller took a saloon built by Scottish stonemasons in 1900 whose last incarnation was a French steam laundry and created a highly awarded restaurant. The French Laundry is a member of French-based Relais & Chateaux, Relais Gourmands and Traditions & Qualité; organizations recognized for their dedication to maintaining the highest international standards for hospitality and culinary excellence.  While the menu changes daily, the restaurant commits to creating classic French cuisine with the finest quality ingredients and service.

https://www.thomaskeller.com/tfl

TURON TRAVEL

TURON TRAVEL

About Turon Travel

Turon Travel has the distinct pleasure of working with a growing number of International Art Fairs, Art and Antiques Fairs and special arts events.

Our management style creates a seamless process which works to the benefit of the venue, the exhibitors and of course the event patrons.

The cumulative buying power represented by the participants gives Turon the ability to offer discounts on hotel rates and select airfares. Along with our state of the art website and booking platform Turon Travel is the obvious choice to manage your travel requirements.

https://www.turontravel.com/

Oliver Scholars visits the Leonardo Drew exhibit at Sikkema Jenkins – one student’s reflections

Leonardo Drew Sikkema Jenkins & Co Gallery installation September - October 2016

Leonardo Drew
Sikkema Jenkins & Co
Gallery installation
September – October 2016

THIS FALL, SIKKEMA JENKINS GALLERY IN CHELSEA HOSTED A GROUP OF STUDENTS FROM THE OLIVER SCHOLARS PROGRAM TO MEET THE ARTIST, LEONARDO DREW WHO SPOKE ABOUT HIS SOLO EXHIBITION. SO MANY THANKS TO MEG MALLOY, PARTNER AND GALLERY FOUNDERS BRENT SIKKEMA AND MICHAEL JENKINS FOR THEIR WELCOMING INVITATION AND AN ENORMOUS APPLAUSE OF APPRECIATION TO LEONARDO DREW FOR SHARING HIS EXHIBIT AND INSPIRING PERSONAL HISTORY AS AN ARTIST WITH THIS SPECIAL GROUP OF STUDENTS.

Leonardo Drew is known for his abstract sculptural installations, which incorporate materials such as paper, rope, wood, paint chips, tree branches and roots, and sheet metal. In Drew’s hands, these raw materials are exhaustingly transformed to resemble debris. While artistically rooted in art movements of the 1950s and 60s including abstract expressionism, minimalism, and Arte Povera, Drew – influenced by non-Western philosophical traditions – views his work as a reflection of the cyclical nature of time, the continual processes of transformation, and the connectivity of all things. This is perhaps most evident in the artist’s practice of incorporating parts of earlier works into newer pieces, including several of the works on view in the current exhibition.

http://sikkemajenkinsco.com/?v=exhibition&exhibition=5769ae6683b95

http://sikkemajenkinsco.com/index.php

THE NEW YORK BASED OLIVER SCHOLARS PROGRAM PICKS THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST BLACK AND LATINO STUDENTS IN THE NEW YORK AREA AND GIVES THEM AND THEIR FAMILIES THE ENCOURAGEMENT, ACADEMIC AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT TO ATTEND AND BE SUCCESSFUL AT EXCELLENT INDEPENDENT HIGH SCHOOLS, BOARDING SCHOOLS AND RESPECTED COLLEGES.

http://oliverscholars.org/scholar-services

JEANETTE CREWS, A HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR AND OUTSTANDING OLIVER SCHOLAR, HAS CONTRIBUTED A WONDERFUL REFLECTION ON THIS EXPERIENCE IN TODAY’S LRFA BLOG. THANK YOU, JEANETTE!

 

Jeanette Crews

Jeanette Crews

My name is Jeanette Crews. I’m a H.S. Senior and Oliver Scholar. On Tuesday October 4th I had an opportunity to visit the Sikkema Jenkins & Co. Gallery in Chelsea. Along with a group of other Oliver Scholars we were there to see an exhibit of the works of Artist Leonardo Drew.

I have a great passion for Art and hope to include Art and Education in my future endeavors. I have been to many of New York’s great art museums but this was my first official visit to an art gallery. I attended with my Dad and we arrived quite early. Upon walking in the door, we actually met Mr. Drew and had a brief conversation with him.

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As I entered the main gallery space, my impression of Mr. Drew’s work was that it was a big sweeping piece that ran from the far right corner of the room and stretched all the way around to the front right side wall. Additional art works were on the left and back walls. First I thought it was one continuous art piece but it was also dozens of individual pieces arranged on the wall to look like a connected piece.

LEONARDO DREW Number 77 (Detail)

LEONARDO DREW
Number 77 (Detail)

Mr. Drew gave a presentation and spoke candidly about his background, both setbacks and successes. Also, he lets people interpret or appreciate the art however they wish, as long as they derive some sort of feeling. There was no right or wrong way to look at or understand his art; it was what you got (or didn’t get) from it, from your perspective. And none of that mattered because Mr. Drew is a person that doesn’t create art for others (opinions) but for self-expression; at least that’s my opinion. Mr. Drew also mentioned that he started out drawing cartoons and developed as a fine arts artist but moved on to more abstract forms using natural materials reclaimed or repurposed from nature and from discarded man made items. I was impressed by his commercial and cultural successes; he’s got his art works in renowned museums, galleries and shows. I was also impressed to know that he still has a thirst for learning new techniques; he was going to be traveling to China to learn special traditional style glazing (pottery/sculpture) techniques.

