Leslie Rankow Fine Arts

INTERNATIONAL ART ADVISORY SERVICE

Tag: Christie’s

Christie’s welcomes this spring’s Art Business Conference on March 30th, 2020

Louise Hamlin
Art Business Conference
New York, London, Hong Kong

Returning to New York in March 2020, The Art Business Conference is a one-day conference for art market professionals.

If you’re involved in buying, selling or caring for fine art or antiques – whether you are a gallery owner, manager, art advisor, auctioneer, private collector or professional advisor, this conference will explore the key issues affecting the international art market today.

Through presentations, Q&As, panel discussions, and workshops, industry experts will share advice and insights on many of the key factors in running an art business or collection – including the the latest updates in legislation and taxation.

Christie’s New York

Enroll now for an informative and productive day:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-art-business-conference-new-york-2020-tickets-90201903321

This year’s topics will include:

  • Private Foundations, the collecting journey, legacy and impacting investing
  • Sustainability – exploring how art organizations can be more sustainable
  • Recruitment – how to find, train and retain the best art world candidates
  • Important updates on AML5 – this is now officially law in the UK & EU (as of Jan 10) and is relevant to any US business with UK or European clients.  This session will present an overview of the law and the guidelines for implementing business practice for your art business.
  • Inside the collector’s head – the neuroscience and behavioral economics of art collecting.
  • Pictures Never Lie? The Use and Misuse of the Latest Imaging Technologies for Examining Paintings.
  • The language of Art & Technology – what are API’s and how are they applicable to the art market?

The roster of speakers is impressive, to say the least, covering a range of timely subjects. To highlight just a few of the speakers, the Art Business Conference New York 2020 features the director of a Foundation in Dubai that brings Western art to the Middle East, an influential collector and gallerist in New York and Los Angeles, a collector and scholar of export porcelain and neurologist who shares her insights on the psychological motivations of the collector, an expert on Art Law and Luxury Assets recognized by the leading legal directories and praised for her “great technical knowledge of the issues”, and an expert in the scientific analysis of fine arts focusing on questions of attribution, authenticity, preservation and provenance.

 

Deborah Najar

DEBORAH NAJAR

Deborah is the Founder of the JPNF (Jean-Paul Najar Foundation), a museum for Contemporary Art located in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue.  Among the first non-profits in the UAE, the JPNF came about as a partnership with Alserkal Avenue, from a desire to offer a diverse artistic experience, with strong emphasis on patronage, archives and western abstraction. The JPNF is a museum of contemporary art that is home to a collection of European and American abstract art from the 1960s through today. It is also the custodian of a remarkable archive tracing forty years of artist-collector exchanges.

Adam Lindemann

ADAM LINDEMANN

Adam is best known as a taste-maker in collecting and investing in contemporary art and design. He operates Venus Over Manhattan, the influential gallery devoted to iconoclastic exhibitions both historic and contemporary. He has been a featured commentator in several documentaries and interviews relating to collecting and art, including recent features on the BBC, Charlie Rose, and Reuters. He lives and works in New York City.

Shirley Mueller

SHIRLEY MUELLER

Shirley M. Mueller is a collector and scholar of Chinese export porcelain as well as a physician board-certified in Neurology and Psychiatry.  The latter expertise led her to explore her own intentions and emotions while collecting art, which, she discovered, have broader applications.  This new understanding was the motivation for her recent book, Inside the Head of a Collector:  Neuropsychological Forces at Play.

Amanda Gray

AMANDA GRAY

Amanda is a Partner in Mishcon Private at Mishcon de Reya, specialising in Art Law and the related field of Luxury Assets.  She is valued by her clients for her commercial, flexible approach and depth of knowledge across a diverse range of legal problems faced by those operating within the art market and luxury assets fields. Amanda works on both contentious and non-contentious matters including, but not limited to, disputes arising over all due diligence matters (for example title, authenticity, attribution and condition) contractual  disputes and special project work concerning arts and cultural property.

Jennifer Mass

JENNIFER MASS

Jennifer L. Mass is President of Scientific Analysis of Fine Art, LLC (SAFA) and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Cultural Heritage Science at Bard Graduate Center. She formed SAFA in 2007 because of a growing need for the objective material assessment of objects in the art market to complement the expertise of the connoisseur and the conservator.  Her work at SAFA allows her to assist art collectors, dealers, auction houses, and private conservation firms in addressing questions of attribution, authenticity, state of preservation, provenance, and mechanisms of degradation.

In the Business Pavilion, you can meet speakers and our exhibitors to continue the discussions and expand your art business network.

Ticket prices include entry to all sessions, breakfast networking, refreshments, lunch and post-conference networking drinks.

See you on March 30th!

