Christie’s will showcase the work of Paul Gauguin and Joan Mitchell as part of a $50 million pool presented by Roger Saint, founder of American energy company AES Corporation. All proceeds will go to the Summit Foundation, which Saint and his late wife set up to “benefit the health and well-being of the planet,” including women’s equality and environmental issues.
Saint, who has already promised his in-depth collection of Les Nabis, turn-of-the-century French artists, to the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., says Christie’s sale of 30 works reflects “the pieces we bought just because we loved them.” Heading the collection in November is Mitchell’s “Untitled, Diptych” (1989), with a cost of $10-15 million. Gauguin’s painting “Pêcheur et baigneurs sur l’Aven” (1888) is a Brittany scene, painted in Martinique colors, which Saint bought for $2.9 million at auction in 2000, and now has estimates of $6-8 million. Saint highlights a favorite character, Nicholas de Stael’s “Agrigente” (1953-54, $4 million to $6 million).
Charity sales come thick and fast. American artist Stanley Whitney is to donate the proceeds of a new work, estimated at $900,000, to the Art for Justice Fund, which treats unnecessary mass incarceration, and Planned Parenthood in Greater New York, which provides reproductive health care. The work is aptly titled “The Freedom We Struggle For” (2022), and Whitney says he chose the charities “because of everything that’s going on in the world, in terms of women’s rights, people’s rights, and family rights.” The two-square-meter painting will be offered for sale as a one-piece auction at Arty between September 27 and October 7 and will be on display at Gagosian’s Park & 75th Gallery in New York during that time.
Meanwhile, in London last week, a Bonhams auction raised £325,000 for hospital rooms, which commissioned the art for the UK’s NHS mental health units. The sale was part of a three-year project between the charity and Hauser & Wirth Gallery to raise £1m.
London celebrates the centenary of the birth of Lucian Freud with a rich collection of performances, including the National Gallery new Horizons. Adding to the mix this week is the exhibition Pilar Orduvas with the first exhibition dedicated to Freud’s love of horses, racing and the gambling scene. Horses and Freud (until December 16) Includes one of only two paintings by Sioux, a mare at the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Center—unusually among those attending the artist’s funeral.
There are also pictures of bookmaker Irving Tendler, “Man in a Tracksuit” (1982-1983), and Freud’s lifelong friend Michael Tree, “Smoking Man” (1986-1987), who introduced the artist to Andrew Parker Bowles, a former member of the Army Cavalry Regiment (And first husband to Camilla, the new queen consort.) Although Freud’s 2003 portrait of Parker Bowles is not shown here, the catalog includes a transcript of a recent conversation between Parker Bowles and Ordovas, Freud’s longtime assistant and photographer David Dawson.
Nothing for sale but down the road in Lyndsey Ingram is a display of over 50 Freud’s Bon-A-Tirer engravings, artist approved for numbered editions, available for between £10,000 and around £100,000 (September 29-November 4) .
After 24 years at the Dickinson Gallery, from fresh MA graduate to managing director, Emma Ward departed to deal privately in impressionist art to contemporary art. She’s joined by London Old Masters expert Fabrizio Moretti, who recently opened a luxury space in St James. The partnership, called Ward Moretti, is separate from his gallery — with its own front door, Ward asserts — although it doesn’t rule out the occasional show. Ward says her upbringing led to a focus on “quality, not quantity.”
James Roundell, previously a principal at Dickinson’s, joined Ward’s new business as a consultant. Show founder Simon Dickinson says he thanks Ward and Roundell for his “many years of outstanding service” and that his gallery “will soon announce a major and exciting new development regarding the company’s future path.”
Despite a “tangible shift in behavior” on the part of trade fairs and institutions, there is work to be done to support women artists, says Henry Ward, director of the Freelands Foundation, a charity founded by Elizabeth Murdoch, a scion of the media dynasty, in 2015.” Something happens in the post-art schools, which flood the sector with young female artists who then disappear,” Ward says. His comments come as the Foundation announces its shortlist for its seventh British Foundation Prize – £110,000 to showcase the work of unrecognized mid-career artists. Competitors are Fruit Market (for Zarina Bhimji), Turner Contemporary (Ania Galacchio), John Hansard Gallery (Permendar Kaur), National Galleries of Scotland (Everlane Nicodemus) and Warwick Arts Center (Katrina Palmer).
The charity has also joined forces with the Art Fund for a separate acquisition grant to enable organizations to purchase the works of previous award winners. The latest winners of £50,000 each are Hunterian of Glasgow, for three films by Lis Rhodes, and Leeds Art Gallery, for “Exclusion Zones I” (2021), sculpted by Turner Prize nominee Veronica Ryan.
In 1998, writer William Boyd invented an artist named Nat Tate, and wrote a pseudo-biography of a surviving “American artist” between 1928 and 1960. That hoax included in Modern Painters magazine, where Boyd was a member of the editorial board, musician David Bowie , who hosted a launch party while Boyd himself created Tate Art. The novel was quickly picked up but the art market loves the back story, and in 2011 Tate’s first work sold for over £7,250. This week Sotheby’s has another work – ‘Study for Bridge Drawing’ – which is Boyd-approved and offered online for £2,000 to £3,000. Its seller, film director Paul Crompton, received the fee after working on a program that included the hoax.
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