It was a great experience and helped me understand that no success comes easy but only with hard work and determination.6411_ld-16108-angle

 

 

 

Mentor an Oliver Scholar!

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HELPING TO CHANGE THE FUTURE OF YOUNG, SMART AND EAGER STUDENTS TO REALIZE DREAMS OF FULFILLMENT AND SUCCESS IS AS GRATIFYING AS ANY 2017 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION COULD BE.  HERE’S A LITTLE INFO ON THE OLIVER SCHOLARS MENTORING PROGRAM. MAKE A DIFFERENCE, OPEN A DOOR!

 

Oliver’s new mentoring program is for high school freshmen who are interested in having an adult role model and exploring college options.

Program Details
1.5 year program
4 hrs/month in person, email or phone contact
Quarterly group events
Custom mentor matches based on areas of interest and goals
Collaboratively explore career, college, volunteer & leadership opportunities with your mentee

Why Mentor an Oliver Scholar?
You will serve as a positive role model
You will support Scholars in their transition from public school to private school
You will be instrumental in helping a high school freshmen establish important life skills and build self-esteem

THE ART WORLD IS OFFICIALLY BACK IN BUSINESS AFTER THE HOLIDAYS WITH THE FIRST FAIR OF THE SEASON, UNTITLED, IN SAN FRANCISCO.  NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER OF TURON TRAVEL IS A FAN AND IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG PROVIDES A WEALTH OF INFORMATION NOT ONLY ABOUT THE FAIR ITSELF BUT THE MAGICAL CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO.

PLEASE JOIN US!

The Art of the Book, special gifts any time of year, with Doug Flamm of Gagosian Bookshop

Gagosian Bookshop 976 Madison Avenue New York

Gagosian Bookshop
976 Madison Avenue
New York

THE PUBLICATION OF THE GUTENBERG BIBLE IN 1455 PRODUCED THE FIRST COMPLETE EXTANT BOOK KNOWN IN WESTERN CULTURE PRINTED BY USING MASS-PRODUCED MOVABLE METAL TYPE. TODAY, BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE IN MANY FORMS, BOTH PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL, ON KINDLE OR ANY NUMBER OF TABLETS AND e-READERS. PRESENTLY, A BOOK CAN ALSO BE A HIGHLY DEVELOPED ART FORM, A MEDIUM OF ARTISTIC EXPRESSION THAT ADOPTS THE FORMAT OF  THE BOOK AS A SPRINGBOARD FOR CREATIVE INSPIRATION. AT THE CENTER FOR BOOK ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY,THE FIRST ORGANIZATION OF ITS KIND DEDICATED TO THE PRESERVATION OF THE TRADITIONAL PRACTICES OF THE ART OF BOOKMAKING, CLASSES ARE OFFERED IN BOOKBINDING, LETTERPRESS PRINTING, PAPER MARBLING AND TYPOGRAPHY. THE CENTER  SUPPORTS THE AESTHETIC ASPECTS OF A BOOK, ENCOURAGING BOOKMAKERS TO PRODUCE CREATIVE, NEWLY INTERPRETED FORMATS AND MATERIALS.

 

Center for Book Arts New York City

Center for Book Arts
New York City

AS 2016 DRAWS TO A CLOSE, THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO WELCOME BACK  DOUG FLAMM WHO HEADS THE GAGOSIAN BOOKSHOP, AN EXPERT IN BOTH RARE BOOKS, ARTISTS’ MONOGRAPHS AND ARTISTS’ BOOKS. DOUG SUGGESTS SOME PHENOMENAL, ALBEIT BELATED, HOLIDAY GIFTS.  YOU WILL BE FORGIVEN. THESE SELECTIONS ARE COLLECTORS’ ITEMS FOR ANY SEASON.

http://www.gagosian.com/shop/

 

Richard Artschwager The Hydraulic Door Check

Richard Artschwager
The Hydraulic Door Check

Richard Artschwager’s The Hydraulic Door Check (2002)

A fun and playful take on bookmaking, The Hydraulic Door Check is a special limited edition in which Artschwager applied rubberized horsehair, a material that he has used in many sculptures, to the book to create a new “binding.” This copy is one of five hundred copies, signed by the artist.

Kunst der sechziger Jahre. 5th erweiterte Auflage. (Art of the Sixties. Fifth Revised Edition) (1971)

Kunst der sechziger Jahre. 5th erweiterte Auflage. (Art of the Sixties. Fifth Revised Edition) (1971)

Kunst der sechziger Jahre. 5th erweiterte Auflage. (Art of the Sixties. Fifth Revised Edition) (1971)

I’ve always been fascinated by the design of this book. It’s part object, part book: a great document of a collection presented in a book that looks like no other. Created in 1971 as a catalogue of the Ludwig Collection on loan to Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne, the covers are embossed plastic, the spine is Plexiglas, and the 209 color plates are tipped-in on special paper and covered with printed transparencies. It features the work of ninety-two artists, including Richard Artschwager, John Chamberlain, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Nauman, Pablo Picasso, Richard Serra, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol, among others.

THANK YOU, DOUG, AND…

THANK YOU,  READERS AND CONTRIBUTORS,  FOR YOUR ONGOING SUPPORT.  BEST WISHES TO ALL, NEAR AND DEAR, FOR A STELLAR 2017!

Andy Warhol So Many Stars

Andy Warhol
So Many Stars