Leslie Rankow Fine Arts

INTERNATIONAL ART ADVISORY SERVICE

First steps in the gallery world with Kate Abrams of Hauser and Wirth

Matthew Barney
River of Fundament

Over five hours long, River of Fundament is a liquid spectacle of words and music, mercury and sulphur, molten iron, blood and feces, polluted industrial rivers in New York and Detroit, a river in Idaho where sockeye salmon go to spawn and die. Rivers of shit run through it. I came out winded, ravished, appalled. “I am asking a lot of the audience, for sure,” Barney tells me.

Based on Norman Mailer’s 1982 novel Ancient Evenings, the film conflates Egyptian myth and modern America, the death and reincarnation of the novelist, cars, sex and creativity. River of Fundament has been presented in opera houses in Munich and Adelaide, and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Barney was a success almost as soon as he left Yale in 1989, being given a solo show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1992, and appearing in Documenta 9 and the Whitney Biennial a year later. But it’s true that his art never has been for everyone. A sculptor, performance artist and film-maker, Barney often develops his works over years.

The Guardian, June 16, 2014, excerpt from an interview with Adrian Searle

MATTHEW BARNEY, FILMMAKER EXTRAORDINAIRE IS ONE OF THE MANY INNOVATIVE AND CHALLENGING ARTISTS THAT ARE REPRESENTED BY BARBARA GLADSTONE GALLERY. THE GALLERY HAS REPRESENTED BARNEY AND HELPED TO FINANCE SUCH INTENSE PROJECTS AS “THE CREMASTER CYCLE”, A SERIES OF FIVE FEATURE-LENGTH FILMS TOGETHER WITH RELATED INSTALLATIONS, SCULPTURE, DRAWINGS AND ARTIST’S BOOKS. THAT IS JUST ONE OF MANY CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS AT GLADSTONE THAT INFLUENCE AN ENTIRE GENERATION IN TERMS OF TECHNICAL VIRTUOSITY, SUBJECT MATTER AND CONCEPTUAL IDEAS.

NOT ONLY IS THE GALLERY A MAGNET FOR ARTISTS SUCH AS BARNEY BUT ALSO FOR GALLERISTS SUCH AS KATE ABRAMS, WHO WANTS TO WORK WITH THE BEST, MOST PROVOCATIVE TALENTS IN THE ART WORLD.

TODAY, IN OUR LRFA BLOG, KATE ABRAMS, NOW AN ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR AT HAUSER AND WIRTH, SHARES WITH US HER FIRST JOB IN NEW YORK AT GLADSTONE, WHAT IT ENTAILED AND HOW IT PREPARED HER FOR A GREAT CAREER TRACK .

KATE, WELCOME BACK!

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST GALLERY POSITION AND HOW DID WAS THAT EXPERIENCE THE FIRST STEP WITHIN THE GALLERY SYSTEM?

I was a gallery assistant at Gladstone Gallery. Front desk all the way! Barbara is so impressive and has amazing taste. So just being surrounded by that level of talent was a privilege and great learning experience. Matthew Barney, Carroll Dunham, Jim Hodges, Rosemarie Trockel – still some of my favorites today.

Rosemarie Trockel
Barbara Gladstone Gallery

WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GALLERY ASSISTANT, ALTHOUGH I AM SURE IT VARIES DEPENDING ON THE SCALE AND SCOPE OF THE GALLERY.

It really depends on the gallery. Everything from managing the checklists to research projects on specific works of art. It’s a lot of support but it’s important to learn how the gallery works from the bottom up. And also familiarize yourself with all the faces and names that walk through the door.

Jim Hodges
Barbara Gladstone Gallery

AS AN ASSISTANT TO THE DIRECTOR, WHAT WERE YOUR FUNCTIONS AND WHAT AREAS OF EXPERTISE DID YOU DEVELOP THE MOST FROM THIS EXPERIENCE?

Being very organized!

Matthew Barney
Barbara Gladstone Gallery

AN ARTIST WHOM I GREATLY ADMIRE AND HAVE FOLLOWED FOR SOME TIME IS MATTHEW BARNEY WHO IS REPRESENTED BY BARBARA GLADSTONE GALLERY. WHAT WAS YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN HIS 2011 EXHIBITION, DJED, AND IN HIS WORK IN GENERAL.

At the time I was assisting the director who worked closely with Matthew. ‘DJED’ was his first show at the NY gallery in 5 years and was a big production. We made a small booklet to accompany the exhibition which I helped to research, edit and produce.

WHAT OTHER ARTISTS DID YOU LIAISE WITH DURING THE TIME AT GLADSTONE? HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THEIR WORK, SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES, AND WHAT PROJECTS AND EXHIBITIONS WERE THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR TIME THERE?

‘DJED’ was definitely a favorite show. I also loved a few of our curated shows – ‘The Unfinished Film,’ curated by Thomas Beard, and ‘Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-ha,’ curated by Mika Yoshitake.

http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-features/interviews/thomas-beard/

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/arts/design/requiem-for-the-sun-art-of-mono-ha-at-gladstone-gallery.html

Thomas Hirshhorn
Concordia, Concordia 2012
Barbara Gladstone Gallery

WHAT WERE SOME OF THE EXHIBITIONS THAT WERE THE MOST REWARDING AND WHICH WERE MOST CHALLENGING?

I think the exhibitions that were the most challenging were also the most rewarding. For instance Thomas Hirschhorn’s ‘Concordia, Concordia’ – Thomas turned the 21st Street gallery into the interior of the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that capsized and sank in Italy in 2012. I found all of these terribly tacky casino-type carpet patterns for Thomas to choose from. We also had to source hundreds of chairs and other things that would make the installation look like the destroyed remains of a cruise ship dining room. We struck gold outside of Atlantic City at a casino-liquidation warehouse. We made a few trips with a truck down there.

YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN INVOLVED WITH GALLERIES KNOWN FOR THEIR PHENOMENALLY DEDICATED SUPPORT OF THEIR ARTISTS, SHOWING INSTALLATION, FILM AND VIDEO. YOUR COMMITMENT TO THE ARTS IS CLEARLY REFLECTED IN THE GALLERIES IN WHICH YOU HAVE WORKED.

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, KATE WILL CONTINUE TO SHARE HER EXCEPTIONAL PROFESSIONAL HISTORY WITH US.

