Leslie Rankow Fine Arts

INTERNATIONAL ART ADVISORY SERVICE

Tag: auction

Dana Prussian, VP Art Services, Bank of America Private Bank: a focused career path

Dana Prussian
VP, Art Services, Bank of America Private Bank

 

ON MAY 30, 2018, WEALTH MANAGEMENT.COM FEATURED AN ARTICLE ON THE NOW ESTABLISHED INCLUSION OF ART AS AN ASSET CLASS.

AT CHRISTIE’S, THE COLLECTION OF PEGGY AND DAVID ROCKEFELLER SET A RECORD HIGH FOR THE MOST VALUABLE PRIVATE COLLECTION   SOLD AT AUCTION AT $833 MILLION.

n.b. Gathered over a lifetime and handed down from previous generations, the collection reflects the Rockefeller family’s deep, life long passion for Impressionist works of Art, American paintings, English and European furniture, Asian works of art, European ceramics and Chinese porcelain,  silver, and American decorative arts and furniture. What was a passion for collecting for pure aesthetic joy has been transformed into a philanthropic legacy. The proceeds from the Estate sale at Christie’s have gone to support selected charities in which the Rockefellers believed. 

Peggy and David Rockefeller sale
Christie’s New York

“THE VIGOROUS BUYING THIS WEEK FOR EVERYTHING FROM A MONET TO A MONEY CLIP … SURPRISED MANY ART EXPERTS,” ACCORDING TO A NEW YORK TIMES REPORT ON THE AUCTION.

INDEED, A CONVERGENCE OF FACTORS IN RECENT YEARS HAS GENERATED HIGHER INTEREST IN ART AS AN ASSET THAT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO APPRECIATE: INTEREST RATES AT HISTORIC LOWS, STOCK MARKET VOLATILITY, TECHNOLOGY CREATING INCREASED TRANSPARENCY IN THE ART MARKET AND INCREASED INTEREST IN ART GLOBALLY, AMONG OTHERS.

ALTHOUGH DEMAND FOR ART FLUCTUATES, WITH DIFFERENT AREAS OF THE ART MARKET EXPERIENCING VARYING LEVELS OF DEMAND, THE GROWING TREND OF VIEWING ART AS AN ASSET CLASS HAS MEANT INCREASED INTEREST AMONG WEALTH MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONALS. NEARLY 90 PERCENT OF WEALTH MANAGERS SAID THEY THINK ART AND COLLECTIBLES SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN WEALTH MANAGEMENT OFFERINGS, ACCORDING TO THE DELOITTE 2017 ART & FINANCE REPORT.

https://www.wealthmanagement.com/high-net-worth/art-asset-class

Christie’s Education

IN TODAY’S LRFA BLOG POST, WE ARE FASCINATED TO FOLLOW DANA’S ASTUTE ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL JOURNEY REFLECTING BOTH HER PASSION AND HER COMMITMENT TO MASTERING THE ART OF FINANCE.  IN TODAY’S WORLD, MANY PRIVATE AND PUBLIC BANKS AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS HAVE DIVISIONS SPECIALIZING IN OFFERING LOANS AND ADVISE ON COLLECTING, THE BANK OF AMERICA BEING ONE OF THE MOST OUTSTANDING. MANY UNIVERSITIES AND AUCTION HOUSES OFFER CLASSES AND DEGREES. CHRISTIE’S, FOR EXAMPLE,  OFFERS A GRADUATE DEGREE: MASTERS IN ART, LAW AND BUSINESS.

https://www.christies.edu/new-york/courses/degree/masters/art-law-business

A FEW YEARS AGO WHEN DANA WAS STILL IN SCHOOL, SHE WAS A PIONEER AND CARVED OUT HER OWN ACADEMIC PATH TO GAIN RECOGNITION AS A FINANCIAL ADVISOR TO INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES OF HIGH NET WORTH.

DANA, THE LRFA BLOG WARMLY WELCOMES YOU BACK.

WERE YOU COMMITTED TO THE IDEA OF COMBINING ART AND FINANCE FROM THE BEGINNING OR DID THE IDEA EVOLVE AS YOU PROGRESSED IN SCHOOL AND PROFESSIONALLY?

Yes, pretty much. That said, when I graduated, the idea of “Art as an Asset Class” was only just taking shape. It certainly was not institutionalized like it is now. I knew that I wanted to jump onto that track as soon as possible, but was not sure how long it would take.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST POSITION AND DID IT COMBINE YOUR TWO AREAS OF EXPERTISE?

It had nothing to do with the art world! I had just come out of a Christie’s internship when I graduated, and I knew that if I wanted to work in the Art Finance sphere, I needed the Finance component. I knew nothing about finance! Like one Columbia Econ class, nothing. So I got into a two-year rotational analyst program at Barclays, which gave me a necessary understanding of financial products.  

A SELF-MADE MAN, HENRY PHIPPS UNDERSTOOD THE CHALLENGES INVOLVED IN CREATING WEALTH. AS A FOUNDING PARTNER AND CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER OF CARNEGIE STEEL, HIS INNOVATIONS MATCHED HIS WORK ETHIC. HE ALSO UNDERSTOOD THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN COMMUNICATING AND SUSTAINING VALUES, AND GROWING AND PRESERVING WEALTH FOR HIS FAMILY. PHIPPS FOUNDED BESSEMER TRUST WITH THIS CONNECTION IN MIND. HE COMMUNICATED HIS INTENTIONS AND GUIDANCE TO EACH OF HIS CHILDREN, URGING THEM TO SPEND WISELY AND WORK COLLABORATIVELY TO PRESERVE AND MAINTAIN THE FAMILY’S WEALTH AND VALUES FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.

https://www.bessemertrust.com/what-makes-us-different/key-facts

YOU WERE AT BESSEMER TRUST FOR OVER THREE YEARS. HOW DID THEY GROOM YOU FOR YOUR CURRENT POSITION?