Save the Date: The Art Business Conference returns to New York on March 30, 2020

Louise Hamlin
Founder and Director
Art Business Conference
London, New York, Hong Kong

2020 DATE AND NEW VENUE ANNOUNCED FOR THE FOURTH EDITION OF THE ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE IN NEW YORK

THE ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE LAUNCHED IN LONDON IN 2014, IN NEW YORK IN 2017 AND IN SHANGHAI IN NOVEMBER 2018. ENTERING ITS SEVENTH YEAR, ITS MISSION IS SIMPLE: TO BE THE LEADING ANNUAL CONFERENCE FOR ART PROFESSIONALS INCLUDING ART ADVISORS, COLLECTORS, AUCTIONEERS, DEALERS, GALLERIES, INSURERS, SHIPPERS AND LAWYERS, OFFERING IN-DEPTH KNOWLEDGE AND GUIDANCE ON CHANGES WITHIN THE GLOBAL ART MARKET, PLUS THE LATEST UPDATES IN LEGISLATION AND TAXATION.

The Art Business Conference Networking

IN 2019, THE ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE IN NEW YORK WAS ATTENDED BY OVER 250 ART MARKET PROFESSIONALS REPRESENTING OVER 125 ART ORGANIZATIONS FROM THE UK, EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST AND USA. THE LATEST CONFERENCE WAS HELD IN LONDON IN SEPTEMBER 2019 AND WELCOMED JUST UNDER 400 ATTENDEES.  THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY MUCH LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MARCH 30th ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE IN NEW YORK AT A PERFECT LOCATION: CHRISTIE’S FLAGSHIP GALLERIES AT 20 ROCKEFELLER PLAZA (49th STREET BETWEEN 5/6th AVENUES).

https://www.theartbusinessconference.com/nyc/the-event/

 

The one-day conference for art market professionals will comprise a full day of lively panel discussions, informative presentations and Q&A’s, all in the heart of Manhattan.

The leading platform for the discussion of key issues in today’s global art market, the conference will bring together industry experts from all facets of the art world, providing a 360-degree perspective on major developments within the trade and offering delegates the opportunity to establish new contacts in the industry.

Louise Hamlin, founder & director of The Art Business Conference says, “I am delighted that the Art Business Conference will be returning to New York for the fourth year and to be partnering with Christie’s. The conference will be held in Christie’s main salesroom, the James Christie room, which is not only an iconic art world setting, but also an opportunity for us to accommodate a growth in our attendee base from across the US, UK, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Last year over 250+ art professionals and collectors attended.”

 

IN THE NEXT LRFA BLOG, THE TOPICS AND SPEAKERS WILL BE HIGHLIGHTED. THEY COVER A WIDE RANGE OF SUBJECTS INCLUDING THE NEW ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING DIRECTIVE, THE SCIENCE AND ECONOMICS OF COLLECTING, SUSTAINABILITY AND THE FINE ART OF RECRUiTMENT, PLUS THE LATEST UPDATES AND TRENDS IN DATA, TECHNOLOGY, AND CONSERVATION SHAPING THE ART MARKET TODAY.

Christie’s New York
Rockefeller Center

SIGN UP NOW! A NOT-TO-BE-MISSED EVENT.

To register please visit: https://artbusinessconferencenewyork2020.eventbrite.co.uk

To register interest for further press enquiries please contact:

Louise Hamlin (Director & Founder)

email: louise@artmarketminds.com

Tel: +44 (0) 7508 231 241

Introducing One Art Nation, a unique source for collectors and art professionals, with co-founder Julia Wehkamp

Julia Wehkamp & Amanda Dunn
Co-founders
One Art Nation

ONE ART NATION IS A UNIQUE WEBSITE PROVIDING VALUABLE INFORMATION TO COLLECTORS AND ART PROFESSIONALS AROUND THE WORLD. IT IS AN EXCEPTIONAL SOURCE FOR ART EDUCATION AS WELL AS ART MARKET NEWS, TRENDS AND EVENTS. AS THE CONTEMPORARY ART WORLD EXPANDS EXPONENTIALLY, ART FAIRS, AUCTIONS, SOCIAL MEDIA SITES, ARTIST COLLECTIVES, ADVISORS, PRIVATE DEALERS AND GALLERIES HAVE SPRUNG UP WORLDWIDE IN RESPONSE TO THE  EVER-GROWING INTERNATIONAL INTEREST IN CONTEMPORARY ART AND THE ART MARKET.

THROUGH EDUCATIONAL TALKS AND PROGRAMS, EXPERT INTERVIEWS AND ARTIST SHOWCASES, ONE ART NATION (1AN) IS DEMYSTIFYING THE PROCESS OF BUYING ART FROM START TO FINISH. ITS GOAL IS TO BRING TOGETHER PROMINENT ART EXPERTS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE TO ADDRESS TOPICS THAT RANGE FROM BUILDING, MAINTAINING AND PROTECTING A COLLECTION TO TAX AND FINANCIAL ASPECTS OF OWNING ART. THIS IS THE TYPE OF CONTENT THAT MATTERS MOST TO ART COLLECTORS AND PROFESSIONALS, BOTH EXPERIENCED AND NEW.