THE LRFA BLOG WISHES EVERYONE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING. WE SHOULD EXPRESS GRATITUDE EVERYDAY BUT CERTAINLY AT THANKSGIVING. THANKS TO THE EXTRAORDINARY CONTRIBUTORS FOR THEIR THOUGHTFUL AND INFORMATIVE POSTS AND THEIR INSIGHTS INTO THE ART WORLD, ART AND THE MARKET. THANKS TO THE GROWING NUMBER OF SUBSCRIBERS AND FOLLOWERS.  WHEN I STARTED THE BLOG IT WAS JUST FOR THE PURPOSE OF STAYING CURRENT AND REACHING A NEW AUDIENCE. I AM GRATEFUL FOR ALL THAT I LEARN FROM THOSE I INTERVIEW AND FOR THE OVERWHELMING SUPPORT OF THOSE THAT READ IT.

 

Roy Lichtenstein
Still life

Kate Abrams, Director at Hauser & Wirth, documents her early commitment to first-tier art

Katharine Abrams
Associate Director
Hauser & Wirth

HAUSER & WIRTH IS AN INTERNATIONAL GALLERY DEVOTED TO CONTEMPORARY AND MODERN ART FOUNDED IN ZURICH IN 1992 BY IWAN AND MANUELA WIRTH AND URSULA HAUSER. SINCE THAT TIME, THE GALLERY HAS EXPANDED EXPONENTIALLY TO ACCOMMODATE THE INNOVATIVE, RADICAL AND LARGE-SCALED WORKS PRODUCED BY MANY OF THE GALLERY ARTISTS. THE VENUES ARE BROAD IN SCOPE AND EACH SPACE UNIQUE IN FORM AND FUNCTION: AN EXCEPTIONAL SPACE ON LONDON’S SAVILE ROW, THE FORMER DIA FOUNDATION ON 22nd STREET IN NEW YORK’S CHELSEA, A CHIC TOWNHOUSE DESIGNED BY ANNABELLE SELLDORF ON THE UPPER EAST SIDE, A UNIQUE GALLERY AND MULTI-PURPOSE ARTS CENTER IN SOMERSET, ENGLAND, AND MOST RECENTLY, HAUSER & WIRTH OPENED A PHENOMENAL SPACE IN THE BURGEONING DOWNTOWN ARTS DISTRICT OF LOS ANGELES.

The Peggy Guggenheim Museum
Venice, Italy

TODAY, THE GALLERY IS A GLOBAL ENTERPRISE THAT HAS A TRADITIONAL VALUE SYSTEM OF SUPPORTING ITS ARTISTS AND ARTIST ESTATES  BY PROVIDING REMARKABLE EXHIBITION SPACES AND THE SCHOLARSHIP, CATALOGUES, PUBLIC PROGRAMS AND EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES THAT SERVE TO CONTEXTUALIZE THE ART ON VIEW.

IT IS PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE MY FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE, KATHARINE ABRAMS, DIRECTOR AT HAUSER & WIRTH, TO THE LRFA BLOG. KATE’S PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE INCLUDES POSITIONS AT TWO HIGHLY RESPECTED GALLERIES, BARBARA GLADSTONE AND MARIAN GOODMAN, AND HER CAREER PATH HAS BEEN FOCUSED AND DIRECT.

The Saatchi Gallery
Iconoclasts: Art Out of the Mainstream

KATE, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE LRFA BLOG!

WHERE IS HOME? DID YOU GROW UP IN NEW YORK OR COME TO THE CITY TO ATTEND SCHOOL?

New York is home now, but I grew up in Los Angeles. I came to New York in 2006 to attend Columbia University. And then I stayed.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST INTRODUCTION TO MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART AND HOW DID IT LEAD YOU TO PURSUING A GALLERY CAREER?

My parents have always been interested in art and I grew up going to museums. But I think the first time it really resonated with me was when I was 13 and we went to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. I was totally transfixed. I also vividly remember visiting the Saatchi Gallery and the Tate in London when I was 16. Venice piqued my interest and then London solidified it.

The gallery career came about organically after college. I needed a job and I happened to get one at a gallery. At that time I was also open to non-profits and institutions as well. But I’m glad it happened the way it did.

Judd Foundation
Spring Street, New York

WHAT ARTISTS FIRST CAUGHT YOUR ATTENTION AND WHY?

I was always very interested in Minimalism, both aesthetically and intellectually. Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre, Robert Morris – the greats. I was lucky to study closely with Branden Joseph, who came to Columbia the same year I did. First I took a lecture course on Minimalism and Post-Minimalism, and the following year I took a travel seminar where we went to Houston to see the Menil Collection and then to Marfa to see the Judd Foundation and Chinati. That trip was really important to me. I came back and immediately got an internship at the Judd Foundation on Spring Street.  

The Donald Judd Foundation
Chinati
Marfa, Texas

YOU MAJORED IN ART HISTORY AT COLUMBIA AND WROTE YOUR SENIOR THESIS ON ONE OF MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE ARTISTS, JAMES TURRELL. WHTAT PROMPTED THAT CHOICE AND WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS IN HIS WORK THAT RESONATE THE MOST STRONGLY?

After I got back from Marfa, I couldn’t stop thinking about the quality of the light there. The way the light interacts with Judd’s sculptures at Chinati – he purchased all the land surrounding the installation so that nothing would interrupt that. I started to be interested in the phenomenology of perception and light as a medium. A lot of people are familiar with Turrell’s projection pieces and skyspaces, but not as much about his earliest work in his studio in Venice, CA. He created a 10-hour performative piece called the ‘Mendota Stoppages’ using small apertures in the windows directed towards natural or artificial lights outside. The viewer would gradually adjust to the changing qualities of light in the space over time.

James Turrell
Mendota Stoppages

 

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, KATE ABRAMS WILL SHARE HER EARLY PROFESSIONAL PATH, FROM ONE GREAT GALLERY TO THE NEXT. WE ARE FORTUNATE TO HAVE SUCH A DEDICATED ART LOVER AND GALLERIST WITH US. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE.

 

The future of the American art market with Questroyal’s Chloe Heins

Main Gallery
Questroyal Fine Art

IN THEIR NEW BOOK, ALTERED TRAITS, PSYCHOLOGISTS DANIEL GOLEMAN  AND RICHARD DAVIDSON UNVEIL NEW RESEARCH IN THE FIELD OF NEUROSCIENCE TO SHOW WHAT MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS DOES TO ACTUALLY CHANGE YOUR MIND, BRAIN AND BODY. MEDITATION INCLUDES A WIDE RANGE OF PRACTICES AND DIFFERING TYPES THAT PRODUCE UNIQUE RESULTS BUT A MIND UNDISTURBED IS A SIGNIFICANT GOAL IN ALL THE GREAT SPIRITUAL TRADITIONS. IN 1843, JOHN RUSKIN, THE ENGLISH ART CRITIC, PUBLISHED HIS FIRST VOLUME OF HIS MODERN PAINTERS , INSTRUCTING ARTISTS TO BE TRUTHFUL TO NATURE’S FORMS AS TRUTH IN APPEARANCE WOULD LEAD TO HIGHER MORAL AND SPIRITUAL TRUTHS. OUR HUDSON RIVER SCHOOL EMBRACED THIS AND DEDICATED THEIR WORK TO THE ACCURATE DEPICTION OF NATURE. STUDYING AND APPRECIATING WORKS THAT DEPICT THE SPLENDOR OF NATURE AND THE POWER OF GOD’S HAND AT WORK CAN INSPIRE THE SAME UNDISTURBED MIND.  THIS SCHOOL OF PAINTING MAKES UP THE HEART OF QUESTROYAL FINE ART’S INVENTORY.