Bessemer was the perfect intermediary step to my transitioning into Art Services. The advisors and culture are truly crème de la crème, and I was fortunate enough to be part of an incredibly motivated team. Working as a Client Advisor there taught me three invaluable skills: how to hustle and grow a book of business, what it looks like to provide exceptional client service, and how to look at a balance sheet holistically. I worked with several art collectors who were part of our book, and by the end of my time at Bessemer, I knew that I had the skill set to serve a super sophisticated group of collectors and focus solely on the art on their balance sheets. I ultimately left Bessemer because, in the time I was there, the concept of “Art as an Asset Class” took shape more formally and there was a new spot open at Bank of America Private Bank.   

WHAT ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE ART SERVICES DIVISION AT BANK OF AMERICA PRIVATE BANK?

I’m one of two VPs of Art Services on the team. The two of us have divided the country in half and lead Art Lending and Consignment efforts for our markets. I focus on our NYC market in addition to Miami, Palm Beach, Dallas, Houston, DC, and Long Island. You can imagine, that’s a lot of art collectors and internal advisors to cover!

HOW DID THE PROGRAM DEVELOP? WHEN WAS IT INITIATED AND HOW HAS IT GROWN AND CHANGED SINCE ITS ONSET?

In 2015, the Private Bank (formerly US Trust) hired Deloitte to implement a strategy that would serve our clients and their art collections. The head of that consulting project came on board as our National Arts Services Executive, and he built out the program from there. In the last four years, our team has grown our Art Lending book from $2 billion to $8 billion. We’re now the largest art lenders in the country.

 

Bank of America
Art Services
Panel Discussion

WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF SERVICES THAT YOU OFFER COLLECTORS AND INSTITUTIONS?

We are obviously highly focused on art lending, but we have expanded our services beyond lines of credit. We offer the only Consignment Services platform at a private bank, so we can act as agent for a client who wishes to sell at auction. We negotiate everything from enhanced financial packages to sales and marketing strategies.

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, DANA PRUSSIAN WILL SHARE WITH US THE WORKING OF THE ART SERVICES DIVISION AT BANK OF AMERICA PRIVATE BANKING. THANK YOU, DANA, AND THANK ALL THE FOLLOWERS OF THE BLOG FOR YOUR CONTINUED INTEREST!

A comprehensive report on the current art market from the Art Lending Services division at U.S. Trust

U.S. TRUST, AS DO MANY OF THE MOST HIGHLY REGARDED BANKING AND FINANCIAL ADVISORY INSTITUTIONS, OFFERS EXTENSIVE ART SERVICES. AS ART IS NOW CONSIDERED TO BE AN ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT, AND NOT SIMPLY AN AESTHETIC PLEASURE, BANKING HAS ENTERED VERY FORCEFULLY IN THE COMPETITION TO PROVIDE ART LENDING SERVICES TO HELP BOTH COLLECTORS AND INSTITUTIONS HELP NAVIGATE THE COMPLEX ART WORLD.

RECENTLY U.S. TRUST, THE PRIVATE BANKING ARM OF BANK OF AMERICA,  PUBLISHED AN EXTREMELY COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS ON THE STATE OF THE CURRENT ART MARKET. IN A TIME OF TURMOIL AND CHANGE, GENERAL REEVALUATION AND A GLOBAL SHIFT IN THE ART MARKET, IT IS PARTICULARLY RELEVANT AND THE LRFA BLOG IS PLEASED TO SHARE IT WITH YOU. WE ARE DELIGHTED, AS WELL, TO REPORT THAT DANA PRUSSIAN, VICE PRESIDENT AT U.S. TRUST ART LENDING SERVICES, WILL BE CONTRIBUTING TO THE LRFA BLOG IN THE MONTHS AHEAD.

PART ONE

“We feel that you should not buy art purely as an investment. Buy it for love, desire, legacy, culture, pleasure, addiction,

status, and community.”

Art Services Market Update

At Bank of America Private Bank, we maintain a sharp focus on the art market and on the collectors, dealers, auctions specialists and institutions that make it function. We work closely with many of you across four pillars: art lending, art planning, consignment services and institutional arts endowment management. This update features our observations on the current state of the art market from a business perspective.

The Market

  • Current low interest rates, solid equity markets and more stratified wealth creation worldwide continues to drive capital toward art. The maturation and globalization of the art market has expanded the collector base and transformed the art market from a niche lifestyle into a $60 billion global industry.1 Still, overall art market growth in terms of total art sales has stalled since 2012, even as the S&P 500has currently more than doubled since that time.
  • If the Federal Reserve (Fed) continues its dovish policy, we expect collectors’ continued allocation of capital to art. When interest rates fall, the opportunity cost of holding non-interest-bearing assets like art goes down. The art market is driven by sentiment, so the greatest risk we see is a geopolitical event that impedes the global flow of capital and credit prompting collectors to pause.

• We anticipate that financial returns for contemporary art will be lower in the next decade than some may expect. The market has absorbed a lot of art since the turn of the century. An exceedingly large percentage of those works may be worth close to zero in a generation or so. And because we’re in a more mature and efficient art market, there may be fewer upside surprises than in decades past. We feel that you should not buy art purely as an investment. Buy it for your passion, enjoyment, legacy, culture, status or community.

