Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Saturday, February 11th, 2017
    The first of two of this years highly anticipated exhibitions at the National Gallery of Ireland – which amounts to an embarrassment of riches by Caravaggio and Vermeer – opens today in Dublin.   Beyond Caravaggio brings together over 40 works including four by Caravaggio as well as significant works by those artists he influenced. It runs from today until May 14.
    It will be followed in June by a show which will bring together 60 paintings from around the world, including no less than ten by Vermeer. This represents almost a third of his surviving oeuvre. Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry will include work by Gabriel Metsu, Jan Steen, Gerard ter Borch, Pieter de Hooch and Frans van Mieris.  Organised by the National Gallery in conjunction with the Louvre and the National Gallery of Art in Washington it will run from June 17 to September 17.

    Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) Boy bitten by a Lizard, 1594-5 The National Gallery, London © Copyright The National Gallery, London 2017

    Francesco Buoneri (or Boneri) called Cecco del Caravaggio (c.1589–after 1620) A Musician, c.1615 The Wellington Collection, Apsley House (English Heritage)
    Photo: Apsley House, London © Historic England


    Friday, February 10th, 2017

    Jean-Michel Basquiat Untitled (1982) UPDATE: THIS MADE £2,225,000

    Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (1982) from the collection of U2’s bassist Adam Clayton is to be a major highlight of Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art evening auction in London on March 7. Held for over twenty-five years in Clayton’s collection, Untitled featured on the front cover of the catalogue for the exhibition Basquiat Drawings held in 1990 at The Robert Miller Gallery in New York.  A deeply poignant self-portrait, the work offers a rare insight into Basquiat’s psyche at a pivotal moment in his career: a tear drops from his eye; his arms seem to pierce his body like an arrow. Basquiat depicts himself as a martyr: a Saint Sebastian-like figure for the contemporary age.  It is estimated at £1-1.5 million.

    Adam Clayton: “There was a group of them – there was Basquiat, there was Keith Haring, and obviously Warhol was the granddaddy of the whole movement. The idea that these young painters without any gallery experience could make their mark on the streets of New York – could go to the hippest night clubs, could mix with musical culture – was very exciting to me. It was where I came from – I always thought music and art went hand in hand together.”

    Francis Outred, Chairman and Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art EMERI: “On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of U2’s Joshua Tree, an album which was a thorough exploration of the band’s political and spiritual relationship with the United States, it is a rare privilege to showcase this work which Adam Clayton acquired during his first months of moving to New York.  Unlike other self-portraits by Basquiat it articulates his fragility as a figure who is coming to terms with his new position in the world and injects the deepest pathos into the narrative of his dramatic trajectory from anonymous graffiti artist to international art superstar.”


    Thursday, February 9th, 2017

    Max Ernst (1891-1976) – Le Chaste Joseph

    A special exhibition of loaned works by Surrealist Max Ernst (1891-1976) will go on public view at Sotheby’s in London from February 13 to March 2.  The exhibition coincides with Sotheby’s Surrealist art evening auction on March 1.  The eleven works showcase a dynamic period in the Paris art scene from 1921-28 when Ernest was the foremost surreal artist in the city.  They are on display in London for the first time in almost three decades.

    Ernst’s fascination with nature – and in particular, birds and forests – will be brought into the spotlight with this exhibition. The paintings have remained in private hands since they were painted.

    Samuel Valette, Sotheby’s Senior Specialist in Impressionist & Modern Art, commented: “We are honoured to have been loaned a selection of Max Ernst’s greatest works to present a public exhibition that places a much-deserved spotlight on the artist who was at the very forefront of the Surrealist movement’s aesthetic innovation. Presented in a specially created gallery display to evoke Ernst’s magical yet dark account of the first time he entered a forest, this small but gem-like show will envelop visitors in Ernst’s mastery of the natural and the fantastic. It provides a greater understanding of the artist himself and his profound influence on many of the greatest artists who followed him.”

    With over half of these works still in their original constructed frames designed by Ernst himself, the paintings present an incomparable insight into the most innovative period of the artist’s career. The jewel of the exhibition is Le Chaste Joseph, loosely based on an account in the Old Testament – one of the greatest masterpieces by Max Ernst in private hands.


    Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

    René Magritte – La corde sensible

    The Art of the Surreal sale at Christie’s in London on February 28 will include 35 lots that chart the history of Dada and Surrealism. Highlights include René Magritte’s La code sensible, 1960 (£14-18 million), one of the largest oils he created, alongside his painting Le domaine d’Arnheim 1938 (£6.5-8.5 million). A group of seven works by Max Ernst include Portrait érotique voilé (1933 and circa 19500)(£1.5-2.5 million), offered by the artist’s family, and Les deux oiseaux 1925 (£100,000-150,000) from the personal collection of Barbara Lambrecht, sold to benefit the Rubens Prize Collection in the Museum of Contemporary Art at Siegen in Germany.