George Lambdin
Floral Still Life
Oil on canvas

TODAY, CHLOE HEINS, THE GALLERY DIRECTOR, WILL SPEAK ABOUT ADVISING NEW COLLECTORS, THE FUTURE OF THE AMERICAN MARKET AND PLANS FOR THE FORTHCOMING SEASON.

https://www.questroyalfineart.com/

AS A YOUNG  COLLECTOR BEGINNING TO ACQUIRE WORKS OF ART, WHAT ARE THE GUIDELINES TO CONSIDER AND YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS TO STEER THEM IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?

We advise collectors to buy the best painting they can afford. Rather than going for a subpar example by the biggest name or the highest volume of works within their budget, we advise them to begin with what they love. Then they can confirm that they are receiving a fair price and that it is a solid representation of the artist. There are many artists that are undervalued and never receive  the recognition they deserved and this can be a great opportunity for new collectors. Above all, buy what you love. This will never betray you.

Edward Moran
Lobster Fishing, Long Island
Oil on canvas

IN A TIME WHEN A FEW CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS SUCH AS BASQUIAT AND JEFF KOONS AND CONTEMPORARY MASTERS SUCH AS SIGMAR POLKE AND GERHARD RICHTER ARE COMMANDING RECORD AUCTION PRICES, HOW DO YOU INTEREST AND DIRECT A NASCENT COLLECTOR TO THE AMERICAN MARKET?

It is easy to get discouraged by the prices in the post-war and contemporary market and the rampant celebrity of the key artists, collectors, and dealers. This is why I like to discuss American art within the context of the better-known areas of the art market. Once collectors see the inexplicable discrepancy in value and realize they could buy the entire Questoyal inventory for the price of one Lucien Freud painting, they begin to take notice! We have broken down boundaries by advertising in non-art-specific publications which attract a different type of client. Bringing new collectors into the American art market is essential.

Charles Burchfield
Woodland Scene

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE FUTURE OF THE AMERICAN MARKET?

While it can be unpredictable, the American paintings market does not trend towards a bubble. It’s relatively steady compared to other genres of art. The new interest in American art that we are seeing indicates a bright future. Just this year, several of our colleagues have also met new clients who have become very active at a high level. However, American art dealers have to be comfortable and confident in the shadow of the post-war and contemporary market and many dealers have given up.

I am cautiously optimistic that the American art market will continue to grow, and hopefully our colleagues in the gallery and auction sectors will remain dedicated. We certainly are!

Questroyal Fine Art
Be Uncool
Published November 2017

WHAT EXHIBITIONS AND PUBLICATIONS CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO IN THE 2017-2018 SEASON?

Our annual hardcover Important American Paintings catalogue became available in early October. Volume XVIII: Be Uncool is an exciting addition to the series and features 37 collection highlights. The concept stems from our ongoing advertising campaign urging collectors to “be uncool” and seek what is timeless, not trendy.

“Be uncool” has become an effective headline for us, capturing the attention of many readers of the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, and Architectural Digest. But it is more than just a promotion; it is a philosophy and a call to action…Will you accept my challenge to be uncool? Will you follow the preference of your heart and question the opinion of others ? Are you willing to sacrifice the fleeting rewards of all that is timely for the transcendent satisfaction of pursuing what is truly timeless ? 

Excerpt from the foreword by Louis Salerno, Volume XVIII, “It is Wise to be Uncool”.

CHLOE, THANK YOU SO MUCH. YOUR LOVE OF AMERICAN ART AND ITS IMPORTANCE RESOUNDS IN EVERY WORD.

PLEASE JOIN US FOR THE NEXT POST TO WELCOME KATE ABRAMS, AN ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR AT HAUSER & WIRTH, ONE OF OUR MOST RESPECTED AND IMPORTANT INTERNATIONAL MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY GALLERIES. WITH LOCATIONS IN NEW YORK (2), LONDON, LOS ANGELES, ZURICH, STAAD AND SOMERSET, ENGLAND, WE HAVE PLENTY OF TERRITORY TO COVER. WE COULDN’T HOPE FOR A BETTER GUIDE THAN KATE.

 

American Art, from Blakelock to Porter, at Questroyal Fine Art, with director Chloe Heins

Questroyal Fine Art

IN A GALLERY PUBLICATION OF QUESTROYAL’S  Important American Paintings SERIES, CHLOE HEINS EXPRESSES HER DEEP COMMITMENT TO AMERICAN ART AND TO NURTURING AN INTEREST IN ITS BEAUTY AND VALUE FOR EXISTING AND NEW COLLECTORS.

IN HER OWN WORDS….

At Questroyal we spend a lot of time trying to determine what motivates people to buy art, specifically American paintings. It is probably for the best that we can’t solve this mystery, otherwise our role as art dealers would become formulaic. Yet, we still attempt to get to the heart of the matter—to understand the habitual and complex relationship between collectors and paintings.

What makes certain paintings resonate so deeply? When looking at art, what we see is ultimately a blend of the artist’s vision merged with our own perception. In a metaphoric visualization, I picture looking into a mirror and seeing the artist’s face, which then gradually begins to resemble my own reflection. The American painters I am most drawn to lived and worked using unique methods of self-discovery, reflection, and observation. Evidence of their process and perspective permeates their artwork. In the gallery, there are paintings I will hardly notice for months and others I immediately find magnetic. We all share this experience to varying degrees. But what is it about those paintings that we can’t forget?

Important American Paintings, Volume 16, Foreword

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO CONTINUE ITS CONVERSATION WITH THE GALLERY’S DIRECTOR, CHLOE HEINS.

HOW WAS QUESTROYAL ORIGINALLY FORMED, WHEN DID IT OPEN? HAS IT ALWAYS BEEN IN THE  SAME LOCATION AND HOW HAS IT EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS?