The Auctions

• During the New York Spring Auctions, the market absorbed over $2 billion of art at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips, handily above the $1.6 billion pre-sale estimate. It was the first auction season defined by large estates of postwar
and contemporary art. Eye-catching results such as the $91 million Koons “Rabbit”, the $110 million Monet “Haystack” and the rapidly growing market for KAWS belie a more modest 5.1% annualized return2 achieved for repeat sales during the season. Given the recent performance of London auctions and the lack of clarity around a Brexit deal, New York will continue to be the premiere sale site for high-end postwar and contemporary art for the foreseeable future. Fresh-to- market works, typical of the artist’s oeuvre, in good condition, with strong provenance, continue to perform strongest at auction. Works by female and black artists also continue their rise.

• You likely saw that in June, Sotheby’s accepted a $3.7 billion buyout offer from French media entrepreneur Patrick Drahi. Interestingly, Bonhams was also bought out earlier this year. Going private will allow Sotheby’s more flexibility to compete for top lots, which will benefit major collectors, and will provide time and space to evolve its business model, which, like Christie’s, is challenged. Competition for top pictures has become a race-to-the-bottom: China isn’t the growth engine everyone hoped it would be, and online sales have yet to deliver meaningful scale or margin expansion. With business margins at around 10% for the industry, auction houses are officially on the hunt for new revenue streams.

• Look for the auction houses to continue to expand into art advisory, financial services, brand licensing and even investment research as they look beyond their supply-constrained auction business. As a collector, you may see better terms when consigning top works at auction, but expect higher commissions for lower- value works. Buyer premiums will continue to expand at all levels. Finally, get ready for more convenience. Virtual reality will change how you view upcoming sales, and artificial intelligence will soon be sending you an endless array of Netflix-style lot recommendations across all categories based on what you’ve perused across the internet.

The future at Sotheby’s

AS  A SURPRISING CODA TO THE EXCEPTIONALLY INFORMATIVE INTERVIEW WITH COURTNEY KREMERS, SENIOR VP AND CONTEMPORARY ART SPECIALIST AT SOTHEBY’S, THIS NEWS HAS SET THE ART WORLD ABUZZ IN THE LAST FEW DAYS.  SOTHEBY’S HAS DECIDED TO ACCEPT AN OFFER BY FRENCH TELECOM AND MEDIA BILLIONAIRE PATRICK DRAHI AND WILL FORMALLY BE A PRIVATELY HELD COMPANY, AS ARE CHRISTIE’S AND PHILLIPS, IN THE NEAR FUTURE. THAT WILL CERTAINLY DISRUPT THE LANDSCAPE OF THE HIGHLY COMPETITIVE AUCTION WORLD!

IN THEIR OWN WORDS…

SOTHEBY’S PRESS RELEASE JUNE 17, 2019

Sotheby’s (NYSE: BID) today announced that it has signed a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by BidFair USA, an entity wholly owned by media and telecom entrepreneur as well as art collector, Patrick Drahi. Under the terms of the agreement, which was approved by Sotheby’s Board of Directors, shareholders, including employee shareholders, will receive $57.00 in cash per share of Sotheby’s common stock in a transaction with an enterprise value of $3.7 billion. The offer price represents a premium of 61% to Sotheby’s closing price on June 14, 2019, and a 56.3% premium to the company’s 30 trading-day volume weighted average share price. The transaction would result in Sotheby’s returning to private ownership after 31 years as a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Tad Smith, Sotheby’s CEO, said, “Patrick Drahi is one of the most well-regarded entrepreneurs in the world, and on behalf of everyone at Sotheby’s, I want to welcome him to the family. Known for his commitment to innovation and ingenuity, Patrick founded and leads some of the most successful telecommunications, media and digital companies in the world. He has a long-term view and shares our brand vision for great client service and employing innovation to enhance the value of the company for clients and employees. This acquisition will provide Sotheby’s with the opportunity to accelerate the successful program of growth initiatives of the past several years in a more flexible private environment. It positions us very well for our future and I strongly believe that the company will be in excellent hands for decades to come with Patrick as our owner.”

Domenico De Sole, Chairman of Sotheby’s Board of Directors, said, “Following a comprehensive review, the Board enthusiastically supports Mr. Drahi’s offer, which delivers a significant premium to market for our shareholders. After more than 30 years as a public company, the time is right for Sotheby’s to return to private ownership to continue on a path of growth and success.” 2 “I am honored that the Board of Sotheby’s has decided to recommend my offer,” commented Patrick Drahi. “Sotheby’s is one of the most elegant and aspirational brands in the world. As a longtime client and lifetime admirer of the company, I am acquiring Sotheby’s together with my family. We thank Domenico and the rest of the Sotheby’s Board for its support and look forward to getting started with Tad and the wonderful members of his team to define our future.”

The closing of the deal is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory clearance and shareholder approvals, but is not subject to the availability of financing. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019 following shareholder approval.

FROM THE OFFICE OF PATRICK DRAHI

PRESS RELEASE ACQUISITION OF SOTHEBY’S JUNE 17, 2019

I am very honored that the Board of Sotheby’s has decided to recommend my offer.

With my family, we are very enthusiastic to build together with its current management
and their teams the future of Sotheby’s, a fascinating and multi-secular company with such a celebrated history of uniting people all over the world through culture and arts.

For my entire life, I have been passionate about this industry and I believe the opportunities and growth potential are significant for Sotheby’s.

I am making this investment for my family, through my personal holding, with a very long-term perspective. There is no capital link with Altice Europe or Altice USA.

As the future owner, I have full confidence in Sotheby’s management, and hence do not anticipate any change to the Company’s strategy. Management and their exceptional teams and talent around the world will continue to operate with my full support.

This investment will further demonstrate the anchoring of my family in the United States, a country where we have been very welcomed since the successful acquisitions of Suddenlink in 2015, Cablevision in 2016 and just recently Cheddar.