ONE ART NATION  OFFERS NUMEROUS VIDEOS THAT COVER A WIDE RANGE OF TOPICS  FROM THE HABITS OF SUCCESSFUL COLLECTORS TO EMERGING ARTISTS: A POPULAR ENTRY-LEVEL MARKET AND HOW TO APPROACH SELLING YOUR COLLECTION.  IT OFFERS AN ART ADVISORY 101 PROGRAM TO INFORM ASPIRING ART ADVISORS AND AN ART WEALTH MANAGEMENT PROGRAM: UNDERSTANDING ART AS AN ASSET CLASS FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS, JUST TO HIGHLIGHT A FEW TOPICS THAT PROVIDE TRANSPARENCY IN A RELATIVELY UNREGULATED INDUSTRY.

THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO WELCOME JULIA WEHKAMP, A FOUNDING PARTNER OF ONE ART NATION, AN ONLINE PLATFORM OF BOTH DEPTH AND BREADTH IN ITS CONTRIBUTION TO THE ART COMMUNITY.

JULIA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CONTRIBUTING TO THE LRFA BLOG

WHEN WAS ONE ART NATION FOUNDED AND BY WHOM?

One Art Nation (1AN) was founded by Amanda Dunn and I. We officially launched at Miami Art Week 2013. In bringing together our skills and experiences, we wanted to create an innovative and unique platform, separate from the conventional online art networks offered. Through extensively examining the market and listening to the needs of collectors and professionals, it became clear that accessible and relevant education was required. By combining our experience in fine arts and international marketing expertise with education-centric business skills, 1AN has become the trusted source of education for art enthusiasts, collectors and professionals across the globe.

Art Advisory
ONE ART NATION

WHAT IS ITS MISSION?

Ultimately, 1AN aims to create transparency in the art market, while securing its position as the leading online education platform, offering a complete solution for art enthusiasts, collectors and professionals. 1AN fulfills a growing need for new and innovative online art tools required to broaden the scope and depth of the art market. 

WAS YOUR BACKGROUND IN THE ARTS AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU BOTH TO CREATE ONE ART NATION?

Amanda previously worked for Christie’s Auction House in London on their marketing team. On the other hand, I have focused on developing and operating international continuing education programs using innovative and creative methods. Working in the art industry allows me to incorporate my passion for art and culture, while applying my experience and skills in education and event management.

In speaking with various auction houses and established galleries, we determined early on a common challenge: they were not connecting with the new generation of art collectors, whether they be young professionals looking to diversify their portfolios, those coming from emerging markets, etc. And it’s understandable… a gallery can be an intimidating space for a new collector, never mind an auction house! So we wanted to create a non-threatening environment where people can interact with art experts across the globe and learn the A-Z’s of collecting: from how to choose a gallery to the succession planning of an established collection. Organically, art market education for professionals followed based on demand.

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, JULIA WILL EXPAND ON THE MANY EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS THAT 1AN OFFERS.

PLEASE JOIN US!

APAA: best practices now and in the future

APAA

THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ART ADVISORS IS UNIQUE IN OFFERING A FORMAL REGULATORY BODY OF RULES FOR THEIR MEMBERS. THIS CODE OF ETHICS MAINTAINS THAT FIRST AND FOREMOST, AN ADVISOR SHOULD SERVE THE NEEDS OF THE CLIENT, NOT HOLD INVENTORY, OR ACCEPT ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION THAT COULD CREATE A CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
ON A PRACTICAL NOTE, THE EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE AN ADVISOR CAN DEMONSTRATE IN THE DAILY REQUIREMENTS OF THE JOB (SHIPPING, INSURANCE, FRAMING, CONSERVATION, ETC.)  REASSURE A CLIENT THAT THE ADVISOR KNOWS WHAT HE OR SHE IS DOING WITH THE DETAILS AS WELL AS THE BIGGER PICTURE OF THE MARKET, AUCTION AND BIDDING.  APAA PROVIDES A PHENOMENAL SUPPORT SYTEM, SENDING NEARLY DAILY EMAILS REQUESTING AND GIVING RECOMMENDATIONS OF SPECIALISTS IN THE ART WORLD’S FROM AROUND THE WORLD.
TODAY, WE WELCOME BACK WENDY CROMWELL, BOARD MEMBER OF APAA, FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL OF CROMWELL ART, LLC. TO SPEAK ON THIS AND THE FUTURE OF APAA.