Questroyal was established by owner Lou Salerno in the late 1980s. Lou initially had a small gallery on E.80th Street before coming to 903 Park Avenue, our current location. In its first iteration at this address, Questroyal occupied two units on the 3rd floor. Over the years, the gallery expanded and now spans the whole floor.

https://www.questroyalfineart.com/

Exhibition
Questroyal Fine Art

Lou’s oldest son Brent, Questoyal’s co-owner, has been involved with the gallery since its early years. The Salernos share a passion for American art and a client-forward approach. Our inventory has also grown in size and diversity. Hudson River School paintings have always been the foundation of Questroyal’s inventory, however, over time we began to selectively purchase American Impressionism and Modernism which has become an essential part of our collection. Furthering this, over the past decade, we have pushed our twentieth-century inventory to new heights with important modern acquisitions, like Fairfield Porter’s masterpiece, Sun Rising Out of the Mist, 1973. The gallery has organized many important exhibits.

Fairfield Porter
Sun Rising Out of the Mist
1973

DO YOU ACT IN A CURATORIAL CAPACITY OR IS IT A COLLECTIVE PROCESS? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF GALLERY EXHIBITIONS?

Our Ralph Albert Blakelock exhibition last November was a career highlight for Lou, Brent, and me. We were thrilled with its success and continue to be amazed by Blakelock’s influence and impact. We are now gearing up for our Henry Martin Gasser exhibition this November. We have found that Gasser appeals to many types of collectors though he is far lesser-known than some of his contemporaries. Over the past few years, we have seen a considerable rise in his popularity and are excited to exhibit over 40 works in the show. His unique illustrational style is unparalleled—it is a modern, yet relatable aesthetic. The gallery has organized many important exhibits.

Ralph Albert Blakelock
Evening Slhouettes
Oil on canvas

https://www.questroyalfineart.com/artist/ralph-albert-blakelock/

THE GALLERY PUBLISHES COMPREHENSIVE AND SCHOLARLY PUBLICATIONS AND YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS ARE SO GENUINE AND WELL-WRITTEN. WHAT ARE SOME ESSAYS THAT CONTRIBUTE THE MOST TO OUR UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATION OF AMERICAN ART?

Thank you! Each year, I contribute the forward to our fall catalogue. I task myself with choosing a theme that is both relevant to the present day and the legacy of our nineteenth- and- twentieth-century American paintings. My goal is to help collectors see this “historic” art in current terms and to address the extreme valuation discrepancies in the art world. I like to give American art a context within the sea of other art and the constant chatter about the contemporary art market.

Our Important American Paintings catalogue series includes inspiring and relevant information on the many artists in our inventory as well as insightful comments from Lou who has an irrefutable instinct for this business.  

Vol17-Enduring-2016

Henry Martin Gasser’s private opening reception on November 9th benefits Caring Kind.

IN OUR NEXT POST, CHLOE WILL PROVIDE HER INFORMED OPINION ABOUT THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN ART.

THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING THE LRFA BLOG, PLEASE CONTINUE TO DO SO!

 

Dedicated to American art, an interview with Chloe Heins at Questroyal Fine Art

Questroyal Fine Art
903 Park Avenue, New York
Gallery Hall

QUESTROYAL FINE ART EXHIBITS AT SEVERAL OF THE VERY BEST ART FAIRS THAT INCLUDE THE FORTHCOMING AMERICAN ART FAIR AT BOHEMIAN NATIONAL HALL ON EAST 73RD STREET IN NEW YORK AND, MOST RECENTLY, AT THE BOSTON INTERNATIONAL FINE ART SHOW. FAIRS HAVE BECOME SUCH A DOMINANT WAY TO REACH COLLECTORS AND EXHIBIT WORKS, PARTICULARLY IN THE MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY AREAS. IN TODAY’S LRFA POST, WE WELCOME  BACK CHLOE HEINS, QUESTROYAL’S DIRECTOR, AN IMPASSIONED EXPERT ON AMERICAN ART.

CHLOE, DO YOU FIND THAT TO BE TRUE FOR AMERICAN ART AS WELL?

Sanford Robinson Gifford
To be exhibited at TAAF
November 2017

Fairs are important. They are a change of pace and atmosphere for us and a destination for collectors. While we value meeting new clients atfairs, it is always a challenge for us to take some of our best pieces out of the gallery.  We get a decent amount of foot traffic and you never know who will stop by on a given day… if only we (and our paintings) could be in two places at once!  At this time, two fairs a year feels right for us, which is a very different approach than most galleries who participate in 5-10 a year.

The American Art Fair, November 12 – 15, 2017, Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, New York

https://www.theamericanartfair.com/

WHAT IS THE SELECTION PROCESS FOR A FAIR VERSUS A GALLERY EXHIBITION?

At this point, we are very selective about the fairs we participate in. We have chosen to continue with TAAF and BIFAS because of their intimate size and ideal locations. Our existing clients return each year and we continue to meet new collectors in both venues.

Adelheid Dietrich
Floral Still Life

ONE ASPECT THAT DISTINGUISHES QUESTROYAL FROM MOST GALLERIES IS THAT THE GALLERY PURCHASES THE WORKS FOR INVENTORY RATHER THAN TAKING WORKS ON CONSIGNMENT. HOW DOES THIS AFFECT BOTH THE SELECTION PROCESS OF WORKS IN INVENTORY AND THE PRICING?

This is truly what sets us apart from other galleries. With an inventory of over 500 paintings, we have something for everyone. Though our inventory is sizeable, each work is carefully considered before acquisition. New collectors feel welcome and inspired, and seasoned collectors/major institutions find the quality inventory and expertise they are looking for. We are an inclusive, not exclusive gallery! We also take select consignments as a courtesy to clients who prefer not to sell outright. Owning our inventory and accepting limited consignments with permissive terms affords us added flexibility, to our clients’ benefit. This approach facilitates fair pricing, transparency, and the ability to respond to offers immediately. Our clients have the added confidence of knowing that we invested our own capital.

Edmund W. Greacen
Springtime

NB The paintings throughout this post are all new gallery acquisitions and illustrate the diversity of American art in inventory. 

THE GALLERY IS DEDICATED TO EDUCATING THE NEW COLLECTOR AND ENRICHING THE EXPERIENCED ONE WITH CATALOGUES THAT EXPLORE THE HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF AMERICAN ART AS WELL AS THE PROVENANCE OF THE SPECIFIC WORKS ILLUSTRATED. THE GALLERY TAKES A PROACTIVE STANCE IN DEFENSE OF AMERICAN 19th AND 20th CENTURY ART.

