Katya Kazakina follows up on the spate of San Francisco-area pop-up galleries from Sotheby’s and Christie’s with a focus on Sotheby’s West Coast push under the guidance of Andrea Fiuczynski:
“The market is getting bigger and deeper, especially at the high end,” said Michael Kohn, who has operated his Los Angeles gallery since 1985. “I have noticed that you can sell a $1-million-plus painting on a regular basis to new collectors in California over the last five years in a way you never did before.”
Sotheby’s has taken note by expanding its staff in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the past year. Recent hires are Fiuczynski, who had spent 28 years at rival Christie’s, and Scott Schaefer, former curator of paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Sotheby’s is looking to add a trusts and estate lawyer and Chinese art specialists to its West Coast team. […]
“The goal is to reposition Sotheby’s on the West Coast to be perceived as the strongest presence,” Fiuczynski said.
Sotheby’s Fiuczynski said she analyzed the demographics of various locations in order to target different groups’ interests.
“L.A. is not San Diego and San Diego is not Santa Barbara,” she said. “You have to understand your audience.”
The article also goes on to preview some works that will be in Sotheby’s November sales:
The most expensive lot to be shown is Rothko’s 1951 canvas “No. 21 (Red, Brown, Black and Orange)” consigned by the Schlumberger oil family. The 8-foot-tall canvas could bring more than $50 million, Sotheby’s said. It was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in 1952 as part of influential “15 Americans” show. In 1972, the work was acquired by Pierre and Sao Schlumberger.
Another highlight is a small 1983 “Flag” painting by Johns, estimated at $15 million to $20 million. Acquired directly from the artist the year it was made, the work has been on loan at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 2007 to earlier this year.
There will be lower-priced art. Mike Kelley’s work on paper, “The Past and The Future,” is estimated at $50,000 to $70,000 and Vija Celmins’s “Pink Pearl Eraser” is valued at $180,000 to $250,000.