Adam Lindemann regales Sarah Douglas, Editor-in-Chief of ARTnews, with his stories and adventures on the art auction market. Lindemann explains the strategies he uses to approach estimates, reserves, guarantees and private sales. One of the most successful sellers at auction, Lindemann set the record price for a living artist in 2007 when he sold Jeff Koons’s Hanging Heart for $23m. He succeeded again when his Jean-Michel Basquiat painting sold for a record price of $57m.
AMM Fantasy Art Collecting game is live now for the November auctions. Entries will be accepted until 9pm on Nov 10th at fantasy.artmarketmonitor.com. In this podcast, Christie’s Johanna Flaum, a past winner of the game, joins us at CORE Club to talk about strategies for playing the fantasy collecting game and give us an overview of the November 2019 New York sales season.
It all started with Victoria Beckham. Sotheby’s Old Masters department had great success attracting attention to their sales by partnering with Victoria Beckham in London. There was a film with James Franco too. But now Sotheby’s is putting together the most surprising juxtaposition of Old Masters and Contemporary pop culture. Fabrizio Moretti, the Strokes drummer, and Fabrizio Moretti, the Old Masters dealer, are collaborating on a December exhibition at Sotheby’s headquarters. The show is designed by Fab Moretti, the drummer, around works selected by Fabrizio, the dealer. The International Rescue Committee will benefit from the efforts of both.
Here’s Sotheby’s release on the sale:
Sotheby’s is pleased to announce Fabrizio Moretti x Fabrizio Moretti | In Passing, a special, one-time-only exhibition and auction of Old Master paintings and sculpture bringing together musician and visual artist Fabrizio (Fab) Moretti, of the critically acclaimed and internationally Platinum-certified band The Strokes, and renowned art dealer and collector Fabrizio Moretti, who specializes in Old Masters and is proprietor of the London-based Galleria Moretti.
The unique collaboration will include an exhibition of more than 20 Old Master paintings and sculpture selected by Fabrizio Moretti, which will be showcased in a series of immersive and interactive installations designed and fabricated by Fab Moretti, each playing on the concept of perspective and based on corresponding themes represented in the works.
The exhibit will be on view at Sotheby’s New York 15 – 18 December, ahead of the live auction on 18 December. Online bidding for the auction opens 22 November, and all works in the auction will be sold without reserve.
This collaboration is part of an ongoing initiative spearheaded by Sotheby’s Old Masters department to introduce new audiences to masterworks of the pre-Modern era. Earlier this year, Sotheby’s hosted The Female Triumphant, a groundbreaking sale of paintings by female Old Master artists in partnership with Victoria Beckham. Previous initiatives also included Naturalia, an exhibition of Old Masters and Contemporary art at Kasmin Gallery; curated interiors featuring Old Master Paintings by contemporary designers; and a film by James Franco inspired by Renaissance sculptures by the della Robbia family.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale will benefit two organizations personally selected by Fab and Fabrizio: The International Rescue Committee, which responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 26 offices across the U.S. helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities; and The Fabrizio Moretti Foundation, a non-profit organization located in Prato, Italy, which works to give those with certain disabilities access to the therapeutic benefits of horses.”
For the exhibition, Fab will design and create a series of immersive installations throughout the exhibition, each reflecting and playing on various themes he identified as being represented in the Old Master works on display, including life, religion, purgatory, death, repentance and commerce. Utilizing light and space in dynamic and dramatic ways, the installations seek to explore new perspectives on the individual artworks, as well as address the traditional and often depersonalized ways the public experiences art.
As perspective was so critical in compositions of the Old Masters, Fab’s maze-like construction of installations—with sharp-angled walls, narrow hallways, and hidden viewing rooms—continues their interest in playing with perspective, but with an interactive spin that brings the works into the present. Inspired by the devotional context of many of the Old Master works featured in the exhibition, Fab’s installations encourage viewers to embrace a slower approach to their viewing, spending time in the installations individually to create a personal connection between the viewer and the work.
One of the joys of the art market is discovering new artists who are valued by others. Sotheby’s continues to bring more worldly voices to its Modern art sales with painters like Rufino Tamayo, Joaquin Torres-Garcia and Vilhelm Hammershoi. The latest Nordic painter to be featured in the Impressionist and Modern Evening sale is Akseli Gallen-Kallela, the Finnish Symbolist painter. This July, Sotheby’s set a record for the painter with the $886k sale of View Over a Lake at Sunset. This November, the auction house is poised to move that number up again by more than $1m. Palokärki (Great Black Woodpecker or Wilderness) is estimated at $1.8-2.5m.
Sotheby’s is pleased to announce that we will present Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s Palokärki (Great Black Woodpecker or Wilderness) as a highlight of our Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 12 November 2019 in New York, where it will make its auction debut after residing in the same private collection for more than 45 years.