The telecom and media industries will keep being my main focus where I remain 100% committed to our businesses and to our continued growth. I will of course keep leading the management team in the development and growth of Altice Europe, as well as remain Chairman of the Board of Altice USA to support Dexter and his team who are doing a great job.

The acquisition of Sotheby’s will be funded by financings arranged and underwritten by BNP Paribas as well as by equity provided from my own funds. To help fund this transaction, I do not intend to sell any shares in Altice Europe NV; my intention is to monetize a small position in Altice USA up to $400 million by the end of the year. Due to Altice USA’s share repurchase program, the total economic stake of my holdings in Altice USA has increased over the last 12 months from approximately 34% to 38 %.

Sotheby’s now and ahead with Senior VP and Contemporary Specialist, Courtney Kremers

Sotheby’s New York

In 2015, Tad Smith was appointed to head Sotheby’s. Prior to that, Mr. Smith had spent a year as chief executive of the Madison Square Garden Company, which, among other businesses, owns the New York Knicks basketball team, the New York Rangers hockey team and Radio City Music Hall. Before that, he spent five years at Cablevision Systems, which like MSG is controlled by the family of Charles Dolan.

In an interview, Mr. Smith said he could not add to the expertise of Sotheby’s art experts, but he could act as a business catalyst. “The market for art is very large, it is global and there is an immense amount of new wealth being created every year,” he said. Sotheby’s said it was also splitting the jobs of chief executive and chairman of the board, both of which had been held by Mr. Ruprecht. Domenico De Sole, former chief executive of the Gucci Group and chairman of the luxury retailer Tom Ford International, who is currently Sotheby’s lead independent director, became its new chairman.

Tad Smith
President and CEO
Sotheby’s

In January 2016, Schwartzman and Cappellazzo joined Sotheby’s as Chairmen and Co-Heads of its newly formed Fine Art Division and the traditional structure of the auction house radically changed in an effort to adapt to an industry in flux.

https://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2019/by-women-for-tomorrows-women-n10041.html

A recent auction was just one way in which Sotheby’s reflects and responds to the social and political issues of our times: an art exhibit and auction hosted by Sotheby’s and Miss Porter’s School called “By Women, for Tomorrow’s Women.” The event was the first all-women-artist benefit held at a major auction house.

Carmen Herrera
Sotheby’s By Women, For Tomorrow’s Women auction

Sotheby’s has taken a major leap into the 21st Century with its acquisition of Thread Genius, an AI-based recommendation platform, and Viyet, a high-end furniture design consignment platform focused on an emerging generation of antique and high-end interior design enthusiasts, just two of its recent corporate acquisitions since Mr. Smith took charge.

Viyet at Sotheby’s

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO CONTINUE ITS CONVERSATION WITH COURTNEY KREMERS, SENIOR VP AND CONTEMPORY ART SPECIALIST AT SOTHEBY’S.

COURTNEY, WELCOME BACK.

IN 2015, TAD SMITH WAS APPOINTED PRESIDENT AND CEO OF SOTHEBY’S. SOTHEBY’S HAS BEEN RESTRUCTURED AND TRANSFORMED, ACQUIRING SEVERAL BUSINESSES THAT EXPAND OUR IDEA OF THE ROLE OF AN AUCTION HOUSE.  HOW HAS SOTHEBY’S GROWN AND CHANGED SINCE HIS APPOINTMENT?

We have changed a lot in the last few years, and that change has been exciting. We are adapting to a more global market and one that increasingly operates on digital platforms and outside the traditional auction seasons. Our business has become a 360 degree endeavor – and we are investing as much in new collectors, across all categories, as we are in those bidding in the blockbuster evening sales.  

Sotheby’s BIDnow
Live Online Bidding

SOTHEBY’S IS, UNLIKE CHRISTIE’S OR PHILLIPS, A PUBLICLY HELD COMPANY. HOW DOES THAT AFFECT ITS BUSINESS DECISIONS AND POLICIES?

As a public company, Sotheby’s has to maintain the highest standards of transparency and accountability. In a business that has a reputation for not always being those things, this distinction sets us apart. Trust is an advantage. 

Sotheby’s London

WITH A SOFTENING ART MARKET, POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY, A HIGHLY VOLATILE STOCK MARKET AND A SLOWDOWN OF GLOBAL GROWTH IN GENERAL, HOW IS THE ART MARKET AFFECTED BOTH SHORT TERM AND LONG TERM?

The art market isn’t immune to the global financial markets and political turmoil. But it is remarkably more resilient and less volatile than it was 12 years ago; it is a much more global market. I was in London in June 2017, when we held our Contemporary Sales only a few days after the Brexit vote. We had no idea what would happen, but we didn’t think it would be good. Contrary to expectations, any slack in UK bidding was far outweighed by the enthusiastic paddle raising from US and Asian collectors saw an opportunity because of currency fluctuations. The auctions were likely stronger than they would have been with no-Brexit. 

Sotheby’s Hong Kong

WHAT ARE YOUR IMMEDIATE PLANS AND FUTURE PROFESSIONAL AMBITIONS?

If I am doing exactly what I am doing now, in 20 years, I would consider myself lucky. I love my job, the artworks, the collectors I work with, and the team of people I work with. If it sounds unambitious to hope for more of the same, then so be it. 

IT DOESN’T SOUND UNAMBITIOUS AT ALL- BUT THE LRFA BLOG IS CERTAIN THAT IN MUCH LESS THAN 20 YEARS, YOU WILL HAVE RISEN HIGH IN THE RANKS AT SOTHEBY’S OR ANY OTHER ENDEAVOR YOU PURSUE. COURTNEY, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR INSIGHTFUL CONTRIBUTION.