    René Magritte’s La corde sensible, a composition unique in his oeuvre, exemplifies the artist’s lifelong quest to reveal and revel in the mystery that he perceived to exist within the real world. Magritte originally presented it as a gift to his wife, Georgette. Later owned by Ronald Winston, the son of the world-renowned jeweller, Harry Winston, the painting has remained in the same private collection since 1990. Situated under a blue sky, amidst a verdant green landscape with a mountain range in the distance, an enormous crystal glass stands incongruously in the middle of the valley. Hovering just above it is a cloud, the weightless form meeting the solid glass creating a compelling contrast between lightness and weight, transparency and opacity, atmosphere and earth.


    Monday, February 6th, 2017

    Peter Doig – Cobourg 3 + 1 More (1994).

    Peter Doig’s Cobourg 3 + 1 More (1994) comes up at Christie’s post war and contemporary art evening auction on March 7 in London. A visionary apparition rendered on a majestic scale, Cobourg 3 + 1 More conjures a distant, half-remembered reality beneath a shimmering membrane of scattered pigment. It is among the  icons of Doig’s early oeuvre. Acquired in 1994 by German insurance company Provinzial Rheinland Cobourg 3 + 1 More comes to auction for the first time in its history. Estimated at £8-12 million it will be at Christie’s New York from February 24 to 26 February and at King Street in London from March 3. Provinzial Rheinland will use the proceeds of the sale to uphold a long-standing tradition of engagement with the arts and culture in the Rhine region and to continue to acquire works of young contemporary artists.

    Francis Outred, Chairman and Head of Post War and Contemporary Art, EMERI said:  “Back in 1994 when the tendency was for cool conceptual art, Provinzial Rheinland displayed a brave collecting vision by recognising that Peter Doig was developing a new approach to painting which gave new life and energy to the medium. Standing in front of this work one is taken to a different world and through the whiteout gradually we see a memory of his childhood home landscape and begin to pick out the silhouettes of Doig himself and his brother. Up close the thick texture of snow and staccato brushmarks create a tapestry of paint, the like of which nobody had seen before.”


    Monday, February 6th, 2017

    The Artist Pension Trust® (APT) is to offer a selection of artworks from its vast holdings at auction for the first time. A total of 34 works have been chosen for Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated sees in New York and London on March 2 and April 12. They are from the studios of trail-blazing contemporary artists including Josh Smith, David Shrigley, Bob & Roberta Smith and Liam Gillick. The proceeds from the sales will benefit artists participating in APT.

    Mark Sebba, Chairman of MutualArt, which owns APT, said: “For a decade we’ve had the privilege of working with many of the world’s most promising artists as we have been assembling an unprecedented collection of international contemporary art. But while a small number of works have been sold privately in the last couple of years, this spring’s offering represents the first time that works from the collection will be offered at auction. Now is the time for us to broaden our sales activity by launching our first auctions – providing artists with further returns on their contributions to APT, and unveiling the collection to a new, wider, audience”.

    The Artist Pension Trust offers long term financial security to select artists around the world. Since launching in 2004 it has compiled the world’s largest collection of international contemporary art, comprising nearly 13,000 artworks by 2,000 diverse artists in 75 different countries. The artists range from those that have participated in the most important fairs and biennials, and have won some of the most prestigious awards, to young artists who are at an earlier stage in their careers. Each participating artist agrees to deposit 20 artworks over a 20-year period. These deposits are then gradually sold to benefit the participating members.  Here is a selection from the London and New York auctions:

    Bob and Roberta Smith – Jasper Johns is a dinosaur (£1,500-2,000)

    Liam Gillick – Brazil Kalmar Text 2006 (£12,000-18,000)

    Keltie Ferris – Kimbo Slice ($20,000-30,000)

    Peter Peri – Threefold Circumscribed 1 ($2,500-3,800)



    Friday, February 3rd, 2017

    Gerhard Richter, Eisberg, 1982, Oil on canvas, 100.5 by 151 cm  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £17.7 MILLION

    Gerhard Richter’s Eisberg will come to auction for the first time at Sotheby’s evening sale of contemporary art in London on March 8.  It was painted soon after the artist’s divorce from his first wife Ema in 1981. Gerhard and Ema had been married for 25 years, but by the early 1980s Richter was living with Isa Genzken, a successful young artist. In the words of his biographer, Dietmar Elger, Eisberg was created as an attempt “to work through his unfulfilled hope for familial happiness and to take final stock of a difficult period in his life.

