Contemporary Auctions

The major fall Contemporary auctions start today at Phillips and run through Friday with Day and Evening Sales at all three major auction houses. Here are some favorites! It's not too late to register to bid. If you're interested, please get in touch!

Kenny Scharf, Space n' Blobs, 2004 at Phillips Day Sale

Kenny Scharf, Space n' Blobs, 2004 at Phillips Day Sale

Keith Haring, Untitled, 1983 at Christie's Evening Sale

Keith Haring, Untitled, 1983 at Christie's Evening Sale

Brent Wadden, Alignment #51, 2014 at Christie's Day Sale

Brent Wadden, Alignment #51, 2014 at Christie's Day Sale

Lee Ufan, From line No. 800152, 1980 at Phillips Evening Sale

Lee Ufan, From line No. 800152, 1980 at Phillips Evening Sale

Laura Owens, Untitled, 2012 at Sotheby's Evening Sale

Laura Owens, Untitled, 2012 at Sotheby's Evening Sale

George Condo, Compression IV, 2011 at Sotheby's Day Sale

George Condo, Compression IV, 2011 at Sotheby's Day Sale

Tuesday Under Ten: Pat Steir

Every Tuesday I post a work of art I love priced under $10K. With the big fall auctions this week, I've been thinking a lot about value! One of the best ways to get a lot of art-bang for your buck is to look at editioned prints by well-known artists. For many artists, editions are an important part of their body of work even though the cost is usually far less than that of unique pieces.  Pat Steir is a great example. Prices have skyrocketed recently for her paintings, but her editioned work remains in the under $10,000 category. What's even better is that for a bit more (though not quite under $10K), you can buy a unique Pat Steir monoprint with a layer of paint that is hand applied by the artist using the same technique she uses on her paintings! 

Pat Steir, Peacock Waterfall, 2001

Pat Steir, Peacock Waterfall, 2001

Impressionist and Modern Auctions

The big fall auctions are this week -- first up, the Impressionist and Modern Sales, starting this evening at Christie's. Here are some favorites! 

Pablo Picasso, Le Repos (Marie-Thérèse), 1932 at Christie's Evening Sale

Pablo Picasso, Le Repos (Marie-Thérèse), 1932 at Christie's Evening Sale

Pablo Picasso, Buste de Femme Au Chapeau, 1939 at Sotheby's Evening Sale 

Pablo Picasso, Buste de Femme Au Chapeau, 1939 at Sotheby's Evening Sale 

Fernand Leger, Tête de femme (Figure II), 1948 at Christie's Day Sale

Fernand Leger, Tête de femme (Figure II), 1948 at Christie's Day Sale

Jean-Pierre Cassigneul, La Femme Aux Bas Noirs, 1964 at Sotheby's Day Sale

Jean-Pierre Cassigneul, La Femme Aux Bas Noirs, 1964 at Sotheby's Day Sale

Chelsea Galleries: November/December

Paid my last visit of the year to Chelsea yesterday (how can that be possible?), and here are a few favorites on view until the galleries close for Christmas! 

Cecily Brown at Paula Cooper Gallery

Cecily Brown at Paula Cooper Gallery

Florian Maier-Aichen at 303 Gallery

Florian Maier-Aichen at 303 Gallery

Gary Hume at Matthew Marks Gallery

Gary Hume at Matthew Marks Gallery

Tuesday Under Ten: Elise Ferguson

Every Tuesday I post a work of art I love priced under $10K. This week: the cool geometry of Elise Ferguson's work on plaster has got it going on. Interested in seeing these in person? Get in touch! 

Elise Ferguson, Bats, 2017

Elise Ferguson, Bats, 2017

Elise Ferguson, Bones, 2017

Elise Ferguson, Bones, 2017

IFPDA Print Fair 2017

I attended the preview of the IFPDA Print Fair last night. The fair moved this year from its traditional location at the Park Avenue Armory to the Javitz Center. The Javitz Center is light, airy, and modern, where the Armory is elegant and historical, but everyone I spoke with seemed content with the new location. Here are a few of my favorites! 

Dana Schutz exhibited by Two Palms Press

Dana Schutz exhibited by Two Palms Press

Roy Lichtenstein exhibited by Mary Ryan Gallery

Roy Lichtenstein exhibited by Mary Ryan Gallery

David Hockney exhibited by The Redfern Gallery

David Hockney exhibited by The Redfern Gallery

Lower East Side Galleries: October/November

Here's my round up of must sees on the Lower East Side this month and next! 

