Cézanne to Picasso: Paintings from the David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection is an intimate installation that highlights a group of nine exceptional early modern European paintings that have been promised over the years to The Museum of Modern Art by David and Peggy Rockefeller. Mr. Rockefeller’s association with MoMA began in his childhood when he often visited the galleries with his mother, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, who, along with Miss Lillie P. Bliss and Mrs. Cornelius J. Sullivan, founded the Museum in 1929. He has served the Museum with great distinction in many capacities, including two terms as Chairman of the Board of Trustees and in his present position as Honorary Chairman.
Cézanne to Picasso: Paintings from the David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection is organized by Ann Temkin, Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, and is on view in The Mercedes T. and Sid R. Bass Gallery on the fifth floor from July 17 to August 31, 2009.
Thematically, the ensemble provides a small survey of portraiture, landscape, and still-life painting during the early period of modern art. Featuring superb examples of Post-Impressionist, Fauvist, and Cubist painting, ranging from Paul Cézanne’s Still Life with Fruit Dish (1879–80) to Pablo Picasso’s The Reservoir, Horta de Ebro (summer 1909), this presentation of the early flowering of modern art celebrates the Rockefellers’ longstanding generosity to the Museum.
The installation begins with four works associated with Post-Impressionism: Cézanne’s Still Life with Fruit Dish and Boy in a Red Vest (1888-90), Paul Gauguin’s Portrait of Jacob Meyer de Haan (1889), and Paul Signac’s Opus 217. Against the Enamel of a Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angles, Tones, and Tints, Portrait of M. Félix Fénéon in 1890 (1890).
Fauvist works by Henri Matisse and André Derain feature the radical color palette that the artists developed together in the summer of 1905 in Collioure, France. In Interior with a Young Girl (Girl Reading) (1905–06), Matisse painted his daughter Marguerite in nearly as many colors as the fruit on the table beside her. In Charing Cross Bridge (1906 or 1907), Derain ignores the customary gray of the London sky, rendering it instead with imaginative colors. These two works are followed by Georges Braque’s The Large Trees, L’Estaque (1906-07) and Raoul Dufy’s The 14th of July at Le Havre (1907). The installation concludes with Picasso’s cubist landscape The Reservoir, Horta de Ebro.
Visit the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) at ; http://www.moma.org/
Christie’s, announces the availability of a new mobile application that extends the company’s online experience to a global audience of Apple mobile device users. Beginning July 15, Apple iPhone and iPod Touch users can enjoy optimized mobile access to Christie’s online features, including previews of all sales and lots, real-time sales results, and more. This free application will be made available to the one million plus unique visitors to Christies.com each month via http://www.christies.com/on-the-go/iphone, the company’s Facebook and Twitter audiences, and to visitors of the iTunes App Store.
Michael O’Neal, director of Digital Media at Christie’s comments: “The Christie’s app ensures our existing and potential buyers are always in touch and informed of our latest offerings, no matter where they may be. New advancements in mobile devices now allow for a very rich visual experience perfectly suited to viewing Christie’s broad array of offerings, including fine art, jewels, decorative objects, furniture, and fine and rare wines.
As our global audience grows increasingly reliant on mobile communication devices, Christie’s is leading the way as the first international fine art auction house to launch a mobile access strategy, so that our clients may select the communications medium best suited to their needs at any given moment. The Christie’s app ensures that our clients continue to enjoy the enhanced online services they’ve become accustomed to with Christies.com, as well as take advantage of new custom features that leverage the revolutionary unique features and functions of the iPhone and iPod Touch.”
The Christie’s App was developed in partnership with Kargo, a leading independent mobile media and technology partner that specializes in producing breakthrough entertainment and information applications. With the Christie’s app, buyers and sellers around the world can:
Browse any Christie’s auction, anywhere in the world: Search by Category, Location, or Area of Interest, so you can easily find items of interest while on the road, or with a client.
As the first step in Christie’s broader mobile access strategy, the new app is an example of the company’s continuing commitment to leveraging best-in-class digital technologies to enrich the client experience. In addition to its mobile offering, Christie’s remains the only international fine art auction house to offer online bidding capability via Christie’s LIVE™, a real-time multi-media bidding application. In 2008, Christie’s LIVE™ generated $82 million in online sales and direct underbidding. Online sale registrations per sale grew 138% in 2008 and the percent share of all lots sold through remote bidding channels grew 33%.