CHLOE HEINS’ ESSAY THE BALLOON DOG AND THE UNDERDOG: THE VALUE OF CONTEMPORARY VS. AMERICAN ART , RESEARCHED AND DOCUMENTED, CONTRASTS THE ART MARKET’S RESPONSE TO JEFF KOONS AS OPPOSED TO SUCH AMERICAN MASTERS AS EDWARD HOPPER AND GEORGIA O’KEEFFE.

Vol15-Now-2014

an excerpt….

My unending mission is to help build American paintings collections and to inspire further confidence in the artists and artworks within them. To do this effectively, I must address the elephant (or, rather, balloon dog) in the room—the postwar and contemporary market, and how it impacts nineteenth- and twentieth-century American art as an investment. In his review of the Koons retrospective, Peter Schjeldahl of The New Yorker writes, “It’s really the quality of his work, interlocking with economic and social trends, that makes him the signal artist of today’s world. If you don’t like that, take it up with the world.”  Thank you, Mr. Schjeldahl, I will, and I encourage anyone of like mind to do the same. Rather than questioning why we are the underdog, let’s hope American art remains relatively undervalued so that we can continue to buy and enjoy it.

Alfred Bricher
Narragansett Bay View

IN OUR NEXT POST, CHLOE WILL DISCUSS THE FUTURE OF THE AMERICAN ART MARKET.

IN THE MEANTIME, FOR INFORMATION ON THE UPCOMING HENRY MARTIN GASSER EXHIBITION AND OPENING THAT BENEFITS CARINGKINDnyc, HERE’S THE LINK:

http://www.questroyalfineart.com/gasser/

From art student to art professional with Chloe Heins, Director at Questroyal Fine Art

Questroyal Fine Art
903 Park Avenue
New York, NY

ART IN GENERAL IS A NEW YORK BASED NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION THAT ASSISTS ARTISTS WITH THE PRODUCTION AND PRESENTATION OF WORK. CURRENTLY, IT SUPPORTS THE PRODUCTION OF WORK BY LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS THROUGH ITS NEW COMMISSIONS PROGRAM AND ITS INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATIONS PROGRAM. FOUNDED IN 1981 BY TWO ARTISTS, IT PROVIDES TWO OF THE SCARCEST RESOURCES TO ARTISTS – SPACE AND FUNDING. CHLOE HEINS, DIRECTOR OF QUESTROYAL FINE ARTS, INTERNED AT ART IN GENERAL DURING HER FORMATIVE YEARS TRANSITIONING FROM ARTIST TO DEALER.

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO WELCOME CHLOE BACK TO SHARE THAT JOURNEY WITH US.

John Singer Sargent
The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, 1882

CHLOE, HOW DID YOUR INTEREST IN PAINTING DEVELOP AND ON WHAT PERIOD DID YOU FOCUS IN SCHOOL?

Painting has always felt very personal to me. I continue to experiment with photography, having pursued it more seriously when I was younger and I painted through college. When I was painting regularly, I admired the work of Cecily Brown, Francesco Clemente. Now I find myself gravitating mostly to American modernists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Oscar Bluemner, Charles Burchfield and Milton Avery. Also, the recent Agnes Martin retrospective at the Guggenheim left a lasting impression.

DID YOU ALWAYS HAVE AN INTEREST IN AMERICAN PAINTING AND HOW DID IT DEVELOP?

 There were certain paintings in the MFA, Boston’s collection that were hugely influential. John Singer Sargent’s The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit and Hassam’s At Dusk (Boston Common at Twilight) were two in particular. Certain paintings feel almost autobiographical to me — there is a history of emotional moments associated with them. And of course, my time at Questroyal.

Childe Hassam
At Dusk (Boston Common at Twlight), 1885-86

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE ART WORLD AND WHEN DID YOU JOIN QUESTROYAL?

 I was fortunate enough to secure an internship at Art in General during college which was a formative experience. I remember meeting artists like Roxy Paine and Spencer Tunick, and thinking—this is it! It was my first taste of working in the art world, and that was all I needed. I also briefly worked as an artist’s assistant. Even then, I had a stronintuition that I wanted to be a gallerist, though at the time I imagined it would be in contemporary. I joined Questroyal in 2003 and fourteen years later, it simultaneously feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago.

William Glackens
Vase of Flowers
oil on canvas
Questroyal Fine Art

WHAT PERIOD OF AMERICAN PAINTING IS MOST MEANINGFUL TO YOU OR DO YOU, AS I DO, MAKE QUALITATIVE JUDGMENTS APPRECIATING THE BEST WORKS OF EVERY PERIOD?

This is an easy question for me. American Modernism is my period. While I appreciate Impressionism, the Hudson River School and other styles of American painting, I connect with modernist paintings on a different level. It is a visceral reaction that is hard to quantify or explain…initially visual, but also psychological.

Charles Burchfield
Early Morning, Sunlight, 1916
Questroyal Fine Art

FOR A GALLERY OF THE SCALE AND SCOPE OF QUESTROYAL, YOU HAVE A RELATIVELY SMALL STAFF. WHAT ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS DIRECTOR? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ASPECTS OF GALLERY MANAGEMENT?

It’s funny—our staff feels large to me now! It has doubled in size since I began. As director, my time is mostly spent corresponding with clients, keeping them informed of new acquisitions, responding to inquiries, and working with clients in the gallery. I often describe the nature of my role as a “matchmaker” who connects people with art. Sales and client relations are my main responsibilities in addition to management. Each day is different and this business is unpredictable. Lou, Brent, and I work as a team and take a very personal approach with our clients. We complement each other well! Questroyal is a collaborative environment and we have a great team to support us. I enjoy the many creative challenges that come with handling our own marketing, events, and with overseeing the day-to-day operations.

Henry Martin Gasser
Houses in a Snowy Landscape
Watercolor on paper

A FORTHCOMING EVENT AT QUESTROYAL, ORGANIZED BY CHLOE AND HER TEAM, IS FOR A VERY WORTHY CAUSE, CARING KIND NYC, AN ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO PROVIDING COMPREHENSIVE AND COMPASSIONATE CARE FOR THOSE WITH ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE AND THEIR FAMILIES.  A BENEFIT OPENING LAUNCHES THE GALLERY’S BOUND FOR POSTERITY, HENRY MARTIN GASSER EXHIBITION ON NOVEMBER 9th.

HENRY MARTIN GASSER: An influential teacher, accomplished author, and talented artist recognized for his powerful watercolor portrayals of urban life in his hometown of Newark and throughout New Jersey during the twentieth century.  Gasser continued to thrive as a teacher, author, and artist until his death in 1981; his entire career was dedicated to capturing an important period of New Jersey’s history and he once stated, “I have accumulated a collection of paintings that will serve as a historic record of the community

To purchase tickets:

http://www.caringkindnyc.org/questroyal/

NEXT WEEK, CHLOE WILL TELL US ABOUT THE HISTORY OF QUESTROYAL GALLERY AND THE COMMITMENT TO THE INTRINSIC BEAUTY AND VALUE OF AMERICAN ART.

