Commercial art gallery

Sotheby’s takes on galleries with a new primary market channel

Sotheby’s launches the art market season with a new sales channel for artists and their galleries. Called Artist’s Choice, the move to the primary market – territory normally guarded by galleries – will ruffle some feathers but has been well received by Casey Kaplan and Jeffrey Deitch. Their respective artists Kevin Beasley and Kennedy Yanko are among the seven included in Sotheby’s auction in New York on September 30.

The launch follows a similar project launched this summer by auctioneer Simon de Pury and meets two distinct needs, says Noah Horowitz, head of gallery and private dealer services at Sotheby’s. “With the right work, at the right time, artists and galleries can directly capture the potential of auctions, which has generally not been the case. It is also a useful way for some to define a [public] price for their work, which is helpful to new buyers,” says Horowitz.

Artist’s Choice has a philanthropic bent, with 15% of a work’s hammer price paid jointly by the artist/gallery and Sotheby’s, donated to a charity chosen by the artist, which Horowitz says has helped encourage artist support for the new channel. Other entrants this month are Alexandre Lenoir, Vaughn Spann (both of Almine Rech Gallery), Atsushi Kaga (Mother’s Refueling Station), Katherina Olschbaur (Nicodim Gallery) and Todd Gray (David Lewis), with presale estimates ranging from $15,000 to $120,000.


The first edition of Frieze Seoul attracted avid collectors and celebrities

The highly anticipated first edition Frieze art fair in Seoul (September 2-5) appears to have paid off, generating increased cultural activity in the Korean capital and strong sales reported by its 110 international exhibitors. Appearances at events like K-pop phenomenon RM (BTS’s Kim Nam-joon) and stars of squid game added to the buzz.

Frieze’s decision to rely on long-running local fair Kiaf Seoul – which hosted 164 exhibitors on the ground floor of the same Coex conference building – unsurprisingly took some business out of the old fair, but overall both fairs served well, say attendees. “There were more foreign visitors than usual at Kiaf and many more foreign galleries,” notes Heejin No, an artistic adviser and curator based in London and Seoul. Only three of Kiaf’s 37 new exhibitors were from South Korea, with others from places as far afield as Los Angeles and the Philippines, including Galleria Continua, Cristea Roberts Gallery and Rachel Uffner Gallery, as well as Axel Vervoordt , who participated in both fairs. .

While many Western exhibitors are keen to diversify their presence in Asia, it will take time for Seoul to match Hong Kong as a market hub. But the presence of the mainland’s serious collecting community – from Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines as well as South Korea itself – already marks the fair as significant in Asia, according to No. The Only Fly in the Ointment , she said, was that “Sales would have been even faster if the US dollar hadn’t been so strong.”


Painting of a setting sun in a pale purple sky reflected in water

‘Early Morning, Sainte-Maxime’ (1969) by David Hockney is offered by Christie’s for £7-10 million

Christie’s used Seoul’s sense of occasion for the first screening of his latest delivery, “Early Morning, Sainte-Maxime” (1969) by David Hockney, offered in October for 7 to 10 million pounds sterling. The striking purple-hued painting, based on photographs taken during a trip to the French Riviera with Hockney’s great love, Peter Schlesinger, previously sold at auction in 1988 for $352,000. Its buyer has therefore not been named, but the work comes from a British collection, confirms Christie’s.

The auction house could be in for a bumper season, after announcing last month it would send 150 works by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The potential total haul is estimated at over $1 billion, which would make this the largest sale ever by a single owner. All proceeds will go to philanthropic causes.


A woman in a black and white striped dress smiles as she walks out of an office

New Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan © AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Britain’s last Prime Minister, Liz Truss, has an unenviable inbox; ditto for new International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch and Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan – the seventh person in the role in just six years. They can expect a letter from Hugo Barclay, director of the Affordable Art Fairs in the United Kingdom. In a call for meaningful dialogue to break down the cumbersome barriers to the art trade caused by Brexit, Barclay writes that he has witnessed a 30% drop in the number of international galleries coming to his UK events. United.

In a draft of the letter seen by the Financial Times, Barclay says exhibitors based in Ireland are switching from UK fairs to those in the EU, which are now logistically easier and cheaper. He quotes Yann Bombard, director of the Envie d’Art gallery in Paris, saying: “I have spent years doing business in the UK and now I have to reassess whether I should continue to prioritize [it] on other countries. »


Photo of a man in a tulip field transformed into a patchwork against a background of bright pink tulips

‘Man with Tulips’ (2022) by Hangama Amiri © Courtesy of the artist/Union Pacific

Afghan-Canadian artist Hangama Amiri recreated the story of his family’s separation as refugees from Afghanistan – now on display at the Union Pacific Gallery in London. For nine years beginning in 1999, when Amiri was 10, her father moved to Scandinavia while her mother lived in refugee accommodation in Tajikistan with Amiri and her three siblings.

For the exhibit, Amiri made fabric wall hangings based on 10 of the photographs her parents sent to each other at the time. Her father’s images are on the ground floor of the gallery, while those of her mother are in the room below, with carpeting and wallpaper to recreate their relative domesticity. Additional features, such as extra fabric, inkjet prints and mirrors, are dotted throughout, along with an original photograph – of Amiri and her mother taken in a studio.

“Amiri doesn’t just create beautiful fabric pastiches from photographs of her parents. . .[We are looking at]how a child remembered a couple and how she looks at them through older eyes,” writes curator Sarah Burney. reminiscences runs until September 24, with works priced between £14,000 and £26,000.