A major exhibition bringing together over 150 works by Pablo Picasso from across the world will be presented at Tate Liverpool from 21 May to 30 August 2010. Picasso: Peace and Freedom will reveal a fascinating new insight into the artist’s life as a tireless political activist and campaigner for peace, challenging the widely-held view of the artist as creative genius, playboy and compulsive extrovert. Picasso: Peace and Freedom is curated by Lynda Morris, AHRC Research Fellow and Curator, EASTinternational, Norwich University College of the Arts, and Dr. Christoph Grunenberg, Director, Tate Liverpool.
This is the first exhibition to explore the post-War period of the artist’s life in depth, and will reflect a new Picasso for a new time. Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the exhibition provides a timely look at Picasso’s work in the Cold War era and how the artist transcended the ideological and aesthetic oppositions of East and West.
The exhibition will bring together key paintings and drawings related to war and peace from 1944-1973, alongside a wide range of contextual materials and ephemera. The centrepiece will be the artist’s masterpiece, The Charnel House 1944-45, marking 50 years since it was last seen in the UK. This remarkable work was Picasso’s most explicitly political painting since Guernica 1937. Monument to the Spaniards who Died for France late 1945 to 31 January 1947 will also feature in the exhibition along with The Rape of the Sabine Women 1962, painted at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis on the verge of Third World War.
Picasso’s Dove of Peace became the emblem for the Peace Movement and universal symbol of hope during the Cold War. Picasso’s lithograph of the fan-tailed pigeon, given to him by Matisse in 1948, was selected for the poster of the First International Peace Congress held in Paris in 1949. Picasso later provided variations on the dove for the Peace Congresses in Wroclaw, Stockholm, Sheffield, Vienna, Rome and Moscow. The dove also had a highly personal significance for Picasso going back to childhood memories of his father painting doves kept in the family home. In 1949 Picasso named his daughter ‘Paloma’ – Spanish for ‘dove’ – born in the same month as the Peace Congress in Paris.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was arguably the most influential and prolific artist of the 20th century. After 1944 Picasso, the greatest living artist, became a figurehead of left wing causes. He joined the Communist party in 1944 and it was during this period that the political content of his work came to the fore. His paintings frequently reference and comment upon key historical moments, chronicling human conflict and war, but also a desire for peace.
The exhibition is organised by Tate Liverpool in collaboration with the Albertina, Vienna where it will be shown following its presentation in Liverpool. Vienna hosted the World Peace Congress in 1952, promoted by a poster featuring Picasso’s drawing of a dove surrounded by a circle of interlocking hands.
Christie’s presents the mid-season Prints & Multiples sale on July 22. Comprised of a cross section of movements and styles, this well selected offering includes work by James Jacques, Joseph Tissot, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Paul Gauguin, Joan Miró, Sam Francis, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha and Rachel Whiteread, among others. This sale is the ideal opportunity to begin or expand collections for new bidders and seasoned print enthusiasts alike. A broad selection of Pop and abstract art complete the Prints & Multiples sale. A unique example is A Dedicated Follower of Fashion (estimate: $3,000-5,000) by Richard Hamilton, a founder of the Pop movement in Britain.
L’Eté (estimate: $2,500-3,500) by Tissot, is a classic Belle Époque image, embodying the romantic French style of the late 1800’s that glamorized upper class life by depicting the refinement and elegance of the society subject. With an emphasis on opulent decorative details, this image highlights the young woman’s sophisticated and intricate parasol, lace gloves, floral brooch, high collar, and idle gaze. The drypoint technique further embellishes the refined scene as it gives the print a rich, velvety texture. An icon of French academic art, Tissot will be celebrated in an upcoming exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum of Art from October 2009 – January 2010. The abstract art selection is highlighted with prints by Brice Marden, Frank Stella, Richard Serra, Grace Hartigan, and Sam Francis.
The sale also includes a complete signed set of 12 offset lithographs by Marcel Duchamp (estimate: $3,000-5,000). Bright orange, blue, green, red and black colors are printed on both sides of six cardboard disks or Rotoreliefs. When spun on a record player they create the illusion of threedimensional space. Typifying his interest in visual phenomena, the animated Rotoreliefs demonstrate Duchamp’s whimsical ingenuity and inventiveness both graphically and in material choice.