Tom Sachs at Sperone Westwater Gallery

Tom Sachs at Sperone Westwater Gallery

Holly Coulis at Klaus Gallery 

Holly Coulis at Klaus Gallery 

Sojourner Truth Parsons at Downs & Ross Gallery

Sojourner Truth Parsons at Downs & Ross Gallery

Melanie Willhide at Elizabeth Houston Gallery

Melanie Willhide at Elizabeth Houston Gallery

Tuesday Under Ten: JM Rizzi

Every Tuesday I post a work of art I love priced under $10K. This week: I am so into the black and white line portraits that are part of JM Rizzi's current show at Chesterfield Gallery. A little bit street art, a little bit Picasso; these large ink on canvas pieces feel fresh and bold to me. If you're interested in taking a look in person, please let me know! 

JM Rizzi, Enzo, 2017

JM Rizzi, Enzo, 2017

JM Rizzi, Through Rose Colored Glasses, 2017

JM Rizzi, Through Rose Colored Glasses, 2017

Tuesday Under Ten: Liz Robb

Every Tuesday I post a work of art I love priced under $10K. This week: I am infatuated with Liz Robb's soft sculpture. They're gorgeous, and it's so interesting to follow her travels on Instagram to watch her experiment with natural materials and dyes. If you're interested in considering a piece by Liz for your home, please send me a note! 

Liz Robb, Deconstructed Rosario, 2017

Liz Robb, Deconstructed Rosario, 2017

Tuesday Under Ten: Daniel Heidkamp

Every Tuesday I post a work of art I love priced under $10K. This week: The Daniel Heidkamp show at Pace Prints in Chelsea is super fun! Showing skylines and city scenes, each form is carefully composed from fluorescent paper cut outs, and most of the work in the exhibition is in the under $10,000 category. Love it! 

Daniel Heidkamp, Dawn Watcher, 2017

Daniel Heidkamp, Dawn Watcher, 2017

Daniel Heidkamp: Paper Cuts, Installation Shot, Pace Prints

Daniel Heidkamp: Paper Cuts, Installation Shot, Pace Prints

Daniel Heidkamp: Paper Cuts, Installation Shot, Pace Prints

Daniel Heidkamp: Paper Cuts, Installation Shot, Pace Prints

Tuesday Under Ten: Oeuffice

Every Tuesday I post a work of art I love priced under $10K. This week: If you can't get enough of that Ettore Sottsass postmodernism (and if you haven't seen the awesome show at Met Breuer, you should!), take home an Oeuffice object today! I love these limited edition inlaid ziggurats that stand about 20 inches tall. Super chic! 

Oeuffice, Ziggurat "Loewen Stripes Edition, 2012

Oeuffice, Ziggurat "Loewen Stripes Edition, 2012

Chelsea Galleries: September / October Shows

Here are my five favorites currently on view in Chelsea! 

Ad Reinhardt at David Zwirner Gallery

Ad Reinhardt at David Zwirner Gallery

Nathalie Boutté at Yossi Milo Gallery

Nathalie Boutté at Yossi Milo Gallery

Lisa Oppenheim at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Lisa Oppenheim at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Ruth Asawa at David Zwirner Gallery

Ruth Asawa at David Zwirner Gallery

Leon Polk Smith at Lisson Gallery

Leon Polk Smith at Lisson Gallery

Tuesday Under Ten: The Paul F. Walter Collection

Every Tuesday I post a work of art I love priced under $10K. This week: On September 26 and 27, Christie's is auctioning off the truly fascinating and eclectic collection of Paul F. Walter (you guys, there's a sterling silver rocking chair wine bottle holder!), and there are plenty of both fine and decorative art pieces in the under $10,000 category. Browsing this collection is a genuine thrill. If you're interested in bidding and would like to take a look with me in person, the preview opens on Friday. As Walter once said, "I don’t think you learn anything unless you buy. It is about commitment, passion, testing one’s own judgement." Here ones of my favorites from the collection: 

Richard Long, Mud Finger Spiral, Estimate $4,000 - 6,000

Richard Long, Mud Finger Spiral, Estimate $4,000 - 6,000

Tuesday Under Ten: Adam Katseff

Every Tuesday I post a work of art I love priced under $10K. This week: Adam Katseff's landscapes are dark and mysterious -- a scene from nature transformed into something both other-worldly and elegant. And, they look gorgeous on a big white wall! 