Sotheby’s Paris

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, WE WELCOME TIMOTHY MACDONALD, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF TIMOTHY MACDONALD INCORPORATED, A NEW YORK BASED INTERIOR DESIGN FIRM. TIM HAS BEEN A LONG TIME COLLEAGUE, FRIEND AND SOURCE OF CLIENT REFERRAL AND WE WILL LEARN ABOUT THE MANY PROJECTS HE HAS OVERSEEN, BOTH HERE AND ABROAD AND HIS LOVE OF ART AND DESIGN.

PLEASE JOIN US!

Life in a jewel box with Courtney Kremers, Sotheby’s VP and Contemporary Art Specialist

The History of Now: The Collection of Daniel Teiger
Sotheby’s London

THE COLLECTION OF DAVID TEIGER, A MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT AND FORMER TRUSTEE OF THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, WAS SOLD AT SOTHEBY’S STARTING IN LONDON LAST OCTOBER DURING FRIEZE WEEK. THE COMPETITION BETWEEN THE AUCTION HOUSES VYING FOR SUCH A SUPERB, VARIED AND LEGENDARY COLLECTION MUST HAVE BEEN FIERCE BUT SOTHEBY’S MARKETING STRATEGY WON THE DAY. TITLED “THE HISTORY OF NOW”, THE COLLECTION FEATURED EXCEPTIONAL EXAMPLES OF MODERN, FOLK AND CONTEMPORARY ART, FEATURING EXCEPTIONAL EXAMPLES BY SUCH ARTISTS AS JASPER JOHNS, DAVID HOCKNEY, JOHN CURRIN, PETER DOIG AND MARK GROTJAHN IN A SERIES OF TEN TARGETED SALES WORLDWIDE.

Mark Grotjahn
The History of Now- The Collection of David Teiger

DAVID TEIGER CREATED A LIST OF PRINCIPLES TO GUIDE HIM IN HIS COLLECTING. SOTHEBY’S ADVOCATED THE SAME FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION IN ITS MARKETING AND SELLING OF IT: TRAVELING WORKS TO MANY CITIES, THREE IN ASIA ALONE; RESEARCHING, DOCUMENTING AND CATALOGUING EACH LOT; SELECTING THE VENUE THAT WOULD BEST SERVE EACH WORK OF ART, RESULTING IN AN OVERALL TOTAL OF MORE THAN $100 MILLION.

http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2018/history-of-now-collection-david-teiger-l18623.html

Peter Doig
Buffalo Station 1
The History of Now- The Collection of David Teiger sale

THE HARD WORK, DEDICATION AND KNOWLEDGE OF WORKS  OF ART AND OF THE ART MARKET REQUIRED FOR THE SALE OF THE TEIGER COLLECTION IS JUST ONE EXAMPLE OF THE VIRTUALLY DAILY DEMANDS ON SPECIALISTS IN A TOP AUCTION HOUSE. CONSISTENTLY PLEASANT, CHEERFUL AND POLITE TO EACH AND EVERY DEMANDING COLLECTOR AND ADVISOR IS ANOTHER REQUISITE.

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO WELCOME BACK COURTNEY KREMERS, SENIOR VP AND CONTEMPORARY ART SPECIALIST, TO SPEAK FIRST HAND OF HER SOTHEBY EXPERIENCE.

WHEN DID YOU START AT SOTHEBY’S AND WHAT PROMPTED YOUR DECISION TO JOIN AN AUCTION HOUSE?  CUSTOMARILY, MANY PEOPLE START AT AN AUCTION HOUSE AND THEN GO ON TO WORK AS A DEALER OR ADVISOR?

Yes I did it backwards. But I am so thankful I did. I was able to understand the ecosystem that the auction house serves by first being a part of that ecosystem. Sotheby’s approached me about an opportunity to revamp their mid season sales in early 2013; that fall, we introduced the Contemporary Curated sales. It was an exciting new challenge, and when I left Kim to pursue it, she couldn’t have been more supportive.

Vija Celmins
Burning Plane
Good to Go: Property from the Collection of Joni Gordon

WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT WORKING IN AN AUCTION HOUSE?

I am surrounded every day by people that love what they do. My colleagues, both in and outside the Contemporary department, are some of the most passionate, inspiring, and hard-working people that I have ever encountered. The energy is contagious. Not to mention the thousands of objects I get to see, handle, basically live with, every year. And not just Contemporary works… Our office is a rotating museum of Old Master paintings, jewels, photographs, Japanese scrolls, the most beautiful mid-century design objects. I spend most of my waking life in a jewel box essentially. It is a privilege to work at Sotheby’s, so I try to earn it every day. 

Ed Ruscha Broken Pencil In Its Own Light: Collection of Ed Cohen and Victoria Shaw

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAJOR AUCTIONS OR SINGLE OWNER SALES OR SPECIFIC LOTS THAT STAND OUT AS HIGHLIGHTS DURING YOUR TIME AT SOTHEBY’S?

The Joni Gordon Sale in 2014 – we sold a rare Vija Celmin’s plane painting (now on view in the SFMoMA show) and achieved a record price for the artist. In 2017, the sale of works from the Collection of Ed Cohen and Victoria Shaw which included the most breathtaking works on paper by Anselm Kiefer, Michael Andrews, and Brice Marden… These weren’t the most high value consignments, or the biggest single owner sales in recent years, but the works were rare connoisseurs’ gems.   

Cecily Brown
Bonus
In Its Own Light: The Collection of Ed Cohen and Victoria Shaw

HOW DOES S/2, SOTHEBY’S GALLERY, WORK IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE SALES DEPARTMENT?  HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT THE BEST VENUE WHEN ADVISING A CLIENT INTERESTED IN SELLING A WORK THEY OWN?