In addition, the sale features fifteen Pablo Picasso earthenware pieces ranging in estimates from $800-5,000. Picasso demonstrated interest in pottery early on in his life but it was not until a vacation to Vallauris, France during which he visited the Madoura Pottery Studio that he fully engaged the medium. The studio invited Picasso to design and create earthenware pieces that were then reproduced under his supervision in the years from 1946 to 1971. The themes explored in these pieces are classic Picasso motifs, including female figures, bull fights, and a cavalier and horse. After the recent success of Picasso’s Mousquetaire à la pipe, which sold for $14.6 million in Christie’s May 6 Evening Sale, the Prints & Multiples sale offers the prime opportunity to collect a Picasso Musketeer on a smaller scale with, Face no. 130 (estimate: $1,200-1,800).
There are also prints by Robert Indiana, including seven of his iconic Love prints (estimate: $2,500-3,500), in addition to prints by Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, Roy Lichtenstein, and a cast iron multiple by Claes Oldenburg. Contemporary Pop artists in the sale include Jeff Koons, Alex Katz, Jim Dine, and James Rosenquist.
In January 2010, the Royal Academy of Arts will stage a landmark exhibition of the work of Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890). The focus of the exhibition will be the artist’s remarkable correspondence. Over 35 original letters, rarely exhibited to the public due to their fragility, will be on display in the main galleries of Burlington House, together with around 65 paintings and 30 drawings that express the principal themes to be found within the correspondence. Thus the exhibition will offer a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the complex mind of Vincent van Gogh. This will be the first major Van Gogh exhibition in London for over forty years.
In addition to lending almost all the letters in the exhibition, the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, has made available twelve important paintings. Other major lenders include the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, together with other museums and private collections worldwide.
Born in Zundert in the southern Netherlands in 1853, Van Gogh was the second of six children of a Protestant pastor. In his early adult life, he worked for a firm of art-dealers in The Hague and London, before becoming a missionary worker. His career as an artist began only in 1880, when he was 27. During his ten-year artistic career, which his suicide cut tragically short in 1890, Van Gogh’s output was prodigious: largely self-taught, he produced over 800 paintings and 1,200 drawings.
Van Gogh was a compulsive and eloquent correspondent. The majority of his letters were written to his brother Theo, an art-dealer who supported Vincent throughout his difficult artistic career. Vincent also wrote to other family members, including his sister Wilhelmina. Other artists, notably Anton van Rappard, Emile Bernard and Paul Gauguin, were also, at different phases of Vincent’s life, recipients of his letters. The originality of his ideas about art, nature and literature, combined with his deep understanding of these subjects, make Van Gogh’s letters much more than a personal expression of feelings: they attain the status of great literature. In reading the letters one encounters not only a sensitive, determined and exceptionally hardworking man, but also someone possessed of a powerful intellect; this exhibition will challenge the view that Van Gogh was an erratic genius by allowing the viewer a rare insight into his artistic process through the intimate medium of his correspondence. Together the letters create a ‘self portrait’, and reveal the ways in which Van Gogh defined himself as an artist and as a human being.
Taking the letters as its starting point, The Real Van Gogh: The Artist and His Letters will view the paintings and drawings from the perspective of the correspondence. The letter sketches that Van Gogh frequently used to show a work in progress or a completed work are a fascinating part of the correspondence, and many will be shown alongside the paintings or drawings on which they are based.
Highlights of the exhibition will include Self-portrait as an Artist (1888) and The Yellow House (1888) from the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; Still-life: Drawing Board with Onions (1889) from the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo; Vincent’s Chair with His Pipe (1888) from the National Gallery, London; and Entrance to the Public Park in Arles (1888) from the Phillips Collection, Washington DC.
Examining such themes as the role of colour in painting, the cycles of nature, friendship, religion and literature, the exhibition will celebrate the new edition of the artist’s correspondence Vincent van Gogh – The Letters: The Complete Illustrated and Annotated Edition, that will be published by Thames & Hudson in October 2009. The result of fifteen years of scholarship by Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten and Nienke Bakker of the Van Gogh Museum, the complete correspondence of Vincent van Gogh will be published as a printed edition in three languages and as an integral web-edition, thereby providing the worldwide public with a wealth of new information. The exhibition is based on many insights that the new and extensive research into the letters has produced.
