Christie’s will offer works by Paul Gauguin and Joan Mitchell as part of a $50 million collection commissioned by Roger Sant, founder of US energy company AES Corporation. All proceeds go to the Summit Foundation, founded by Sant and his late wife “to benefit the health and well-being of the planet,” including women’s equality and environmental issues.
Sant, who has already pledged his extensive collection of Les Nabis, French turn-of-the-century artists, to the Phillips Collection of Washington, DC, says the Christie’s sale of 30 works “reflects pieces we bought because we loved them.” “. Leading the way in November is Mitchell’s “Untitled, Diptych” (1989), estimated at $10 million – $15 million. Gauguin’s “Pêcheur et baigneurs sur l’Aven” (1888) is a Breton scene, painted with the colors of Martinique, which Sant bought at auction in 2000 for $2.9 million and is now estimated at $6 million to 8 million. Sant highlights a personal favorite, Nicolas de Staël’s “Agrigente” (1953-54, valued at $4mn-$6mn).
Charity sales come thick and fast. American artist Stanley Whitney is donating the proceeds of a new work, estimated at up to $900,000, to the Art for Justice Fund, which tackles unnecessary mass incarceration, and Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, which provides reproductive health care. The work is aptly titled “The Freedom We Fight For” (2022), and Whitney says he chose the charities “because of everything that’s happening in the world, in terms of women’s rights, human rights, family rights.” The two-square-foot painting will be auctioned in one lot on Artsy between September 27 and October 7, and will be on display at New York’s Gagosian’s Park & 75th Gallery during that time.
Meanwhile, a Bonhams auction in London last week raised £325,000 for Hospital Rooms, which commissions art for NHS mental health departments in the UK. The sale was part of a three-year project between the charity and the Hauser & Wirth gallery to raise £1 million.
London celebrates the centenary of Lucian Freud’s birth with a rich selection of shows, including those from the National Gallery New perspectives. Adding to the mix this week is gallery owner Pilar Ordovas with the first exhibition devoted to Freud’s love of horses, racing and the gambling scene. Horses & Freud (until December 16) contains one of only two paintings by Sioux, a mare at the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Center – unusual among those in attendance at the artist’s funeral.
There are also portraits of bookmaker Irving Tindler, “Man in a Sports Shirt” (1982-83), and Freud’s lifelong friend Michael Tree, “Man Smoking” (1986-87), who introduced the artist to Andrew Parker Bowles, former member of the Household Cavalry army regiment (and first husband of Camilla, the new Queen Consort). Although Freud’s 2003 portrait of Parker Bowles is not featured here, the catalog contains a transcript of a recent conversation between Parker Bowles, Ordovas, and Freud’s longtime assistant and photographer David Dawson.
Nothing is for sale, but further down Lyndsey Ingram is a show of over 50 of Freud’s “Bon-A-Tirer” etchings, artist-approved for numbered editions, available for between £10,000 and approximately £100,000 (September 29-29). the 4th of November.
After 24 years at Dickinson Gallery, from newly graduated MA to Director, Emma Ward has left to trade privately in Impressionist to Contemporary art. She has joined forces with London Old Masters pundit Fabrizio Moretti, who recently opened a chic space in St James’s. The partnership, called Ward Moretti, is separate from his gallery — which has its own front door, Ward points out — though it doesn’t rule out an occasional show. Ward says her upbringing emphasized “quality, not quantity.”
James Roundell, formerly a director at Dickinson, has joined Ward’s new company as a consultant. Gallery founder Simon Dickinson says he thanks Ward and Roundell for their “many years of outstanding service” and that his gallery “will soon announce an important and exciting new development regarding the future trajectory of the company”.
Despite a “tangible change in behaviour” from commercial galleries and institutions, there is work to be done to support female artists, says Henry Ward, director of the Freelands Foundation, a charity founded by Elisabeth Murdoch, scion of the media dynasty, in 2015. “Something is happening in post-art schools, flooding the industry with young female artists who then disappear,” Ward says. His comments come as the foundation announces its shortlist for the seventh prize for UK institutions – £110,000 to showcase work by under-recognized mid-career women artists. The contenders are Fruitmarket (for Zarina Bhimji), Turner Contemporary (Anya Gallaccio), John Hansard Gallery (Permindar Kaur), National Galleries of Scotland (Everlyn Nicodemus) and Warwick Arts Center (Katrina Palmer).
The charity has also joined forces with the Kunstfonds for a separate purchase subsidy, so that institutions can buy works by previous prize winners. The latest recipients of £50,000 each are Glasgow’s Hunterian, for three films by Lis Rhodes, and Leeds Art Gallery, for “Exclusion Zones I” (2021), a sculpture by Veronica Ryan, nominated for the Turner Prize.
In 1998, the writer William Boyd invented an artist named Nat Tate, who wrote a pseudo-biography for “an American artist” who lived between 1928 and 1960. the musician David Bowie, who hosted a launch party while Boyd created Tate’s art himself. The fiction was quickly discovered, but the art market loves a backstory and in 2011, the first ‘Tate’ work sold for over an estimated £7,250. This week, Sotheby’s has another work – “Study for Bridge Drawing” – authenticated by Boyd and offered online for £2,000-£3,000. The seller, film director Paul Crompton, got the sketch after working on a program featuring the hoax.
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