Adam Katseff, River XII, 2014

Adam Katseff, River XII, 2014

Adam Katseff, Installation shot

Adam Katseff, Installation shot

Tuesday Under Ten: One Year Anniversary

Every Tuesday for the past year, I have posted on my website and to social media, a work of art I love priced under $10,000. I find it rewarding to work with collectors who set a $10,000 annual budget and buy one piece a year, slowly building a thoughtful and meaningful collection over time. That said, if I counted on my under-$10,000 clients, I would not be able to earn a living as an art advisor. However, working with art at this price point is a way for me to give back to the art community.

In light of art market trends that have made it increasingly difficult for low to mid-market galleries to stay in business, support of emerging artists and artists whose works sells at a lower price point is particularly important right now. A shocking number of galleries have recently shuttered, including in the past two years in New York: Andrea Rosen, CRG, Feuer/Mesler, Kansas, Lisa Cooley, Lombard Fried, Mike Weiss, Mixed Greens, Robert Miller, and Tracy Williams. Sarah Douglas writing for Artnews, calculated that between 2012 and 2015 only 12 galleries closed, while since 2015 the number skyrocketed to 46, including 31 in the past year. These closures and the financial pressures faced by all but the biggest galleries are getting headlines in art publications and even in The New York Times. The articles blame growth of the international mega galleries (like Gagosian, David Zwirner, and Pace) alongside the increasing draw of the “trophy” artists they show. They also point to the breakneck speed of the nearly annual global art fair calendar and the rising rents in gallery areas like West Chelsea. I agree that these are significant factors in today’s art market, but I would like to suggest that both could present an opportunity rather than a problem.

First, yes — the value of artwork is often fetishized. Just about the only time the Contemporary art world gets a non-art publication headline is when a breath-taking price is achieved at auction. Art as commodity seems to grab interest over content and meaning. Although there’s been some pearl clutching about this journalistic phenomenon, I find it a source of hope. If thinking about dollars and cents catches attention in a way brushstrokes do not, then fine. My hope is that reading about a record price achieved for, say, a Basquiat, will lead the reader to turn to someone like me—an art advisor—to inquire what she could own that fits in her budget. There are plenty of people who can spend $10,000 or $50,000 a year, and there is nothing they can afford at Gagosian. The issue is reaching these collectors.

So, second, love them or hate them, art fairs across the world are packed, drawing people from many walks of life. And, with approximately 270 art fairs around the globe each year, there are 200 more than there were a decade ago. Fairs, however, are a huge financial gamble for a gallery. The starting price for a small booth at a second-tier fair, can be as much as $10,000 (and note, a big booth at a top drawer fair, can cost as much as $100,000). To do an art fair, a dealer must also pay for booth extras (walls and lights at a minimum), shipping the art, and airfare and hotels for staff. Undertaking these risks is often necessary to get work by your gallery artists in front of art-buying eyes.

As an art advisor, art fairs are invaluable tool for me. My clients are busy people for whom art buying is a secondary priority. As much as I know they enjoy looking at art with me, it often takes a backseat to professional and family demands. Since I have a hard time scheduling in-person viewing time with my clients, being able to show them a huge variety under one roof within a few hours is amazing. They can learn so much about what they like and what is available quickly. My clients often make multiple purchases in an afternoon that would have taken months with digital images and gallery visits. However, the less expensive the art work a gallerist sells, the harder it is to undertake the expense of an art fair. And, because galleries are taking on such tremendous costs, they are less likely to show work by their younger unproven artists, or artists whose pieces are at a lower price point.

The less a gallery is paying in rent, the more they can risk on an art fair, showing less expensive work by younger artists. I think dealers like Sasha Wolf (of Sasha Wolf Projects) and Candice Madey (of On Stellar Rays) have it right. They both closed their ground floor gallery spaces in favor of office showrooms so they have the time and resources to focus on art fairs and other one-off projects. For galleries I see the shift from a permanent brick and mortar location to art fairs to be an opportunity. The day-to-day staffing of a retail space is a drain on time and resources, and so often during the 10am to 6pm gallery day, there is not a single set of eyes taking in an exhibition. 65,000 pass through the Armory Show every year and over 70,000 visit Art Basel Miami Beach. It may be a four day exhibition, but the reach is far beyond what most galleries bring in for a show. By paying less rent every month, a dealer can do more fairs and take advantage of some to show riskier or less well-known and less expensive work.

