Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who were impacted by the storm. All of us live on the South Shore of Long Island and had varying degrees of damage … but we are alive and well (albeit a little cold, stressed and tired). We also appreciate the many emails we have already received from our friends, clients and readers … your concern means a lot to us.
Welcome Erik Koeppel
The gallery is very pleased to welcome the contemporary American landscape artist Erik Koeppel. About two weeks ago Erik contacted the gallery to see if we would be interested in handling his work. What he did not know is that we had been watching his career for some time now. Erik had local representation, but decided it was time to make a move ... that decision prompted him to contact us and we jumped on the opportunity; and as you can see, we wasted no time!
To say Erik is an excellent contemporary Hudson River landscape artist is an understatement; his ability to capture light and atmosphere, along with his style, coloration and technique place him among the very best ... if he lived back in the 1800s, today he would be one of the masters from the 19th century American Hudson River School.
We are very confident that you will all enjoy seeing the work ... every time we do, all we can say is WOW!
The Dallas Show
This will be the last reminder that we will be exhibiting at the Dallas Art, Antique and Jewelry Show from November 9 – 12, 2012 (opening gala is November 8). The exhibit will take place at the Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas Texas, and we will have paintings by Bauer, Berthelsen, Bonheur, Boudin, Blanchard, Combes, Cortes, Harris, Herring, Hollingsworth, Jahn, Knight, Koeppel, Leickert, Leloir, Miro, Pousette-Dart and many others. Below is a link to a complimentary ticket:
This January the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art at Westmont College will be hosting Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot: Highlights from the Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree Collection in Context. This show will run from January 31st through March 23rd and will include the Corot paintings from Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree’s collection along with a number of exceptional paintings from private collections throughout the United States. Among the works chosen for this exhibition are 5 paintings our gallery sold Ville d’Avray, Pâturage dans les marais (Souvenir des environs d'Amiens), La petite vachère au bord de l'eau (environs de Gisors), Souvenir de Coubron; Soleil Couchant, Trois paysannes dans un pré, souvenir de Bretagne. In addition, our Campagne de Naples will be on display … it is now part of Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree’s collection.
We all knew it couldn’t just keep going up! At some point a correction was bound to occur and I guess this month was the time for a breather. Now do not get me wrong, I am still very happy with the progress my stock gambles have made over the past few months, I just wish the corrections didn’t have to be so sudden and wild. I would have updated you on the prices of my favorite stocks, but I was without Internet service for a number of days and missed the final days of October … oh well!
The Big Gamble
We are still working hard on The Big Gamble show (opening April 6, 2013) … well, I should say that the artists are all working really hard. Works are beginning to trickle in and so far, they are looking very interesting. The roster of artists who will be participating is pretty impressive (a full list will be sent out later this month) and we are looking forward to presenting this exhibit.
The Art Market
By the middle of October the Art Market was in full swing again and there was plenty of action in the public and private arenas. During the second week, London became a hotbed of activity for the Contemporary market with Frieze Week; a week which included a number of art shows and auctions (though this year they also included a show titled Frieze Masters in which historical works of art were exhibited --- guess everyone wants to get into the action).
Reports in the press from the two Frieze fairs (Frieze London and Frieze Masters) confirmed that collectors were out in force and that while buying was far less frantic than years earlier, lots of sales were still being made. At Frieze Masters reported sales included an Old Master painting by Adriaen Coorte priced at $3.7M; 16th century painting of a Virgin & Child at £200,000; Picasso’s Homme et Femme au Bouquet at $8.5M; a 1932 Leger painting - $2.6M; and works by Bourgeois, Mitchell, Nauman … all in excess of $1M. At Frieze London reports surfaced that works by Condo, McCarthy, Picasso, Hirst and a slew of artists I never heard of (but why should I) were sold. In addition, Marlborough sold 40 or the 50 works by Auerbach that were on display; a new suite of 20 unique silkscreens by Gavin Turk (being shown at Paul Stopler) reportedly sold out during the opening and 10 of 12 ceramic sculptures by Edmund de Waal (on display at Alan Cristea Gallery) were sold – prices ranged from £65K – £500K.
Now we need to keep in mind that these were all sales made through private galleries and the actual prices paid can rarely be confirmed. In addition, we will never know if the buyers actually paid and took delivery of the works. However, there was definitely a good deal of activity in the private sector.
Next up was the public forum and the action here started on the evening of the 10th with a small contemporary sale at Phillips. Top lots were Basquiat’s Big Joy which sold for £2.6M ($4.2M – est. £2.5-£3.5M) – so it made the number with the buyer’s premium added in; Richter’s Abstraktes Bild at £2.45M ($3.9M – est. £2.5-£3.5M) and Warhol’s Watches at £1M ($1.6M – est. £1-£2M) … so actually, none of the hammer prices hit their estimate.
When the evening was over, of the 36 works offered 24 sold (67%) and the total take was £12.2M (19.4M) – the low end of the estimate range was £15M so they fell far short.
On the 11th they followed with their Day Sale in which the top lot was an Aaron Curry (who?) sculpture that brought £46.8K ($75K – est. £40-£60K). As a matter of fact, I only knew one of the top ten artists in this day sale … I must be getting old! When this session ended another £3.9M ($6.3M) worth of art found new homes and the sell-through rate was 68%.