Simply stated, when advising collectors regarding auction versus private sale, we need to understand what it is that they value most. For some, privacy and control of the sale process is paramount, and so private sale would be our recommendation. For others, the auction platform, which can present a unique opportunity for upside at a particular moment, is more appealing. With that said, every conversation is highly circumstantial and takes into account any number of factors. One that comes up frequently is depth of an artist’s market in relation to works currently consigned for an auction season (e.g. if we have four Calder mobiles already consigned for auction, we are likely not going to recommend adding a fifth).

Alexander Calder
Art Contemporain
Sotheby’s Paris, June 5, 2019

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO YOU WORK ON A FORTHCOMING AUCTION?  DO YOU HAVE A FEW LOTS THAT COME IN THAT ANCHOR A SALE AND THEN SEEK OUT WORKS COLLECTORS MIGHT HAVE THAT WOULD COMPLEMENT THE SALE AND BE ENHANCED BY EXISTING LOTS?

Yes – you nailed it. We generally work on sales six months in advance, but naturally the intensity ramps up about two months out. Roughly half of the sale comes in from collectors who reach out to us directly. The other half we seek out proactively. Based on what has come into the sale in the first few months, we seek out artists and periods that we don’t yet have. We start to create ‘wish lists’ that we work from. If we are a month away from deadline and see that we don’t have a great Joan Mitchell or Donald Judd, we will go out and try to find one. Our wish list changes a bit every season depending on what we know collectors are looking for, and also, opportunities we may see to tell a particular story in an auction season. We look at the ingredients on the table, and then figure out how to make a well balanced meal! 

Joan Mitchell
L’Arbre de Phyllis
Lumieres: The Levy Family Collection
Sotheby’s NY May 16, 2019

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, COURTNEY WILL SHARE HER PERSPECTIVE ON SOTHEBY’S PRESENT AND FUTURE.

PLEASE JOIN US!

AND HAVE A HAPPY AND LONG-AWAITED MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!

Collecting advice from an expert: Sotheby’s contemporary auction specialist Courtney Kremers

Courtney Kremers
Sotheby’s

AUCTIONS ARE BIG BUSINESS WITH EVER INCREASING INTEREST AND PARTICIPATION FROM ALL CORNERS OF THE WORLD. THANKS TO THE GLOBALIZATION OF THE ART MARKET AND THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF ART BOOSTED BY INSTAGRAM IN PARTICULAR AND SOCIAL MEDIA IN GENERAL, AND BY THE HEADLINE MAKING SUMS THAT ARE BEING REALIZED, EVERYONE FINDS THIS AN INTRIGUING SUBJECT TO FOLLOW WHETHER THEY ARE COLLECTORS OR NOT. THE COMPETITION BETWEEN HOUSES IS FIERCE AND THIS WEEK, IN NEW YORK, PRESENTS MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO PROVE THESE POINTS.

Claude Monet
Meules
Sotheby’s May 2019

ON TUESDAY OF THIS WEEK, SOTHEBY’S TRIUMPHED, OPENING THE NEW YORK AUCTION WEEK, WITH THEIR IMPRESSIONIST AND MODERN SALE. ARTnews DESCRIBES IT AS SUCH:

Powered by a stunning Claude Monet landscape that doubled its estimate and elicited hearty applause in the grand salesroom, Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern evening sale in New York on Tuesday galloped to a market-affirming $349.9 million tally.

Only five of the 55 lots offered failed to sell, yielding a svelte buy-in rate by lot of 9.1 percent.

The buoyant result surged past pre-sale expectations of $252.6 million to $333.2 million. Those estimates do not include the buyer’s premium. (The hammer tally for the evening, before fees, was $300.5 million.)

The total also shot past last May’s $318.3 million result for the 32 lots that sold. The top lot at that sale was Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu couché (sur le côté gauche), 1917, which fetched $157.2 million, making it the most expensive work ever to sell at Sotheby’s.

Tuesday’s auction ranks as the highest-earning Impression-modern evening sale at Sotheby’s since one in May 2015 that took in $368 million.

http://www.artnews.com/2019/05/15/sothebys-imp-mod-monet-meules-record/

Hans Hofmann

BEFORE WORKS CAN REACH THE DAZZLING HEIGHTS OF THE AUCTION WORLD, THEY MUST FIRST BE ACQUIRED BY PRIVATE COLLECTORS AND THAT TAKES CAREFUL DELIBERATION, INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE AS WELL AS THE GOOD FORTUNE OF A GREAT EYE AND/OR A GREAT ADVISOR.

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO HAVE SOTHEBY’S SPECIALIST, SENIOR VP, COURTNEY KREMERS, TO SHARE HER ASTUTE INSIGHTS ON THE ART OF COLLECTING.

COURTNEY, WELCOME BACK! THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY HAPPY TO HAVE YOU HERE.

SOME COLLECTORS, SUCH AS THE MUGRABIS,  FOCUS ON A HANDFUL OF ARTISTS, BUYING NUMEROUS EXAMPLES OF WORK FROM ALL PERIODS OF THE ARTIST’S CAREER, THUS CONTROLLING TO SOME EXTENT THE MARKET FOR THE WORK?

WHAT IN YOUR OPINION ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND THE DISADVANTAGES?

There is a big difference between trying to control an artist’s market, by acquiring a significant number of works, and collecting an artist in depth. The pros/cons of this strategy are no different than having undiversified risk in any other asset class. It is high risk, high reward.