The Royal Academy of Arts has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate. The Academy was founded by George III in 1768. The 34 founding Members were a group of prominent artists and architects including Sir Joshua Reynolds and Sir William Chambers who were determined to achieve professional standing for British art and architecture. They also wanted to provide a venue for exhibitions that would be open to the public; and to establish a school of art through which their skills and knowledge could be passed to future generations of practitioners. Visit : http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/
British artist Damien Hirst has turned down an offer to become a Royal Academician at the Royal Academy in London, an institution that was founded in 1768 by King George III. The refusal was revealed by Secretary and Chief Executive Dr Charles Saumarez Smith CBE, who told the Evening Standard that he does not know the reasons of this decision. According to Saumarez Smith, there are artists who have accepted the invitation and others that have not, some of these are: Lucian Freud, Howard Hodgkin and Paula Rego. Other contemporary artists, such as Tracey Emin, who made her dirty bed an artistic installation, have accepted to become a Royal Academician.
Some artists who were formed in the 50s and 60s believed that the Royal Academy had become obsolete, but that has changed and the newer generations have supported the Academy.
Membership of the Royal Academy is made up of up to 80 practising artists, each elected by ballot of the General Assembly of the Royal Academy, and known individually as Royal Academicians (R.A.). The Royal Academy is governed by these Royal Academicians.
All RAs are entitled to exhibit up to six works in the annual Summer Exhibition. They also have the opportunity to exhibit their work in small exhibitions held in the Friends’ Room and are occasionally invited to hold major exhibitions in the Sackler Galleries. Many Academicians are involved in teaching in the Schools and giving lectures as part of the Royal Academy Education Programme.
Damien Hirst, the highest paid living artist and most provocative of the YBAs, is becoming a free agent. The art world’s answer to Reggie Jackson says he will sell his latest body of work at auction, circumventing de rigueur gallery sales. “The world is changing,” said Hirst, and as always, he’s ahead of the curve.
Hirst is a rare breed–both artist and salesman. This isn’t the first time he’s stunned the art world with his business savvy (and his dead animals). Back in November of 2003, the artist bought back 12 of his seminal pieces from benefactor Charles Saatchi for $15 million. By owning his key early work, Hirst sought to control his own market, deciding which pieces to hold on to or place in museums or collections. Were these works to be sold en masse, as Saatchi is known to do, the value of his works could have taken a substantial hit. This past February, Hirst also opened a store on High Street called Other Criteria, designed to “democratize” art–or at least commoditize it.
The Serpentine Gallery presents an exhibition of the work of the celebrated American artist Jeff Koons. This will be England’s first ever major survey of Koons’s work in a public gallery. For his exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, Jeff Koons presents works from his Popeye series, which he began in 2002. The works incorporate some of Koons’s signature ideas and motifs, including surreal combinations of everyday objects, cartoon imagery, art-historical references and children’s toys. The sculptures on show continue Koons’s interest in casting inflatable toys. Those typically used by children in a swimming pool are cast in aluminium, their surfaces painted to bear an uncanny resemblance to the original objects. On exhibition 2 July through 13 September, 2009.
Koons has used inflatables in his work since the late 1970s. He further develops his use of cast inflatables in the Popeye series by juxtaposing these replica ready-mades with unaltered everyday objects, such as chairs or rubbish bins. The paintings in the series are complex and layered compositions that combine disparate images both found and created by Koons, including images of the sculptures in the series.
Featuring loans from both public and private collections, the exhibition also includes works that have never been shown publicly before. The immediately recognisable figures of Popeye and Olive Oyl are central in the series and they appear in several prominent works within the exhibition. One of the most iconic American cartoon characters, Popeye was conceived 80 years ago this year in 1929 when the Great Depression was taking hold. In Popeye’s early years, the cartoon addressed the hardships and injustices of the time and, in this current period of economic recession, he is a fitting character to rediscover and explore. Jeff Koons: Popeye Series is curated by Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, and Kathryn Rattee, Curator, Serpentine Gallery.
Working in thematic series since the early 1980s, Koons has explored notions of consumerism, taste, banality, childhood and sexuality. He is known for his meticulously fabricated works that draw on a variety of objects and images from American and consumer culture.
Jeff Koons first exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery in 1991 as part of the group show Objects for the Ideal Home: The Legacy of Pop Art. His work also appeared in the exhibition Give and Take that was organised by the Serpentine Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2000, and as part of In the darkest hour there may be light – works from Damien Hirst’s murderme collection at the Serpentine in 2006.
Koons took part in a headline event in the Serpentine Gallery’s summer events programme, Park Nights, in 2006. He appeared as part of a panel discussion involving Hans Ulrich Obrist and Rem Koolhaas, the architect of that year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. Koons also contributed to Hans Ulrich Obrist’s recent book Formulas for Now, which was presented at the Serpentine Gallery Experiment Marathon in 2007.