WENDY, HOW DOES THE APAA PROVIDE INFORMATION ON THE SERVICE INDUSTRY THAT IS CRUCIAL TO THE ROLE OF THE ART ADVISOR? WHAT ARE SOME CATEGORIES OF INFORMATION THAT ARE AVAILABLE?

One of the great aspects of membership is our ability to tap into each other’s expertise. If you need an installer in Shanghai or a framer in Dubai, an APAA member will have a suggestion for you. These contacts and resources – appraisers, framers, installers, insurance experts, lighting specialists, photographers, shipping/storage experts – are part of a database maintained by APAA that is accessible to APAA members.

APAA PROVIDES A CONNECTION TO BUSINESS THAT PROVIDE RESOURCES THAT ARE VITAL TO THE ART COMMUNITY, SUCH AS LICENSED APPRAISALS, MARKETING, LIGHTING, TRANSPORT AND STORAGE. HOW DID THIS LIST EVOLVE AND WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR BEING INCLUDED?

APAA Affiliate members are industry experts who are recommended by current APAA members.  The criteria for Affiliates is similar to those for advisors – everyone has at least 10 years’ experience in the field.

APAA IS PREDOMINANTLY AMERICAN IN MEMBERSHIP BUT WHAT OTHER COUNTRIES ARE REPRESENTED AND WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS TO EXPAND THE MEMBERSHIP NOW THAT WE ARE LIVING IN A GLOBALIZED ART MARKET?

Many of APAA’s US members have been working internationally for decades. Over time, the business practices of our colleagues worldwide have begun to reflect APAA’s code of ethics and best practices, and there are a growing number of APAA members in London, Paris, the Netherlands and Switzerland.  We hope to see more growth in Asia and the Pacific Rim in the coming years.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR APAA IN GENERAL AND FOR PANEL DISCUSSIONS, MEMBERSHIP EVENTS?

Technology makes it possible for APAA members to be in regular communication, but the opportunity to meet in person is always energizing. Our annual meeting is coming up on May 1, and we recently toured the Rockefeller collection at Christie’s in advance of those sales.  We’ll also focus on member programs in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC. The goal is to provide timely, smart information that supports APAA members in their work, and helps spread the philosophy of connoisseurship and best practices to the art field at large.

WENDY, AND THE TEAM AT APAA, THIS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE INFORMATIVE OR BETTER RECEIVED. THE LRFA BLOG THANKS YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION AND SUPPORT!

Shifting tastes: the market for American art with expert Debra Force of Debra Force Fine Art

AT THE AMERICAN ART AUCTIONS, FINE PAINTINGS, SCULPTURES AND WORKS ON PAPER ARE OFFERED FROM THE COLONIAL TO THE POST-WAR PERIOD, INCLUDING WORKS BY THE HUDSON RIVER SCHOOL, THE AMERICAN IMPRESSIONISTS AND THE ASH CAN SCHOOL. OVER THE PAST DECADE, THE AMERICAN ART DEPARTMENT AT CHRISTIE’S STATES THAT IT HAS SET MORE THAN 100 WORLD RECORDS, ACHIEVING RECORD PRICES FOR IMPORTANT NAMES SUCH AS EDWARD HOPPER, ANDREW WYETH AND GEORGIA O’KEEFFE. HOWEVER, BOTH THE AUCTION HOUSES AND GALLERIES SPECIALIZING IN THIS AREA HAVE SEEN A DOWNTURN IN THIS MARKET.

https://www.christies.com/departments/American-Art-3-1.aspx

ONE OF THE EXCEPTIONS WAS THE CHRISTIE’S SALE OF THE EXTRAORDINARY DAVID AND PEGGY ROCKEFELLER COLLECTION THAT REPRESENTED ONE OF THE BEST SINGLE OWNER COLLECTIONS TO COME TO MARKET. HIGHLIGHTS OF AN AMERICAN ART COLLECTION DESCRIBED AS “VIRTUALLY ENCYCLOPAEDIC” INCLUDED EDWARD HOPPER’S CAPE ANN GRANITE, PAINTED IN THE SUMMER OF 1928 ($8.4m), GEORGIA O’KEEFFE’S NEAR ABIQUIU, NEW MEXICO ($8.4m) and MILTON AVERY’S WOMEN WITH REBOZA ($2.5m). THIS SALE, HOWEVER, WAS AN EXCEPTION TO THE GENERAL CLIMATE OF THE AMERICAN MARKET.

WE ARE FORTUNATE TO HAVE DEBRA FORCE, OF DEBRA FORCE FINE ART, A SEASONED EXPERT IN AMERICAN ART OF EVERY PERIOD, PROVIDE HER ANALYSIS OF THE PRESENT AND FUTURE MARKET IN AMERICAN ART.

http://www.debraforce.com/

DEBRA, HOW DO YOU VIEW THE AMERICAN MARKET AT THE PRESENT TIME AND HOW HAS IT CHANGED IN THE LAST DECADE?