In the 1890s, when his cosmopolitan contemporaries, such as Émile Bernard and Paul Gauguin, sought the exotic in Pont-Aven and Tahiti, Gallen-Kallela traveled to the Finnish wilderness. Finding even the modern bustle of Helsinki overwhelming, he struck out into the wilds of North Karelia, near the Arctic Circle, with his wife and daughter, in search of empty acreage to build a new home and the passionate life force of nature, his new artistic inspiration.
For Gallen-Kallela, nature increasingly became a source of symbolism and metaphor for a growing Finnish patriotic movement. Known at the time as the Grand Duchy of Finland under the control of Russian authorities, Gallen-Kallela found a passionate argument for the sovereignty of Finnish identity in the wilderness, and expressed these political and cultural concepts in his revered landscapes. He stated: “He who lives and works much out in nature, can almost catch himself speaking to the trees of the wood…our folklore witnesses to the fact that a deep experience of nature is a characteristic of the Finns. It can be said, perhaps, that we tend to personify nature, which expresses itself in our art and literature.”
Palokärki (Great Black Woodpecker or Wilderness)
A masterpiece of Finnish art, the bold, enigmatic and sublime landscape, highlighted by the stark contrast of the woodpecker’s deep black plumage and red crown of feathers, fuses two of the greatest art movements of the late 19th century: French Realism and the burgeoning Nordic Landscape movement. Painted between 1892 and 1894, the painting is the first by Gallen-Kallela to combine his prior adherence to Realism and his clear but occasionally dispassionate representation of nature, with a growing perception of landscape as an evocation of emotional meaning. Partly inspired by National Romanticism, a strain of Symbolism that took hold in the Nordic countries in the 1890s, Gallen-Kallela painted the woodpecker to further mark this shift in attitude, as he painted two additional works in the same time period that articulated this change of conception of landscape as a metaphor for mythology and folklore with distinctly political subtext.
In summer of 1892, Gallen-Kallela travelled to Lake Paanajärvi, then in northeastern Finland and now just beyond the Russian border. Along the banks of the fjord-like lake, Gallen-Kallela began painting Palokärki, completing this oil in his studio in either Helsinki or Sääksmäki by 1894.
Describing the inspiration for the painting and the symbolism of the woodpecker, Gallen-Kallela stated: “The woodpecker has always been my friend. Always when I listen to its fresh, piercing voice I get the feeling that I am so far from all the human habitation that there no longer is any contact—even if this occurs just around the corner from my home…The red spot is the individual’s cry for life in the quietude of the hinterlands.”
For Gallen-Kallela, the woodpecker was a symbol of Finnish patriotism, embodying his pride in the natural world he called home and a defiant resistance to “Russification,” a program of systematic attempts by Russian authorities to culturally assimilate the Finns prior to winning their independence in 1917.
Over 100 years later, the painting continues to reverberate with Gallen-Kallela’s call to the individual spirit and freedom embodied by the solitary woodpecker among the vast Finnish wilderness. Beyond the surface of its dispassionate representation of nature, the painting’s undertones of hard-fought political autonomy and national independence make it a subversive masterwork of Finnish art and modern landscape painting.
We’ve had old master paintings by Leonardo in Contemporary evening sales before and there is the increasing appearance of Modernist works by American painters in Impressionist and Modern sales but Phillips has decided the best place to sell a Norman Rockwell painting that has only been held by two families in the sixty years since it was painted is in the November 20th Century & Contemporary art sale.
On 14 November, Phillips will offer Norman Rockwell’s Before the Shot, marking the first time that a work by the iconic American illustrator will appear in an Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, as well as the first time that one of his paintings will be offered at Phillips. The work has never before been sold publicly, having remained in just two families’ collections since it was painted, the first of which was Rockwell’s own doctor and the model for the painting.
Elizabeth Goldberg, Senior International Specialist of American Art and Deputy Chairwoman, Americas, said, “We are honored to introduce Norman Rockwell’s paintings to Phillips’ auctions by including this masterwork in our November Evening Sale. While Rockwell has traditionally been offered in sales of American Art, we are eager to break down the barriers that separate these collecting categories and reexamine the way that these different voices of the 20th century are classified. Before the Shot is one of the most recognizable paintings by one of America’s most iconic artists. This November, Rockwell’s name will be rightfully positioned alongside other international 20th and 21st century masters, including Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Joan Mitchell, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.”
One of Rockwell’s most well-known paintings, Before the Shot is a nostalgic and humorous reflection of American culture in the 1950s, elevating the commonplace to the remarkable. Nearly identical to the version gracing the cover of the March 15, 1958, issue of The Saturday Evening Post,.