Jeff Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania, 1955. His work has been widely exhibited internationally. His most recent solo exhibitions include presentations at the Château de Versailles, France; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, all in 2008. Koons lives and works in New York.
Serpentine Gallery is one of London’s best-loved galleries for modern and contemporary art. Its Exhibition, Architecture, Education and Public Programmes attract approximately 750,000 visitors a year and admission is free. In the grounds of the Gallery is a permanent work by artist and poet Ian Hamilton Finlay, dedicated to the Serpentine’s former Patron Diana, Princess of Wales. Visit : http://www.serpentinegallery.org/
The Royal Academy of Arts presents GSK Contemporary 2009, the second annual contemporary art season at 6 Burlington Gardens. Opening in December, Earth: Art of a changing world will present new and recent work from more than 30 leading international contemporary artists, including commissions and new works from the best emerging talent. The exhibition will introduce the key elements that make up the natural world, and the activities that affect the planet’s fragile equilibrium. Works by artists including Ackroyd & Harvey, Spencer Finch, Mona Hatoum and Marcos Lutyens & Marianantoni, engage with the earth, air, sky, nature and carbon elements to encourage a deeper consideration of our cultural relationship to earth’s stability.
Recent debates have centred less on the possibility and more on the certainty and speed with which climate change will take place. As the debate has developed, so too has our approach to the future. Co-curated by Kathleen Soriano, Director of Exhibitions at the Royal Academy, David Buckland, Director of Cape Farewell, and, Edith Devaney, Royal Academy, this exhibition will reflect the impact of the climate change debate on the practice of a broad range of contemporary artists across a wide variety of media.
Many of the artists featured are actively engaged with the issue itself, working directly to transform the global scale of climate change into a human narrative. Others have shown it to have a place, or to resonate, within their work. Earth will interconnect ‘issue’ and ‘art’, and will present works that are beautiful, powerful and thought-provoking. The exhibition will build on the power of the individual works to create an overall aesthetic, visual and experiential impact that explores some of the cultural impacts of climate change.
Artists such as Antti Laitinen and Edward Burtynsky will represent our contemporary world and will invoke a dialogue around the perceived security of our existence.
At the centre of the show, a group of exhibits will elucidate the role of the artist in the cycle of human and cultural evolution – as communicator, reflector and interpreter of key issues of the day. Within this section artists such Sophie Calle, Lucy & Jorge Orta, Cornelia Parker, the poet Lemn Sissay and Shiro Takatani hold up a mirror to our changing world, producing work that will encourage us to examine the issues from a variety of angles, to reflect and question. Other works will confront the viewer with the consequences of human behaviour through natural disasters and physical collapse, counterpoising the beauty of the planet with the damage that is being inflicted upon it.
The exhibition concludes with works that present a world of vision and of hope, but through the glass of reality. These works will reflect notions of beauty and inspiration fundamentally re-defined by climate change. This subtle shift represents the first major change in our view of the world since the first ‘whole earth images’ emerged as photographs taken from Apollo 8 in 1968, an image that anchors our contemporary perception of the beauty and fragility of the earth that has germinated new notions of care and empathy for our habitat. Works by artists such as the writer, Ian McEwan, Mariele Neudecker and Emma Wieslander will offer insight, vision and hope, responding powerfully to this cultural shift, some with a celebration of beauty and what we stand to lose. These artists approach this shift from various perspectives: some engaging with the rigour of scientific endeavour, others through the use of imagined worlds, film and music, delving into the emotional understanding of knowledge.
The Wikimedia Foundation, the non- profit organization which operates Wikipedia, has received a $300,000 Ford Foundation grant to make it easier for people around the world to participate in Wikimedia Commons, the Internet’s largest repository of high quality, freely reusable educational illustrations, photographs, maps, sound, and video files. Available in 85 languages, Wikimedia Commons is a global community dedicated to sharing media. The Wikimedia Commons also acts as the central multimedia library for Wikipedia. The Ford Foundation grant will support interface and work-flow improvements to make it much easier to contribute freely reusable content.
“The global community that is building Wikimedia Commons is setting the standard for the way that video and images are uploaded and shared through the Web,” said Jenny Toomey, a program officer for the Ford Foundation. “The whole process is simplified, promotes collaboration, and is driven by consensus among the community. Ultimately, this approach and others like it can help ensure that the Internet remains a rich and open space for learning, expression, and participation.”