The traditional American art market is stable.  It had been at its height up to 2008, but became much softer after that date.  As collectors become older, they are no longer buying as much and younger people do not seem to have an interest in this aspect of Fine Art.  Thus, we are dealing with a more limited market base and of course, do not have international interest in this area. 

Prices for many things are much reduced from what they were over ten years ago, particularly for early and historical material, genre painting, Hudson River painting, and Ashcan artists.  However, we are seeing some revitalization with certain artists in these areas as well as with the American Impressionists.  For those looking for this type of material, there are more reasonable prices and, in some cases, bargains to be had.  Museums are finding that they can now buy artists on their wish lists that fall into these categories. 

Joseph Stella
The Red Pitcher
Oil on canvas

American Modernism and Regionalism, as well as works by African-American and women artists, are very hot, while Surrealism and Magic Realism are rising in popularity. Many of the post-war second- and third-tier Abstract Expressionists are also coming under the umbrella of traditional American art as we move more solidly into the 21st Century.

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE FUTURE OF THE AMERICAN ART MARKET? DO YOU FEEL THAT SOME OF THE LESSER KNOWN ARTISTS WHO WERE WILDLY COLLECTED BY THE LAST GENERATION WILL REBOUND IN TERMS OF PRESENCE AND PRICE?

It is my hope that younger people will turn to and revere traditional American art, which suffers somewhat like the American furniture and decorative arts market, as time marches on.  To do so, American history needs to be taught at both secondary and college levels, museums need to exhibit this type of art and not just focus upon what is “sexy” or of the moment, and auction houses and galleries need to embrace it, rather than shying away from it. 

Milton Avery
Woman with Rebozo, 1946
Christie’s sale, David Rockefeller Collection

Much of the material that is less collectible today does not receive adequate recognition in the marketplace and is routinely relegated to lesser sales or online auctions rather than in the mainstream or in prominent sales.  [Certainly, although the provenance had added cache to the works sold at the Rockefeller sale at Christie’s, the overwhelming exposure did wonders to attract buyers to much of the 19th-century material that sold for double or more what they had been making.]  The validity of the past that has much to teach us in understanding the world today as well as the evolution of Contemporary art, needs to be made apparent to younger generations. 

Georgia O’Keeffe
New Mexico – near Taos 1929
Christie’s sale, David Rockefeller Collection

The other challenge is garnering international interest in American art, as we head toward a more global society.  This is already happening to a degree as the Terra Foundation and others sponsor exhibitions of American art abroad that have been well received to the audiences there; hopefully, this will translate into the market as well. 

As older collectors divest their collections, more major works of art will presumably enter the market and therefore, should generate renewed interest among known buyers as well as attracting new ones.

Presently, buyers are more attracted to well-known artists rather than those less renowned.  Until the market for traditional American art is more buoyant overall, I fear that more minor artists will continue to be neglected.  The only departure from this state is the collectability of lesser Modernist and Post-War artists who are now embraced, as prices for the more blue-chip works from this era are escalating.

DEBRA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR KNOWLEDGE, EXPERTISE AND ANALYSIS OF AMERICAN ART.

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, I AM HONORED TO INTRODUCE WENDY CROMWELL, WHO SERVES ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ART ADVISORS (APAA), AN OUTSTANDING NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION MADE UP OF LEADING ART ADVISORS, CURATORS AND CORPORATE ART MANAGERS. APAA IS DEDICATED TO ESTABLISHING AND MAINTAINING THE HIGHEST PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES FOR ACQUIRING, MAINTAINING AND SELLING ART.

PLEASE JOIN US!

 

The Antiques Roadshow and more with American art dealer and gallerist, Debra Force

Debra Force
Antiques Roadshow

FACED WITH AN INCREASINGLY MEDIA-SATURATED, GLOBALIZED CULTURE, ART HISTORIANS HAVE BEGUN TO ASK THEMSELVES CHALLENGING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NATURE OF THEIR DISCIPLINE ACCORDING TO SYLVAN BARNET IN HIS A SHORT GUIDE TO WRITING ABOUT ART. THIS BOOK PROVIDES A GUIDELINE FOR STUDENTS ON  EVERY ASPECT OF WRITING ABOUT ART: FORMAL ANALYSIS, COMPARISON, RESEARCH AND ALL THE TOOLS NECESSARY TO PRESENT THEIR FINDINGS WITH EFFECTIVE WRITING.