PLEASE JOIN US!

Join Chloe Heins, director of Questroyal Fine Art and a passionate expert on American Art

 

Chloe Heins
Director
Questroyal Fine Art

QUESTROYAL FINE ART, FOUNDED OVER THIRTY YEARS AGO BY DEALER-COLLECTOR, LOUIS SALERNO, IS DEDICATED TO THE EXHIBITION AND ADVOCACY OF 19TH AND EARLY TWENTIETH-CENTURY AMERICAN ART. THE GALLERY INVENTORY IS BROAD IN SCOPE RANGING FROM SIGNIFICANT HUDSON RIVER SCHOOL PAINTERS SUCH AS WORTHINGTON WHITTREDGE AND JASPER FRANCIS CROPSEY, TO EXAMPLES OF TONALISM, AMERICAN IMPRESSIONISM, AND MODERNISM.

Francis Jasper Cropsey
On the Ramapo
Oil on canvas

THE GALLERY IS LOCATED IN THE HEART OF THE UPPER EAST SIDE, AT 903 PARK AVENUE ON THE CORNER OF 79TH STREET, CONVENIENT TO BOTH THE ESTABLISHED COLLECTOR OF AMERICAN ART AND INVITING TO THE NASCENT COLLECTOR WHO WANTS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PERIOD, INVESTMENT VALUE, AND QUALITY OF WORKS THAT CELEBRATE THE CREATIVITY AND UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE OF AMERICA DURING THESE TWO CENTURIES.

Max Koehne
Washington Square, 1915
Oil on canvas

ONE OF QUESTROYAL’S GREAT ASSETS IS THE DEDICATION NOT ONLY OF LOU HIMSELF BUT ALSO HIS TEAM AT THE GALLERY, IN PARTICULAR THE GALLERY DIRECTOR, CHLOE HEINS, WHO IS GENEROUS WITH HER TIME AND KNOWLEDGE.

Robert Richfield
Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago

CHLOE, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE LRFA BLOG.

I  KNOW FROM YOUR BIO THAT YOUR FATHER IS A FINE ARTS PHOTOGRAPHER. DID HE INSPIRE AN EARLY INTEREST IN ART AND WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WANTED TO PURSUE A CAREER IN THE ART WORLD?

I grew up in an artistic household. At age five, I began taking art classes at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and continued in their education program through high school. In the early days, you had to bring a parent, and my father, Robert Richfield, wowed my classmates with his creativity. In addition to spending nearly every Saturday at the museum, I was surrounded by art at home.

 

Harry Callahan

From an early age, I was interested in my father’s profession and the fascinating world that he operated in. He had close relationships with renowned photographers Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan and I was always thrilled to attend their museum openings, and gallery openings for my dad and his photographer friends. As a result, I remained connected to the art world and my career interest became clear when I moved to New York for college.

Aaron Siskind
Martha’s Vineyard, c. 1954
Collection of MoMA

WHAT WERE THE ACADEMIC STEPS THAT YOU TOOK TO FURTHER THIS INTEREST?

I was determined to go college in New York City and I also wanted to pursue a double major in French and visual arts, so I chose Fordham University (Fordham College at Lincoln Center). Our art history classes often met at museums and I spent hours pacing through galleries and absorbing as much as I could. In addition to my academic pursuits at Fordham, I traveled extensively in Europe during this time, always with an art-filled agenda.

 

Nan Goldin
Self-Portrait in my room, Berlin
1994

AS YOU WERE GROWING UP, WAS YOUR INTEREST PRIMARILY IN PHOTOGRAPHY BECAUSE OF YOUR FATHER? IF SO, WHAT PHOTOGRAPHERS AT THE TIME RESONATED THE MOST STRONGLY WITH YOU?

I have always loved photography and always will. I grew up with photos by Siskind and Callahan, who were household names. Though I am biased, I have always loved my father’s work and have a sentimental connection to his early photographs taken during our summers together. I was also drawn to iconic American scenes that felt foreign to me. When I was young, we mostly traveled in Europe. We occasionally visited my grandparents’ Midwestern and Florida homes, but American scenery has always felt somewhat exotic to me.

Jim Dow
Americana series

Jim Dow—a contemporary of my father and close family friend—has always been a favorite and unsurprisingly, Stephen Shore, William Eggleston, and Robert Frank. I was especially drawn to early work by Cindy Sherman and Nan Goldin. More recently, my husband and I have developed an interest in Todd Hido, Trine Søndergaard and John Houck, to name a few.

John Houck

IN OUR NEXT POST, CHLOE WILL SHARE THE BEGINNING OF HER PROFESSIONAL PATH IN THE ART WORLD AND EXCERPTS FROM SOME OF THE MARVELOUS ESSAYS SHE HAS WRITTEN AS EXHIBITION INTRODUCTIONS FOR QUESTROYAL SHOWS. HER KNOWLEDGE AND LOVE OF AMERICAN ART IS VERY INFECTIOUS!

Bay Area art present and future with Sabrina Buell, partner at Zlot Buell

Richard Serra
SFMoMA

THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ART ADVISORS WAS FOUNDED IN 1980 BY PIONEERS IN THE INDUSTRY TO ESTABLISH  STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE IN A SECTOR THAT WAS NOT KNOWN FOR ITS TRANSPARENCY OR REGULATIONS. THE ASSOCIATION HAS MORE THAN 100 MEMBERS WHO ARE ADVISORS  AND CURATORS. THEIR ROLE IS TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN BOTH CORPORATE AND PRIVATE ART COLLECTIONS. MARY ZLOT, WHO ESTABLISHED HER ADVISORY SERVICE IN 1983 AND FORMED A PARTNERSHIP WITH SABRINA BUELL IN 2012, ARE RESPECTED EXECUTIVE MEMBERS OF THE APAA. THEIR ADVISORY TEAM INCLUDES MARY ZLOT, SABRINA BUELL, KELLY HUANG AND MARIA HEMPHILL AND THEIR BELIEF IS THAT ART COLLECTING IS AN AVENUE TO ENGAGE IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE AND IS PRACTICED WITH KNOWLEDGE AND INTEGRITY BY SABRINA BUELL AND HER FIRM.

Claes Oldenburg
SFMoMA

IN THE NEW YORK TIMES T MAGAZINE, SABRINA BUELL, PARTNER OF ZLOT BUELL, SPOKE OF THE BOOM OF THE SAN FRANCISCO ART SCENE.