That evening Christie’s presented their important Post-War, Contemporary and Italian works. Up first were the Post-War & Contemporary and Kippenberger’s Untitled was the top lot at £3.2M ($5.1M – est. £2.5–£3.5M). In second was Richter’s 5 Doors II at £2.2M ($3.5M – est. £1.5-£2M) and in third was Barcelo’s Areneros y muleros (1990) at £2.1M ($3.3M - est. £2-£3M). When this first part ended, of the 61 works offered 45 sold (74%) and the total was £23M ($36.8M) … according to their press department they were expecting around £21M – so they made their number with the buyer’s premium.
Next up were the Italian works and the action here was just a bit stronger. In the top slot was Manzoni’s Achrome, circa 1959, at £2.6M ($3.7M – est. £1.8-£2.5m) while second, third and fourth places were taken by our old friend Lucio Fontana whose works sold between £2.5M and £881K ... all selling within or above their estimates (when the buyer’s premium was added in). When this section was finished, of the 44 works offered 41 sold (93% - nice) and the total take was £18.2M ($29M) they were expecting around £14M … that was a strong showing.
When combined, the full evening session brought in £41.2M ($65.9M) with 85 (81%) of the 105 works selling … not too bad, but there was a surprise on the horizon.
On the 12th they presented their Day Sale (no, the surprise was not here). The top three artists here were Ufan, Richter (who was about to become the flavor of the year) and Fontana (there were a huge number of works by him offered that week and most did rather well). Of the 193 lots offered 131 sold (68%) and the total take was £8M ($12.9M) -- just about the level they were expecting.
That evening Sotheby’s offered their important Italian, Post War & Contemporary works. Here the order was reversed with the Italian works coming first and the top lot was Manzoni’s Achrome, 1959 at £4M ($6.4M – est. £2.2-£2.6M … the seller bought the work in 2007 for £2.3M - $4.6M) -- yes, both sales had works by the artist with the same title … but as we have seen, many contemporary artists are not very creative when it comes to titling their works. Second and third places was taken by Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale, Attesa, 1964 which made £1.9M ($3M – est. £1-£1.5M – bought in 2004 for $422K) and Concetto Spaziale, 1961 at £1.55M ($2.5M – est. £1.6-£2M. In fact, 4 of the top 10 were by Fontana – guess a lot of people like those slashed canvases.
When this section was finished, of the 33 works offered 25 (75.8%) sold and the total take was £15.6M ($25M) ... not as strong at Christie’s, but not bad! However the real fireworks were about to happen.
Next came the Post War & Contemporary works and the top lot here was Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (809-4) which brought a record price for any living artist when it made £21.3M ($34.2M – est. £9-£12M). Now the seller, Eric Clapton (yes the musician), bought the work (with two others) back in 2001 for $3.4M in New York … wow … that works out to about 30 times his purchase price in 11 years – pretty impressive! In second place came Yves Klein’s RE 9-1, 1961 at £3.7M ($6M – est. £2-£3M) and in third was another Richter, also titled Abstraktes Bild (this one numbered 840-2), at £1.9M ($3.1M – est. £1-£1.5M). When this session ended, of the 53 works offered 47 sold (88.7%) and the total take was £44.1M ($70.8M) ... the high end of their estimate range was £39.4M.
When the evening ended, the two sessions offered 86 works, sold 72 (83.7%) and brought in £59.7M ($95.5M). Very nice and much more than the competition … but once again it all came down to: what a difference a painting can make. Had Clapton not sold his work, the results from the two rooms would have been pretty similar ... in fact, Christie’s would have come out slightly ahead.
On the 13th Sotheby’s offered its day sale and taking the top slot here was Wade Guyton’s Untitled at £421K ($677K – est. £80-£120K) – I found this interesting since the piece was only created in 2010; in addition, the medium was Epson ultrachrome inkjet on linen and the subject was a white canvas (84 x 69 inches) with 6 black squares. Oh well … all I can say is beauty is in the eye of the beholder!! In second was Riley’s very colorful Cool Places at £337K ($542K – est. 280-350K) and in third was yet another Richter Abstraktes Bild (from 1988) at £325K ($523K – est. £200-£300K). Now you are probably wondering how does one Richter make $34M and another make just $523K … well, the most notable difference between the two works is that the Clapton painting was 88 ½ x 78 ¾ while this one was a mere 10 ½ x 13 ½ inches. Now for our price per square inch fans (psi), the Clapton painting works out to about $4950 psi while the other comes to $4020 psi … so there really isn’t much of a difference when size is considered.
At the end of day sale of the 257 catalogues works 68.4% sold for a total take of £10.2M ($16.4M). And when all totaled, Sotheby’s brought in £69.9M ($112.1M).
I had planned on covering the 19th century sale in NYC at the end of the month, but then Sandy decided to pay us a visit. In turn, the sale was postponed a few days and since I live on the South Shore of Long Island I really did not have time to review it … I will include the sale in next month’s update.
Gallery Updates: Another reminder that we will be in Dallas this week.
Web Site Updates: A whole bunch of works made their way through the gallery this month; included were paintings by: Corot, Boudin, Munier, Richet, Bennett, 2 Ridgway Knights, a number of works by Cortes and Blanchard and a Pousette-Dart. We have added, or will be adding, a number of new works to the web site by Corot, Dawson, Dupre, Cortes, Blanchard, Koeppel, Combes and Pousette-Dart.