https://www.amazon.com/Short-Guide-Writing-About-11th/dp/020588699X

THE BEST ART DEALERS ARE ART HISTORIANS AS WELL, ENGAGED IN THE HISTORY AND PROVENANCE OF WORKS, THE QUALITY AND THE TECHNIQUE.  THEY PROVIDE THE POTENTIAL COLLECTOR WITH INFORMATION ABOUT A WORK IN THE CONTEXT OF THE ARTIST’S ENTIRE OEUVRE AND IN COMPARISON TO WORKS IN THE SAME PERIOD AND GENRE.  ONE OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A GALLERIST OR AN ADVISOR IS TO EDUCATE CLIENTS ABOUT THE ARTISTS THEY ARE CONSIDERING OR ARE ADDING TO THEIR COLLECTIONS. THIS IS PARTICULARLY TRUE IN THE AREA OF AMERICAN ART AS IT IS SO RICH IN OUR HISTORY WITH VAST ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE OF THE CULTURE, MORES AND ACTIVITIES OF THE TIME. SCHOLARSHIP IS CRUCIAL IN ENRICHING THE APPRECIATION AND COMMITMENT OF COLLECTORS OF THIS PERIOD.

James Jebusa Shannon
Portrait of Liz Cartwright

THERE IS NO ONE WHO MORE GRACEFULLY COMBINES AN ACADEMIC PASSION FOR THE HISTORY OF AMERICA  AND ITS ART THAN DEBRA FORCE.

ESTABLISHED IN 1999, THE GALLERY SPECIALIZES IN AMERICAN PAINTINGS, DRAWINGS AND SCULPTURE FROM THE 18th, 19th and 20th CENTURIES. DEBRA FORCE FI”NE ART FOCUSES ON QUALITY WHATEVER THE MEDIUM OR PERIOD AND DEBRA HAS AN EXCEPTIONAL TALENT FOR IDENTIFYING ARTISTS WHO HAVE FALLEN FROM VIEW AND RENEWING OUR APPRECIATION OF THEIR WORK AND REVIVING THEIR MARKET.

http://www.debraforce.com

ONE SUCH ARTIST IS JAMES JEBUSA SHANNON, AN AMERICAN PORTRAIT PAINTER BORN IN NEW YORK, WHO TRAVELLED TO ENGLAND TO STUDY PAINTING AND  BECAME ONE OF BRITAIN’S MOST CELEBRATED PORTRAIT ARTISTS AT THE TURN OF THE 19th CENTURY. IN AN ARTICLE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES, EVE M. KAHN, A FREQUENT CONTRIBUTOR TO THEIR ANTIQUES SECTION, PUBLISHED ONCE FORGOTTEN PAST, NOW RECALLED IN PAINTING, AN EXCELLENT REVIEW OF THE EXHIBITION AT DEBRA FORCE FINE ART OF TWO DOZEN WORKS BY SHANNON, SEEKING BEAUTY: PAINTINGS BY JAMES JEBUSA SHANNON,  AN ARTIST WHO WAS, IN HIS DAY, COMPARED TO JOHN SINGER SARGENT.

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/13/arts/design/james-jebusa-shannons-portraits-rescued-from-obscurity.html

DEBRA, WHEN YOU FIRST CAME TO NEW YORK, WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE ART WORLD?

My first job in New York was as Assistant to the Head of the American Paintings Department at Christie’s from 1984-1989, at which point, I became Head of the Department and a Senior Vice President until 1993.

American Art
Christie’s New York

WHAT WAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL HISTORY PRIOR TO OPENING DEBRA FORCE FINE ART?

Curator and Director of the CIGNA (formerly INA) Museum and Art Collection in Philadelphia (1977-1984)

Assistant to the Head of the American Paintings Dept. and later Head of Dept. and a Senior Vice President at Christie’s, New York (1984-1993)

Director of American Art at Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York (1993-1994)

Director of Beacon Hill Fine Art, New York (1994-1999)

President of Debra Force Fine Art, New York (1999-present)

WHAT PROMPTED YOUR DECISION TO OPEN A GALLERY?

When Beacon Hill Fine Art closed, I was given a generous severance package that enabled me to start my own gallery.  I had never intended to do so until then.

 

On the air
Debra Force at the Antiques Roadshow

YOU PARTICIPATE IN THE ANTIQUES ROADSHOW THAT TRAVELS AROUND THE COUNTRY INVITING PEOPLE TO BRING IN THEIR TREASURED ART OBJECTS FOR IDENTIFICATION AND EVALUATION . WHAT WERE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THAT EXPERIENCE?

I have been on “Antiques Roadshow” for over 18 years and have had lovely experiences, meeting people, and seeing exciting and challenging art. Of course, most of what we see is of minimal value, but we do run across real “finds,” particularly if the owner has no idea of the identity of the artist.  In St. Paul, MN, my guest was an elderly man who had been a farmer (he was wearing bib overalls) and who had gone to a farm auction where he bought a box of stuff, including two paintings, for  $ 4.00.  One painting was worth about $ 500.00 and he liked that one and had it hanging in his living room. He could not read the signature on the other, and since he didn’t care for it, he had it in a closet.  ThIs painting was by Victor Higgins, the Taos artist, and it was a New Mexico scene worth about $ 100,000.00.  It was a true find!