Lucio Fontana

WHEN YOU ARE WORKING WITH A RELATIVELY NEW AND UNSEASONED COLLECTOR, WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE THAT YOU CAN GIVE THEM?

Collecting involves a careful balance of restraint and gut. At the beginning, the formula should be weighted toward restraint and research, but as you develop a real eye, gut becomes a crucial part of the equation.

HOW DO YOU EDUCATE THE POTENTIAL COLLECTOR IN THE ART OF COLLECTING? WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY CRITERIA AND GUIDELINES DO YOU GIVE THEM?

It isn’t only about buying what you love. For an unseasoned collector, that advice can be a recipe for disaster, or at the very least, for overpaying. The word, “love”, is also confusing to collectors, because what does that mean when it comes to art? Your relationship with an object can grow from something that first would be described as discomfort, because it gets under your skin, stays with you, challenges something you thought you knew. In other words, the reaction to a great object doesn’t always start out as positive experience in a traditional sense, but it can evolve into that. Aside from the gut reaction you feel, which is what makes collecting so emotionally rewarding, you should always ask questions and understand what you are buying, how the work fits into the artist’s overall body of work, what the condition is, which galleries support the artist, which museums have shown the artist, etc. The list of questions is long and you should consider the answers to each one.

Sam Francis

YOU WORKED FOR KIM HIERSTON, WHOM I LIKE AND ADMIRE, IN HER ART ADVISORY FIRM.  WHAT WERE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES?

Tons of research, among other things. Kim is extremely thorough and disciplined about every artwork she puts forward for a collector’s consideration. It was an information gathering operation first, art advisory second; you can’t advise unless you have all the facts. We spent a lot of time reviewing the artworks on offer through galleries, at art fairs, and in the auctions, and then thinking about how those works might fit into a particular client’s collection, and if so, what the right price was. Once an acquisition was made, we handled all the back end logistics that come with building an art collection – insurance, shipping, framing, conservation. It was a soup to nuts job.

George Condo

WHAT WERE THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS YOU LEARNED WHEN WORKING AS AN ADVISOR?  YOU MUST INTERACT WITH A GREAT MANY ADVISORS NOW, AS A SPECIALIST AT SOTHEBY’S. WHAT CHARACTERIZES THE BEST AND THE WORST OF THEM?

There are advisors who do their own research and who spend a considerable amount of time looking at art and understanding the objects, and then there are advisors who just repeat what they hear elsewhere. The parrots are just that, parrots.

NB- THE WORKS ILLUSTRATED IN THIS BLOG (EXCEPT THE MONET) ARE FORTHCOMING LOTS IN THE SOTHEBY’S CONTEMPORARY DAY SALE, ON FRIDAY, MAY 17th.

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, COURTNEY WILL SPEAK ABOUT LIFE AT SOTHEBY’S IN THIS AGE OF COLLECTING. WE CAN’T WAIT!

The art market, current and future with expert Gabriela Palmieri, founder and president of PFA, Inc.

Gabriela Palmieri

AT THE SECOND NEW YORK ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE THAT TOOK PLACE AT TIME WARNER LAST WEEK, ONE OF THE PANELISTS SPEAKING ON THE SUBJECT OF REGULATION IN THE ART WORLD WAS ELIZABETH SZANCER, WHO SERVES ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ART ADVISORS. SHE SPOKE OF THE MISSION OF THE APAA TO ESTABLISH THE BEST POSSIBLE GUIDELINES AND PRINCIPALS EMPHASIZING INTEGRITY, CONNOISSEURSHIP AND EDUCATION AS THE FOUNDATIONS OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE. IN 1962, THE ART DEALERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA WAS FOUNDED WITH THE STATED PURPOSE OF PROMOTING THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF CONNOISSEURSHIP, SCHOLARSHIP AND ETHICAL PRACTICES WITHIN THE ART DEALING PROFESSION.

ADAA at the Park Avenue Armory, 2018
303 Gallery

IN AN INDUSTRY IN WHICH MOST OF ITS PARTICIPANTS ARE ART- AND ARTIST-LOVING, HONEST AND PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE, WE TEND TO HEAR AND REMEMBER ONLY THE NEWSWORTHY, SENSATIONALIST TALES OF FAKES AND FORGERIES, THE STUFF OF LEGEND, THE SUBJECT OF BOOKS, FILMS AND TELEVISION. THE LEGIONS OF HARD-WORKING AUCTION SPECIALISTS, GALLERY OWNERS, PRIVATE ART DEALERS AND ADVISORS OFTEN GO UNMENTIONED.

THROUGHOUT HER PROFESSIONAL CAREER AT SOTHEBY’S, GABRIELA PALMIERI DEMONSTRATED ALL THE QUALITIES OF PROFESSIONALISM, CONNOISSEURSHIP AND INTEGRITY THAT THE INDUSTRY’S “POLICE” ADVOCATE.

 

Gabby Palmieri and collector Adam Sender

WE ARE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME HER INTO THE RANKS OF ADVISOR AND PRIVATE DEALER. GABBY CAN BE REACHED AT PFA, INC, 4 EAST 78th STREET, IN NEW YORK.

Video, Frieze New York, on highlights of the 2013 Frieze New York art fair

http://www.sothebys.com/en/news-video/videos/2013/06/Exclusive-Video-Inside-Frieze-New-York-Gabriela-Palmieri.html

GABBY, WHAT PROMPTED YOUR DECISION TO BECOME A PRIVATE DEALER AND ADVISOR AND LEAVE THE AUCTION WORLD?

The auction house was changing, many of my closest and trusted colleagues had moved on to different ventures, and the timing was perfect to focus on being able to work with my clients in the most direct and transparent fashion; without bias in advising them on the purchases and sales.

