Colin Gleadell spies the works from Charles Saatchi’s legendary Sensation exhibition that are coming to auction in London, including two works by the Chapman brothers and a very large work by Glenn Brown based upon a Dali painting of Christ:
Ostensibly an enlarged copy of a Dali painting, it was the subject of a copyright claim by the Dali estate when first exhibited. In fact Brown heightened the effects of the original, altered its perspective and flattened his paint surface almost like a print. Brown’s career, and his prices, took off after 2005 when he was taken on by the Gagosian Gallery in New York. At auction, his prices have risen from between £10,000 and £20,000 ten years ago to £490,000 in 2007.
Gagosian has reportedly been selling his work recently for up to $2 million (£1.4 million). Dali-Christ, which is estimated at £700,000 to £1 million, was sold privately by Saatchi to an American collector and, having changed hands again, is thought have come to Christie’s through the Fine Art Fund, an investment vehicle run by former Christie’s manager, Phillip Hoffman. The fund seeks to buy cheaply and sell for the profit of its investors, and in this instance looks to have got its timing right.