So, why is this important? Sales allow artists to make art. Full stop. The value for me in promoting less expensive artwork is twofold. First, the ability for artists to earn a living by selling works of art allows their artistic practices to flourish. It is hard to make good work when you are an artist-slash-whatever and your studio time is tucked into evenings and weekends. Like any creative or philosophical pursuit, creating art requires time and concentration to pursue an idea and connect one thought to another. Second, I believe that living with good art—regardless of the cost—improves life, broadens perspectives, and stimulates thought. When a client tells me that they spend time every day with a piece I helped them purchase, I am thrilled. I hope that my “Tuesday under Ten” series helps people to think of art as something attainable rather than aspirational. Some of my clients do not have six-figure art-buying budgets, but that doesn’t mean they can’t live with wonderful works of art.

This article was also published on CultBytes.com

Alexa Williams and Crystal Gregory, Eve, 2016, handwoven cotton and concrete, 50 x 54 inches Courtesy of the artists / Photo credit: Alexa Williams

Alexa Williams and Crystal Gregory, Eve, 2016, handwoven cotton and concrete, 50 x 54 inches

Courtesy of the artists / Photo credit: Alexa Williams

Peter Kayafas, North Dakota, 2010, Gelatin Silver print, 16 x 20 inches Courtesy the artist and Sasha Wolf Projects, New York / ©Peter Kayafas

Peter Kayafas, North Dakota, 2010, Gelatin Silver print, 16 x 20 inches

Courtesy the artist and Sasha Wolf Projects, New York / ©Peter Kayafas

Ryan Nord Kitchen, Installation View at The Armory Show, 2017, Oil on linen, 24 x 21 inches each Courtesy of the artist and Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York

Ryan Nord Kitchen, Installation View at The Armory Show, 2017, Oil on linen, 24 x 21 inches each

Courtesy of the artist and Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York

Senem Oezdogan, Momentum II, 2015, Wood, rope, and cotton, 24 x 18 inches Courtesy of the artist and Uprise Art, New York

Senem Oezdogan, Momentum II, 2015, Wood, rope, and cotton, 24 x 18 inches

Courtesy of the artist and Uprise Art, New York

Bayne Peterson, Apollo, 2016, Dyed plywood, dyed epoxy, 14 3/8 x 8 x 7 1/4 inches Courtesy of the artist and Kristen Lorello Gallery, New York / Photo credit: Jeffrey Sturges

Bayne Peterson, Apollo, 2016, Dyed plywood, dyed epoxy, 14 3/8 x 8 x 7 1/4 inches

Courtesy of the artist and Kristen Lorello Gallery, New York / Photo credit: Jeffrey Sturges

Tuesday Under Ten: Tod Seelie

Every Tuesday I post a work of art I love priced under $10K. This week: Tod Seelie is number one on my undervalued list. His gritty urban scenes, images of youth culture, and eerily beautiful landscapes linger in your mind long after seeing them and certainly give Ryan McGinley a run for his money. Shockingly affordable, if you're interested in purchasing a piece, please get in touch! 

Tod Seelie

Tod Seelie

Tod Seelie

Tod Seelie

Tod Seelie

Tod Seelie

Tod Seelie

Tod Seelie

Tuesday Under Ten: Man Ray

Every Tuesday I post a work of art I love priced under $10K. This week: Included in Rago's upcoming Unreserved (no minimum price) auction is an editioned version of Man Ray's Cadeau with an estimate of $600-900. A surrealist icon, Man Ray rendered the readymade iron seemingly useless by adding 14 nails to its base. A little bit of a joke, and a little bit of an erotic suggestion (picture someone wearing the flayed clothing that would result from using this piece), with a simple modification Man Ray transformed a mundane object into one of fascination. This piece goes on the block on August 26th! Let me know if you're interested in bidding. 

Man Ray, Cadeau, 1921 editioned replica 1972

Man Ray, Cadeau, 1921 editioned replica 1972