Gabriela Palmieri
Maestro Cares Foundation Gala

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SERVICES THAT YOU, WITH YOUR VAST EXPERIENCE, CAN PROVIDE YOUR CLIENTS?

I find that for every client that I work with, I have curated a different strategy for different needs – whether it is advising on private or auction acquisitions; sourcing opportunities for private sales; being their client advocate as they negotiate selling through the auction houses; identifying guarantee opportunities from auction houses; valuation services. Virtually nothing unchanged from the services I provided in-house; now simply without the bias.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WARNINGS THAT YOU WOULD CAUTION YOUR CLIENTS OR COLLECTORS IN GENERAL?

READ THE FINE PRINT. Limitations on contracts and condition reports seem to be some of the more frequent headaches that seem to keep resurfacing.

Claude Monet
Waterlilies
The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller Sale, Christie’s NY, May 2018

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CURRENT ART MARKET?  HOW LONG WILL IT SUSTAIN ITSELF AT THIS LEVEL?

I think that we are definitely in for a strong May, due largely part to what will be the unprecedented prices and depth of bidding we are certain to see with Rockefeller.

n.b. The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller will be sold at Christie’s New York in May 2018. The sale will support David Rockefeller’s pledge to direct the majority of his wealth to philanthropy and provide for the cultural, education, medical and environmental causes long supported by his family. The sale ranges from Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works of art, American paintings, English and European furniture, and the decorative arts. 

English and European Furniture
The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller
Christie’s, May 2018, New York

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGES YOU HAVE SEEN IN THE ART MARKET IN THE LAST DECADE?

The most fascinating phenomenon that I have witnessed first-hand has been the extraordinarily regenerative nature of the market, which has led to the unparalleled trajectory of the art market since 2010.  In other words, if one buyer or region for that was significantly active stepped away from the market, there was another buyer or participant in the market that replaced them. This simply illustrated the depth and diversity of the global art market and attests to art being a prescient art investment.

WHAT DO YOU ANTICIPATE ARE SOME OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGES WE WILL SEE IN THE ART MARKET IN THE FUTURE?

One topic that concerns me (and many at the moment) is primarily what the impact of the abolishment of like-kind-exchanges (1031s) will have on the market place. I feel that the detriment will be that it will have adverse effects on supply on the market as it will become increasingly difficult for auction houses (and individuals) to convince collectors to part with pictures with significant capital gains. Therefore, while the market often directs its concerned focus on the demand in the marketplace, the bigger foreseeable issue could very well be supply. 

n.b. See the LRFA blog on March 15, 2018 in which Ian Prior and Evan Beard of U.S. Trust speaks in detail on the effect of phasing out swap exchanges.  

Gabriela Palmieri, auctioneer
Skowhegan Awards Dinner, 2017

SO MANY THANKS TO GABBY PALMIERI FOR HER EXPERTISE AND EXUBERANCE. ON THE MOST PERSONAL NOTE, HER FRIENDSHIP AND COUNSEL HAS MEANT A GREAT DEAL TO ME OVER THE YEARS. MANY MORE TO COME!

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, I AM DELIGHTED TO WELCOME RON WARREN, PARTNER AT MARY BOONE GALLERY, ONE OF THE MOST ESTABLISHED AND INNOVATIVE GALLERIES, OpENING IN 1977 IN SOHO AT THE LEGENDARY “LEO CASTELLI” BUILDING, 420 WEST BROADWAY.

LOOKING FORWARD TO SPEAKING WITH RON, AND THANKING YOU ALL FOR YOUR READERSHIP AND SUPPORT!

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. 

imgres

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.

891b5fbe-944e-11e5-9fb8-d653e0e6771e-1

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!

 

 

Cheyenne Westphal shares the history of her professional path in the auction world

Cheyenne at Phillips, London 2017

ON A PERSONAL NOTE, I’D LIKE TO POSE A QUESTION THAT I AM SURE WILL INTEREST EVERYONE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT  A CAREER IN THE ARTS. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AND WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE?

When I was at St. Andrews, I received a scholarship to study in California and took an art history course that was very traditional. The first lecture that addressed contemporary art was on Cindy Sherman and I wanted to know more!

My first job was at Sotheby’s. I applied in 1990 and had the advantage, not as common at the time, of being bilingual. I started in the Impressionist Department cataloguing for the first year. There is an enormous volume of material to research, to estimate to determine if it should be consigned. I did this all day long. One develops a great deal of knowledge and also the eye to recognize a wonderful work by seeing a great many lesser examples.

YOU HAVE SUCH A PRESTIGIOUS, AND DESERVEDLY SO, POSITION. DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS OR AMBITIONS FOR THE FUTURE?

I love what I do. It doesn’t get boring. Although the format stays the same, there is always new material, new collections, new clients. I can’t get blasé about it when I am surrounded by extraordinary works such as the group of Richters, the Clyfford Stills and the minimalist works coming us this November.

It is completely interesting to make auction history – such as with the Damien Hirst single artist sale in 2008. This year has been one of extraordinary accomplishment bringing in the great German works from the Sixties. In the private sale sector, I enjoy making the deal, finding exactly the work that someone is looking fr, knowing where all the works are and approaching the owner.

I love the momentum of auction, the crescendo of the events leading up to the auction itself.

THANK YOU, CHEYENNE, VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME AND ASTUTE KNOWLEDGE AND FOR THE PLEASURE OF YOUR ABSOLUTE DELIGHT IN WHAT YOU DO.

Next week, I look forward to interviewing Nicholas Christopher, who heads Turon Travel, the designated  travel agency specialists for art fairs around the world. In anticipation of Miami Art Basel, I am very pleased to have a chance to speak with him.