    “For an artist who so consistently sought to objectively portray everyday nature as filtered through photography, the iceberg paintings hold a special place among Richter’s landscapes, coming closest to the transcendental sublime of 19th century German Romanticism. In the short time I’ve been lucky enough to live with this painting, I’ve been truly fascinated to see its colours change every day – sometimes glowing and warm, sometimes icy cold. It’s a painting that never stands still” commented Alex Branczik, Head of Contemporary Art, Sotheby’s Europe.

    Estimated at £8 – 12 million / HK$76.8 – 115.2 million, Eisberg is the largest of only three Iceberg paintings made by Richter. The second work is held in the prestigious collection of Doris and Donald Fisher that is promised to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. A third work, Eis (1981) sold at Sotheby’s London in February 2012 for £4.3 million. This one is estimated at £8-12 million.


    Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

    Palestinian artist Emily Jacir is leading a student workshop at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in conjunction with her current exhibition Europa  which runs to February 26.   “To Be Determined (for Jean)” is based around an exchange with students from the International Academy of Art Palestine, Ramallah, where she teaches. They are working at IMMA with students from colleges around Ireland including Limerick School of Art and Design; Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Centre for Creative Arts and Media; the National College of Art and Design Dublin and Dublin School of Creative Arts, Dublin Institute of Technology.

    The workshop is taking place over two consecutive weeks during which the nine students are travelling to sites around the country including the Falls Road in Belfast, Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin and the city of Derry with artist Willie Doherty.  The colleagues Jacir has invited to contribute are people she has been working with for decades like Willie Doherty, Conor McGrady, Gerard Byrne, Shane Cullen, and David Lloyd. Most of them have worked in Palestine.

    The initiative offers an opportunity for IMMA to develop its relationship with third level partners, to test out a model for international collaborative student research focusing on  exhibitions and exhibiting artists, and to promote its potential as a site for research.

    Emily Jacir, a sketch in the Egyptian Museum, April 24, 2003, Cairo 2003, video, photo: courtesy of the artist, © Emily Jacir

    Emily Jacir, Crossing Surda (a record of going to and from work), 2002, two-channel video installation, photo: courtesy of the artist. © Emily Jacir



    Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

    An auction of 100 artworks by 100 contemporary artists selected by the Saatchi Gallery is to be held by Christie’s in London and New York in March.  The sale is in support of the Saatchi Gallery’s free entry and education programme. From the collection of Charles Saatchi, these works reflect the Gallery’s commitment to provide an innovative forum for contemporary art. The sale features art from America and the UK as well as Europe, Canada, Costa Rica and South Korea and includes names from across the globe like  Julia Dault, Anthea Hamilton, Laure Prouvost and Jon Rafman.  A total of 50 works come up at Christie’s, South Kensington on March 10 and 50 more will come up in New York on March 22.

    Highlights from the London sale will include Light Perpetual by Conrad Shawcross and a series of 30 portraits by Annie Kevans depicting the faces of dictators as children. The New York selection includes Henry Taylor’s “The young, the brave, Bobby Hutton” RIP Oakland, California capturing the tension and pride in the post of a 17 year old killed by police and Dana Schutz’s portrait of an albino woman. Estimates range from £1,000-35,000.

    Conrad Shawcross (B. 1977) Light Perpetual (£10,000-15,000) © Christie’s Images Limited 2017

    Federico Herrero (B. 1978) Amansalva ($15,000-20,000) © Christie’s Images Limited 2017

    Annie Kevans (B. 1972) Alfredo Stroessner, Paraguay © Christie’s Images Limited 2017 (£18,000-25,000)

    Dana Schutz (B. 1976)
    Albino ($12,000-18,000) © Christie’s Images Limited 2017


    Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

    An impressive 6 meter long painting by Ismail Shammout (1930-2006) recalling the history of Palestine and the life experiences of this master of Arab modern art will lead Christie’s spring auction season in Dubai from March 15-19. Driven by emotion and passion Odyssey of a People was painted in 1980 as a result of a relentless dedicated effort of over 6 months of daily work. It is the most important and seminal work of the artist’s career and has been directly consigned from the artist’s family.

    It was first exhibited in 1981 in Dar Al-Karama in Beirut, later travelling on loan to Damascus, Malaysia, Kuwait, the Jordan National Museum, Abu Dhabi and finally Ramallah. It was at this final location in 2002, on the day of an Israeli incursion, that the painting was quickly hidden and folded away by the director of the museum in a pillow case. It has not been displayed publicly since. After the artist’s death in 2006 and the director’s death in 2008 the artist’s wife Tamam Al Akhal established contact with the museum director’s wife and reclaimed the work.  Estimated at US$800,000-900,000 it comes up for sale on March 18