When Bob and Jasper were mean to Andy; Swiss art to Texas; Lindemann’s Condo; Clyfford Still’s last hidden work unrolled; Art SG Brings Renfrew back in the fold
This commentary by Marion Maneker is available to AMMpro subscribers. (The first month of AMMpro is free and subscribers are welcome to sign up for the first month and cancel before they are billed.)
The Worst of Warhol … Revalued?
The Telegraph takes a long tour of Andy Warhol’s pariah period in the 1980s when he was better known as a celebrity fixture either at Studio 54 or appearing on The Love Boat. The Telegraph rehashes a mid-1980s incident at the New York club Limelight when Warhol was jeered as he made his way through the club. Somewhat a prisoner of the persona he created during the Reagan era, some close followers of Warhol point out that he remained acutely aware of the work that he did that failed to live up to his ambitions. He was even making plans for a Worst of Warhol exhibition when he died.
As the public market for Warhol’s work cools (there are still reports of strong sales privately), the work Warhol made during his last decade might hold the key to the next phase of his auction market. Auctions are about price discovery. Work that is hard to value needs to be sold publicly so prices can be a established. According to the Telegraph, Jeffrey Deitch believes works from the Rorschach, Oxidation, Shadow and Camouflage series are undervalued:
- Some of Warhol’s surviving inner circle believe he still hasn’t received the credit he deserves, particularly for his later work. Earlier this year, one of Warhol’s 1978 Oxidation Paintings series, created by the artist and assistants urinating on chemically treated canvases, sold for $3,375,000 at Sotheby’s in New York. Shiner was delighted. ‘The Baltimore Museum of Art decided to sell works of white male artists in order to buy works by women and artists of colour. What’s more phenomenal than that?’ [Jeffrey] Deitch, conversely, believes the sale is a scandal. ‘The establishment doesn’t fully appreciate those works,’ he says. ‘I was very surprised to see the museum deaccession that painting. It’s shocking. The work Warhol was creating in the last stage of his career, while engaging with Basquiat, Haring, [Julian] Schnabel and [Francesco] Clemente – all of whom saw him as their most important inspiration – found him exploring new approaches to abstraction. The Rorschach, Oxidation, Camouflage and Shadows paintings are among the most brilliant works he did.’
That Time Bob & Jasper Laughed at Andy Warhol
W’s story about the Andy Warhol retrospective at the Whitney focuses on the period when Warhol was crafting his persona as a fine artist. Already an exceptionally successful commercial artist, Warhol tried to find a path towards getting other artists to take him seriously. His first attempt provoked Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns to fits of laughter:
- “[Warhol’s] first attempts to move into the realm of fine art were not successful. In the mid-1950s, Warhol was commissioned for the first time by the department store Bonwit Teller to create displays for its windows on Fifth Avenue. His installation appeared next to that of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, artists just as unknown as Warhol, who worked together under the pseudonym of Matson Jones. Hoping that the visibility would lead to important gallery exhibitions, Warhol used a photograph of a man in drag posed as a fashion model. Even other gay artists were horrified. As Warhol later recalled, ‘Bob and Jasper came and looked at what I was doing and laughed at me. They pointed their fingers and laughed—they were so mean.’”
Major Collection of Swiss Art Donated to Texas
- “The university has been gifted the Barrett Collection, an assortment of more than 400 works by major Swiss-born artists dating from the late 14th to the mid-20th century. The largest gift of art given to any school in the University of Texas system, the Barrett Collection will be housed in a new Barrett Museum to be built on the UTD campus.”
Tobias Meyer, Adam Lindemann Fill Evening Sales
Adam Lindemann and Amalia Dayan in front of their George Condo painting (Photo Credit: Circe)
Katya Kazakina was keen to tell the world that large Andy Warhol, Gun on offer for $7m at Phillips was being sold by private dealer Tobias Meyer. Her evidence is a W photo essay by Todd Eberle featuring Meyer and his partner Mark Fletcher’s former Columbus Circle apartment.
Not to be outdone, we couldn’t help but dredge up this 2010 portrait of Amalia Dayan and her husband, Adam Lindemann, taken for the Financial Times’s How to Spend It magazine. It features the two in front of a 2010 George Condo painting in their then Montauk home. That work of art, Washington Square Park, is now hanging at Christie’s with a $2.6m low estimate.
Given the interest in Condo’s work over the last 18 months in the art market, it is surprising that are so few Condo’s on offer. There’s been some debate around the Condo market since last November when a day sale lot set a new record for the artist at $4m. In May, Christie’s upped that record to $6m with Nude and Forms. That work carried a slightly lower $2.2m low estimate. The top prices for Condo’s work have come for paintings made between 2011-14.
So it isn’t a surprise that Christie’s went to Lindemann with a guarantee, which it has since backed up with a third-party, to see what price level Condo’s work (his late work, at least) will find.
It’s worth remembering that the Basquiat market had gone through a cycle of price growth that was winding down when Christie’s did something similar in May 2016. Lindemann consigned Basquiat’s Untitled (Devil) with a whisper estimate of $40m. That work made $57m with fees.
After Seven Years, Clyfford Still Museum Completes Task of Unrolling All the Works Bequeathed
The Clyfford Still Museum has completed the initial task of unrolling all of Still’s art work. They did so today on Facebook Live to show the last few canvases emerging from storage. Still left some 831 canvases from his career as a painter stored after his death. Since Denver became the city willing to create an appropriate setting for Still’s work, the museum has been unrolling these stored canvases for some six or seven years. Today was the last of the unseen works to emerge.
MCH Drops India Art Fair & Art SG, Renfrew Joins
Swiss art fair conglomerate, MCH, announced late on Friday that it was pulling out of Art SG, the Singapore art fair it had announced only in July. The team behind Art SG has now brought in Magnus Renfrew, according to Singapore’s Straits Times:
- Singapore-born Shuyin Yang, has also been named fair director of ART SG, slated to run from Nov 1 to 3, 2019, at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Operations will be overseen by Mr Charles Ross, who was managing director of ART HK from its inception in 2007 through to its sale and rebranding as Art Basel Hong Kong in 2013.