Victor Higgins
Arroyo Landscape
Watercolor on paper

In Jacksonville, I surprisingly saw two paintings by Thomas Hart Benton; both were authentic and belonged to different people….it was quite amazing since guests come to us “first come, first serve.” One was a rare still life given by the artist to the owner’s parents; the other, was a Martha’s Vineyard scene belonging to a descendant of a Missourian involved with the Truman Library in Independence, MO…strange that both ended up in Florida!

Thomas Hart Benton
Martha’s Vineyard
Oil on canvas

One of my more amusing spots was with a man in Washington, DC, who was very colorful in his dress and who had a Jessie Willcox Smith…when he learned that the value was over $ 100,000, he did his “Happy Dance,” as he called it.

I have also received works to sell from people who watch the show, but who have not appeared on it.  These have included an important Maurice Prendergast watercolor of St. Malo and an amazing Herbert “Buck” Dunton of the artist’s daughter on her favorite horse with Taos in the distance and belonging to a descendant of the artist.

Maurice Prendergast
Beach at St. Malo

And, you never know why people give you things to sell…one guest who was on the show with a Willard Metcalf painting ultimately decided to sell it through me purely because we had both “Quakers;” that is, we had both gone to Penn.

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG WITH DEBRA FORCE, AMERICAN ART SPECIALIST, WE WILL LEARN ABOUT THE GALLERY’S PARTICIPATION IN ART FAIRS AND THE APPRAISAL SERVICES THE GALLERY PROVIDES. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK ANY RELEVANT QUESTIONS- WE HAVE ACCESS TO A SEASONED EXPERT IN THE FIELD OF AMERICAN ART OF THREE CENTURIES–

FIRE AWAY!

Tracking contemporary art history at Mary Boone with director Ron Warren

Ai Wei Wei
Installation at Mary Boone Gallery

ONE OF THE MOST DOMINANT TRENDS IN RECENT YEARS HAS BEEN CROSS-COLLECTING, EXPOSING COLLECTORS TO WORKS OF DIFFERENT PERIODS AND ENCOURAGING THEM TO “MIX IT UP” – CONTEMPORARY AND OLD MASTER, MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY, LATIN AND NORTH AMERICAN. THE AUCTION HOUSES, AND GALLERIES AS WELL, ARE MAKING AN ART-HISTORICAL STATEMENT TO EXPAND A COLLECTOR’S VISION, BASED ON QUALITY AND PROVENANCE AND NOT DATE.

AT TEFAF NEW YORK THIS SPRING, ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOTHS, DAVID ZWIRNER, JUXTAPOSED THE IMPECCABLE JOSEF ALBERS’ HOMAGE TO A SQUARE – ALL RED IN A ROW – AND THE QUIET POTENCY OF GIORGIO MORANDI’S SEEMINGLY EFFORTLESS STILL LIFES. CHRISTIE’S, AS EVERYONE IS WELL AWARE, SOLD THE $450m LEONARDO DA VINCI IN THE POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY EVENING SALE, AND SOTHEBY’S VERY SUCCESSFULLY, IN THE CONTEMPORARY ART EVENING AUCTION, HEIGHTENED THE APPRECIATION AND REALIZED IMPRESSIVE AUCTION RESULTS FOR BLACK AMERICAN AND AFRICAN ARTISTS, IN THE SECTION OF THEIR SALE THAT BENEFITTED THE STUDIO MUSEUM IN HARLEM’S EXPANSION. AT CHRISTIE’S SINGLE OWNER ROCKEFELLER SALE, THE JOY OF COLLECTING IN MANY PERIODS, IMPRESSIONIST, MODERN, AMERICAN AND ASIAN SPOKE OF THE PASSION AND COMMITMENT TO THE ARTS OF ALL OF THE GENERATIONS OF ROCKEFELLERS. IT IS ALWAYS GRATIFYING WHEN A COLLECTOR IS INTERESTED IN COLLECTING NOT ONLY THEIR GENERATION BUT ALSO THE ARTISTS THAT INFLUENCED THEM- FOR EXAMPLE, A LICHTENSTEIN WORK ON PAPER, A POLKE RASHER PAINTING AND A NATE LOWMAN BULLET HOLE.