“San Francisco feels like the center of the world,” says Sabrina Buell, formerly the director of New York’s Matthew Marks Gallery, who is now a partner in the art advisory firm Zlot Buell + Associates. Buell, a Stanford graduate, helps successful start-up founders – many of them her former college classmates – begin collecting. “The tech community is in many ways defining culture,” she says.

WE WELCOME SABRINA BACK TO THE LRFA BLOG TODAY TO SPEAK ABOUT THE PRESENT AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES OF ZLOT BUELL + ASSOCIATES.

art@zlotbuell.com

SABRINA, AT THE TIME OF YOUR PARTNERSHIP WITH MARY ZLOT, HER ART ADVISORY BUSINESS WAS WELL-ESTABLISHED, HAVING BEEN FORMED IN 1983. WHEN YOU JOINED FORCES, WHAT WAS THE FOCUS OF THE WORKS THAT YOUR CLIENTS COLLECTED? HAS THAT CHANGED SINCE YOUR PROFESSIONAL COLLABORATION?

Mary and I both focus on Post-War and Contemporary art. With our partnership the existing clients I had were suddenly given access and new opportunities because of how respected my new business partner was. It would have taken me decades of work to build the relationships that she already had.

Leo Villareal
The Bay Lights

THE LARGEST LED SCULPTURE

The Bay Lights is 1.8 miles wide and 500 feet high LED light sculpture. Inspired by the Bay Bridge’s 75th Anniversary, artist Leo Villareal  created a never repeating, dazzling display of 25,000 LED white lights across the western span of the Bay Bridge, renamed Willie L. Brown Jr. Bridge in February 2014.

CERTAINLY BAY LIGHTS, CREATED BY LEO VILLAREAL, AN $8 MILLION COMPUTER-ASSISTED LIGHT SCULPTURE THAT ILLUMINATES THE CITY’S BAY BRIDGE WITH A MULTITUDE OF ABSTRACT COMBINATIONS, THAT WAS FUNDED BY SOME HIGH-PROFILE TECH DONORS, WOULD INDICATE THAT THE SILICON VALLEY COLLECTOR GRAVITATES TO WORKS THAT ARE A SYNERGY OF ART AND TECHNOLOGY.

DO YOU FIND THAT TO BE THE CASE? IF SO, WHAT ARE THEY COLLECTING?

I don’t find that to be the case. The Bay Lights happened because it was the absolute right work for this incredible site, and tech people rallied around it because they are becoming more culturally civic minded. It wasn’t necessarily about buying into a work of art as it was supporting the cultural landscape of our city.

HOW DO YOU WORK WITH SOMEONE JUST STARTING TO COLLECT?

Lots of looking and talking – and not buying. Getting as much “eye mileage” as possible. We have a handful of wonderful galleries in San Francisco and the museums are a great resource.

Ugo Rondinone: vocabulary of solitude
Berkeley Art Museum

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR ZLOT BUELL? DO YOU WANT TO EXPAND THE CLIENT BASE AND/OR SCOPE OF SERVICES, OPEN AN EAST COAST OFFICE, ANY OR ALL OF THE ABOVE?

I definitely don’t want to expand the business. We have a wonderful team and clients who I respect and admire. Mary and I like to have close relationships with every one of our clients and growing the business would spread us a little too thin. I hope it can always remain as it is now.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO ON THE ART WORLD CALENDAR IN 2017?

Documenta, Munster, Basel and Venice in June. The Ugo Rondinone show at the Berkeley Art Museum this summer. The Roe Ethridge show at Gagosian SF in the fall. The FOG art fair and all the surrounding programming and shows in Jan 2018. The upcoming Vija Celmins retrospective that will be at SFMOMA next year. There is always so much to be excited about!

Roe Etheridge
Innocence II
Gagosian Gallery San Francisco

The West Coast: latest destination for contemporary art with Sabrina Buell of Zlot/Buell

San Francisco
Pier 24 Photography

IN THE SPRING OF 2016,  SAN FRANCISCO BECAME ONE OF THE MOST ENTICING ART DESTINATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES. THE EXCEPTIONALLY BEAUTIFUL SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART REOPENED AFTER A THOUGHTFUL EXPANSION DESIGNED BY THE ARCHITECTURAL FIRM SNOHETTA THAT INCORPORATED AND RENOVATED THE MUSEUM’S EXISTING MARIO BOTTA BUILDING. LARRY GAGOSIAN OPENED HIS 16th OUTPOST ACROSS FROM SFMoMA THUS ENABLING HIM TO DEEPEN HIS RELATIONSHIPS WITH ESTABLISHED COLLECTORS IN THE BAY AREA AND PROVIDING A MORE IMMEDIATE ENGAGEMENT WITH NEW COLLECTORS. JOHN BERGGRUEN, WHO FOUNDED HIS ORIGINAL GALLERY ON GRANT AVENUE 45 YEARS AGO, OPENED HIS NEW 10, 000 SQ FT SPACE ON HAWTHORNE STREET NEXT DOOR TO GAGOSIAN.

Gagosian Gallery
San Francisco

FOG DESIGN + ART WILL HOLD ITS FIFTH EDITION OF THE FAIR IN JANUARY 2018 WITH 45 INTERNATIONAL GALLERIES, PROMINENT 20th CENTURY ART AND DESIGN DEALERS; THE FOUNDERS OF ART MIAMI HAVE LAUNCHED ART SILICON VALLEY/SAN FRANCISCO (ART SV/SF) THAT SHOWCASES POST-WAR AND MODERN WORKS AS WELL AS CONTEMPORARY AND EMERGING ARTISTS. ALL BASED COVERED.

https://fogfair.com

Fog Design + Art
2017

TODAY IN THE LRFA BLOG WITH SABRINA BUELL, PARTNER OF A PRESTIGIOUS SAN FRANCISCO BASED ART ADVISORY FIRM, ZLOT BUELL, WE WILL BENEFIT FROM HER INSIDER VIEW OF THE WORLD OF COLLECTING IN THE BAY AREA.

SABRINA, WELCOME BACK!

PHOTOGRAPHY HAS A STRONGHOLD BOTH ON THE WEST COAST AND SPECIFICALLY AT SFMoMA. DO YOU FOCUS ON A GREAT DEAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN YOUR ADVISORY BUSINESS?

San Francisco is an incredible photography city thanks to Jeffrey Fraenkel who opened his gallery early on and helped develop a community of collectors. SFMOMA is also probably the best in the world for photography, and we have the greatest private photography museum in the world, Pier 24. In my business we do a lot with photography, but not more than with painting or with other works on paper.

