In case you missed it last month, James Tarmy has been acting as free art advisor to Bloomberg readers with a series of articles on artists who are not household names—even in art-aware households—but whose work is worth taking note of.
It began in late October with a look at an artist outside the market, Lawrence Abu-Hamdan who has strong institutional support:
Until now, however, Abu Hamdan has been relatively unknown outside a small contingent of curators and dealers. That’s partly because he’s comparatively young, partly because he’s made relatively few artworks, and partly because those artworks aren’t commercial enough to appear in design magazines or, for that matter, auction catalogues.
He switched to looking more at buyers with a post-Thanksgiving look at Laura Owens and what her Whitney retrospective revealed about her enviable collector base:
Martin Eisenberg, a co-founder of Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc., and his wife Rebecca lent three paintings to the show; the Ringiers, a Swiss publishing family, have five works on view. Other paintings have been lent by the billionaire François Pinault, the photographer Mario Testino, and the billionaire pharmaceutical heiress Maja Hoffmann, who lent one 14-foot-wide work and a series of 33 small paintings from 2012. The foundation of megacollector Peter Brant, meanwhile, has lent three paintings, while one of his sons has lent another, and yet another two are listed as a “private collection, courtesy of the Brant Foundation.”
Next came an artist whose prices were activated by the death of a collector who had enough high-quality work to move her market:
After taking stock of last month’s contemporary auctions, anyone could look to the market of London-born Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and reasonably conclude that her work has crossed over, in market terms, from “up and coming” to something more significant.
Tarmy turned to John McAllister, an artist whose success has taken place through strong gallery sales that take place outside of the auction and art fair spotlight:
Most of McAllister’s art doesn’t end up at fairs—but recently you could find it at solo exhibitions in six galleries on two continents: Almine Rech in Brussels, Wentrup in Berlin, Carl Freedman in London, Shane Campbell in Chicago, Richard Telles in Los Angeles, and James Fuentes, who was McAllister’s first dealer, in New York. “I fell in love with the work,” says Fuentes. “Its scale, its luminosity at the time, really grabbed me.”
The series of stories closed late in December with this look at Michael Krebber, the so-called artist’s artist that Allan Schwartzman has been buying in bulk for all of his clients, who Tarmy suggests is an investment opportunity:
“At the end of the day, show me a painter who’s been working for 30 years—and has been as influential as Krebber—that you can buy for less than $100,000,” says Pierre Orlowski, a London-based dealer and collector. “In 10 years, you’ll see Krebber selling for a million dollars.”