The New York Observer sees a long-range, well-planned plot by Peter Brant to raise the value of Josh Smith’s work in Brant’s new exhibition:
Mr. Brant prides himself on his Pied Piper reputation for spotting new talent and leading others to it. “You have to remember that I asked Josh to do the show two years ago, and Urs [Fischer] three and a half years ago. Now Urs is recognized as one of the best contemporary artists in America. Josh has the Venice Biennale,” is in talks for some shows in California and has a major commission from Dakis Joannou in Greece.
It’s no coincidence that the exhibition will also expose his work to important collectors just in time for the May contemporary art auctions, potentially raising his prices there. Mr. Smith didn’t do too well at Phillips de Pury last year: Of the four pieces he had on the block, two didn’t sell and one fell below its circa-$15,000 estimate. This year, he has two works in its May 13 sale, a 2007 painting estimated disingenuously low (it’s a way to manufacture bidding fever) at $8,000 to $12,000, and a pair of collages at about $25,000.
Art World ‘Bad Boy’ Josh Smith Is Peter Brandt’s New Protégé (Observer.com)