Since Wikimedia Commons was founded in 2004, a strong community of international volunteers has formed to support its growth and development. Wikimedia Commons currently hosts more than 4.5 million freely reusable educational media files. Its files are used in thousands of educational and informational initiatives around the world, including in mass media and books.
“We are thrilled that the Ford Foundation is supporting this project,” said Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “We want to make uploading files to Commons as easy as possible, so that people everywhere can join us in helping Commons grow. The bigger Commons is, the more people it will serve.”
The grant will fund a project team to study challenges faced by new participants in Wikimedia Commons, as well as to identify best practices from other media sharing websites. Following a research phase, the team will design and implement a simple upload work-flow, enabling users to easily upload files, select licenses, and provide descriptions.
About The Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than half a century it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
About The Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization which operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 300 million unique visitors per month, making them the 4th most popular web property world-wide. Available in more than 265 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 12 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.
Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction took place this evening and realised £19,063,350 / $31,778,604 / €22,513,816 selling 88% by lot and 86% by value. The top price was paid for Night Playground by Peter Doig (b.1959), 1997/98, an exemplary large scale painting described by the artist as one of his own favourites. It was offered at auction for the first time and realised £3,009,250 / $5,016,420 / €3,553,924, the second highest price for the artist at auction (estimate: £1.5 million to £2 million). A particularly rare urban view, the painting shows night falling on a city playground and portrays the contrast between nature and the man-made. At this evening’s auction, 4 works of art sold for over £1 million / 11 for over $1 million, and buyers (by lot / by origin) were 65% UK and Europe, 29% Americas and 6% Asia.
Francis Outred, International Director and Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s Europe: ‘We are delighted with the results of our sales tonight which continued the trend of strong sold rates seen in the first 6 months of this year at our international auctions. This evening, an active market saw 86% of lots find buyers in a sale that achieved strong prices – in particular, the outstanding result for Peter Doig’s ‘Night Playground’, which made the second highest price ever achieved for the artist at just over £3 million. What was most interesting was that 80% of works sold within or above their pre-sale estimates, and that we welcomed bids from a significant number of new collectors.’
Further highlights of the sale:
1025 Farben (1025 Colours) by Gerhard Richter (b.1932) realised £1,385,250 / $2,309,212 / €1,635,980, and was offered at auction for the first time having been in the ownership of the present European owner since 1974, the year in which it was painted. From a series considered to coincide with the most fruitful period in the artist’s career, the work sold this evening is from the last and most accomplished group of colour charts which he painted.
Country Nurse, 2003, by Richard Prince (b.1949), one of the largest works created for the artist’s celebrated and highly coveted Nurse series, sold for £1,721,250 / $2,869,324 / €2,032,796. For the Nurse series, Prince mined his own extensive collection of trashy romance novels from the 1950s and 1960s, lifting the protagonists and titles from their lurid covers and immersing them in layers of pigment. An exploration of female stereotypes, the series was subject to great attention in 2003 when Prince photographed Kate Moss for W magazine in front of one of his pictures while she was wearing a suggestive nurse’s outfit.
The auction offered 3 works by Jeff Koons (b. 1955) which represented three distinctive moments from the artist’s career, and all of which were offered at auction for the first time. Moustache, 2003, from the artist’s Popeye series sold this evening for £1,105,250 / $1,842,452 / €1,305,300. Flowers, 1986, from the artist’s Statuary series which also included his masterpiece, Rabbit, sold for £337,250 / $562,196 / €398,292; and Walrus (Blue), executed in 1999, sold for £361,250 / $602,204 / €426,636.
Untitled, by Cy Twombly (b.1928) realised £802,850 / $1,338,351 / €948,166, exceeding its pre-sale estimate of £500,000 to £700,000. This important work was executed in 1961, a watershed year in the artist’s career during which he created a number of masterpieces including the Ferragosto series which was recently united in an exhibition dedicated to the artist at Tate Modern last year.
· Rosso Gilera 60 1232 Rosso Guzzi 60 1305 by Alighiero Boetti (1940-1994) sold for £713,250 / $1,188,988 / €842,348 against a pre-sale estimate of £280,000 to £350,000 setting a record price for the artist at auction. Further artist records were established by Transiente by Julie Mehretu (b.1970) which realized £229,250 / $382,160 / €270,744; and Golden Independent Heart, 2004, a 4.5 metre tall, rotating heart made of plastic cutlery by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos (b.1971) whose work has never before been offered at an international auction and which sold for £163,250 / $272,138 / €192,798 (estimate: £80,000 to £120,000).