Located on San Francisco’s Embarcadero, Pier 24 Photography provides a quiet, contemplative environment for viewing photographic works. Pier 24 Photography houses the permanent collection of the Pilara Foundation, which is dedicated to collecting, preserving and exhibiting photography. We seek to engage the community through exhibitions, publications, and public programs, and we welcome members of the public, academic institutions, and museum groups for self-guided tours that last up to two hours. Pier 24 Photography is free and open to the public Monday through Friday by appointment.

http://pier24.org

 

Julie Mehretu
HOWL/eon (I,II), 2017
SFMoMA

MOVING IN A MORE CONTEMPORARY DIRECTION, WHAT ARE YOUR CRITERIA FOR COLLECTING A NEWER, LESS ESTABLISHED ARTIST?

We think about all sorts of things from which younger curators are interested in the work, to which other artists or teachers an artist is in conversation with. We certainly think about what gallery they are showing with, and always make sure it’s one we know and respect. We also hope they are contributing something new and compelling to the conversation.

AN EXCELLENT ARTICLE IN THE ECONOMIST, JUNE 2015 ON ZOLT BUELL, STATES:

When it comes to the rich young tech entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley, art dealers around the world are clamoring to know: are they buying? The answer is yes, discreetly, and often with the help of a firm called Zlot Buell.

http://www.artadvisors.org/zlot/

http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21654557-mavens-and-manners-art-collectors-silicon-valley-artiquette

THE ART WORLD DEFINITELY HAS ITS SIGHTS ON THE SAN FRANCISCO MARKET.

Seeing Nature
Paintings from the Paul Allen Collection
Installation view

SABRINA, WHAT ARE SILICON VALLEY COLLECTORS ACQUIRING? MANY OF THE LEGENDARY NAMES IN THE TECH WORLD, SUCH AS YAHOO CEO MARISSA MAYER, ORACLE FOUNDER LARRY ELLISON, MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER PAUL ALLEN, AND GOOGLE CHAIR ERIC SCHMIDT HAVE BUILD LARGE ART COLLECTIONS. DO YOU FIND THAT THE CONTENT AND PERIOD OF THE WORK DIFFERS SIGNIFICANTLY FROM THE EAST COAST OR MORE ESTABLISHED MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY COLLECTIONS?

I find that “tech” collectors are building very thoughtful and deeply personal collections. The ones I work with aren’t buying to impress anyone or based on trends. They buy with their eyes and minds and not their ears. Tech people tend to pride themselves on being innovators, so they tend not to want to do the same thing as someone else is doing. It makes my job wonderful because every collection is very different.

PLEASE JOIN THE LRFA BLOG WHEN SABRINA BUELL CONTINUES TO INFORM US ON THE ACTIVITY AND VITALITY OF THE ART SCENE IN THE BAY AREA.

UNTIL THEN A HUGE THANK YOU TO SABRINA AND ALL THE CONTRIBUTORS TO THE LRFA BLOG!

Sabrina Buell, partner at Zlot/Buell art advisory, returns to the West Coast

San Francisco Museum of Art

AFTER FIVE YEARS, YOU RETURNED TO SAN FRANCISCO TO REPRESENT MATTHEW MARKS THERE? WHAT PROMPTED THE DECISION TO ESTABLISH A WEST COAST BASE? NOW MATTHEW HAS GALLERIES IN LOS ANGELES, BUT AT THE TIME, WAS SAN FRANCISCO CONSIDERED A BIT OF AN OUTPOST?

The decision to move West for me was a personal one, but Matthew was very interested in opening a space in Los Angeles. Many of our artists had never had a gallery exhibition there and the thought was very exciting for them. There are so many artists who live in Los Angeles and it’s exciting for artists to have exhibitions where other artists will be able to see them.

Matthew Marks Gallery
Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles

THE REOPENING OF THE SAN FRANCISO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, SFMoMA, OFFERS THE COMMUNITY A TRANSFORMED AND EXPANDED VENUE, SHOWING ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS FROM ITS OUTSTANDING COLLECTION FROM THE DORIS AND DONALD FISHER COLLECTION. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WORKS IN THE FISHER COLLECTION THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU THE MOST AND WHY?

Their collection of Ellsworth Kelly paintings offers an opportunity to see the range of his work installed over a number of galleries. It spans fifty years, all scales and mediums, and leaves me breathless. They have also created a chapel-like installation of Agnes Martin paintings that is a truly spiritual experience to see.

The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection
SFMoMA

AT THE TIME OF YOUR PARTNERSHIP WITH MARY ZLOT, HER ART ADVISORY BUSINESS WAS WELL-ESTABLISHED, FORMED IN 1983. WHEN YOU JOINED FORCES, WHAT WAS THE FOCUS OF THE WORKS THAT YOUR CLIENTS COLLECTED? HAS THAT CHANGED SINCE YOU PROFESSIONAL COLLABORATION?

Mary and I both focus on Post-War and Contemporary art.  With our partnership the existing clients I had were suddenly given access and new opportunities because of how respected my new business partner was.  It would have taken me decades of work to build the relationships that she already had.   

Agnes Martin
SFMoMA

IN AN INTERVIEW IN THE ECONOMIST, PUBLISHED IN JUNE 2015, WITH THE FIRM’S PRINCIPALS, SABRINA BUELL AND MARY ZLOT, WE SEE THEIR DISCERNING APPROACH NOT JUST TO THE ART THAT THEY ACQUIRE FOR THEIR CORPORATE CLIENTS AND PRIVATE COLLECTORS BUT ALSO TO THE CLIENT BASE WITH WHICH THEY WORK.

The San Francisco-based art consultancy does not have a website, preferring word-of-mouth recommendations to self-promotion. The firm vets its clients, probing them about their reasons for buying and their willingness to observe a certain art-world etiquette that some may find old-fashioned. If prospective collectors are interested in art only for interior decoration or speculative investment, Zlot Buell would prefer not to work with them, regardless of budget.

A good art collection is a highly personal one, so a skilled adviser should help a collector steer clear of fads and avoid the common trap of buying the same artists as their friends. Many people assume that tech people want to collect digital art, but generally they are unimpressed by it. “They look at a screen all day long; they don’t need to look at another,” Ms Zlot says. Indeed, for many in Silicon Valley art offers reassuringly physical objects in a world that is ever more digitised.

Roy Lichtenstein
SFMoMA

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST,  SABRINA WILL DISCUSS THE COLLECTING TRENDS ON THE WEST COAST.

WE WELCOME QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS. TAKE ADVANTAGE  OF SABRING’S DEPTH OF KNOWLEDGE OF CONTEMPORARY COLLECTION AND JOIN THE DISCUSSION!