Francis Picabia

MARY BOONE HAS AN IMPRESSIVE HISTORY OF SHOWING HISTORICAL WORKS THAT HAVE GREATLY INFLUENCED THE MORE CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS SHE REPRESENTS. TODAY THE LRFA BLOG WELCOMES RON WARREN, PARTNER AND DIRECTOR OF THE MARY BOONE GALLERY, TO RECOLLECT SOME OF THE MANY MARVELOUS EXHIBITIONS IN THE GALLERY’S LONG HISTORY.

https://maryboonegallery.com/

RON, SOME OF THE OUTSTANDING HISTORICAL SHOWS THAT SHOW THE INFLUENCE OF A GENERATION OF MASTER ARTISTS ON THE ARTISTS WORKING TODAY INCLUDE FRANCIS PICABIA, DAN FLAVIN, CLYFFORD STILL AND MY FAVORITE, AS CLIENTS KNOW, THE MIRROR PAINTINGS OF ROY LICHTENSTEIN.

Clyfford Still

PLEASE DESCRIBE THESE EXHIBITIONS AND THE WAYS IN WHICH THEY EXERTED SUCH A STRONG INFLUENCE ON THE CURRENT GENERATION OF ARTISTS.

All amazing exhibitions. Although I came to the gallery after the Picabia show (1983), I do remember how eye-opening that show was. Definitely before its time… did you know that show was thoroughly panned by the New York Times art critic? A direct legacy of that show is that over thirty years later MoMA mounted their extremely well-received Picabia retrospective. Clyfford Still (1990) was a show that at the time was considered impossible to do – Patricia Still was still living and enforcing the artist’s draconian regulations.

Dan Flavin
Monument (for V. Tavlin)

Working with loans from Museums and private collections, we were able to put together what amounted to a small but comprehensive survey. Roy and Dan were still alive at the time of their shows so it was fascinating to see them engage with their own historical works. Besides the impact and importance of the works, my lasting impression of their shows was the way they were lit. The Roy Lichtenstein mirrors (1989) were spot-lit like icons, which in a sense they were. For our Dan Flavin show (1991) of his Monument (for V. Tatlin)works, we relied only on the light emitted from the works. The gallery had a highly polished terra cotta tile floor, and the reflection of the vertical fluorescent tubes gave the darkened space the aura of a sanctuary.  

Ai Wei Wei’s Fairytale Project
Documenta

AN ARTIST OF GREAT AESTHETIC AND POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE IS AI WEIWEI. THE GALLERY HAS REPRESENTED HIM FOR SOME TIME. WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THE GALLERY’S RELATIONSHIP WITH AI WEIWEI IN TERMS OF PROJECTS AND EXHIBITIONS?

In 2007 Mary went to Documenta where Weiwei presented his ambitious Fairytale project. From discussions there with Weiwei, we had our first show in March 2008 – still one of my favorite installations at our Chelsea gallery. Weiwei created an enormous lighted brass and red glass crystal chandelier that lay twisted on the floor as if it had fallen. He brought a crew from China that spent a week in the gallery constructing the work. We later showed, in January 2012, a smaller version (5 tons) of the Sunflower Seeds that had been shown to great acclaim at the Tate Modern. The millions of handmade porcelain seeds are a metaphor for modern China, each individual, but creating a deceptively unified field.

Ai Wei Wei
Sunflower Seeds
Porcelain

The Ai Weiwei we know today – international political activist and champion of human rights – really took shape following his “citizens’ investigation” into the May 2008 Sichuan earthquake. By Fall 2012, his work had become a vehicle for his cause. Our exhibition Forge was an arrangement of twisted metal rebar pulled from the rubble of collapsed buildings. An interesting footnote is that the exhibition was up during Hurricane Sandy, and the rebar was briefly submerged in three feet of flood water. Weiwei liked that the work now bore witness to two natural disasters from opposite political and cultural sides of the earth.

 

 

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, RON SPEAKS ABOUT THE CURRENT ART MARKET, THE ASIAN MARKET AND SOME OF THE FUTURE PLANS FOR THE GALLERY.  HE IS A WEALTH OF INFORMATION AND EXPERTISE. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE GALLERY OR ITS ARTISTS, FIRE AWAY.

THANKS TO THE READERS, NEW AND OLD SUBSCRIBERS, AND MOST OF ALL THE CONTRIBUTORS TO THE LRFA BLOG- YOUR LABOR-INTENSIVE INTERVIEWS AND GENEROSITY MAKE THE LRFA BLOG COME ALIVE!

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Edward Dolman CEO Phillips

Edward Dolman
CEO Phillips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BANKSY Submerged Phone Booth 2006 Phillips London Evening Sale October 2014

BANKSY
Submerged Phone Booth
2006
Phillips London Evening Sale October 2014

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

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

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

Interior view Phillips Auction House, London

Interior view
Phillips Auction House, London

THAT IS VERY GOOD ADVICE.

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

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

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

Phillips New York

Phillips New York

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

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

UNTIL THEN, THANKS FOR FOLLOWING THE LRFA BLOG!

 

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

auctions-1

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

Roman Slavery Auctions

Roman Slavery Auctions

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

Online auction

Online auction

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

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

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

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!