Christie’s will offer works by Paul Gauguin and Joan Mitchell as part of a $50mn collection consigned by Roger Sant, founder of the US energy company AES Corporation. All proceeds will go to the Summit Foundation, set up by Sant and his late wife dele “to benefit the health and wellbeing of the planet”, including equality for women and environmental causes.
Sant, who has already promised his in-depth collection of Les Nabis, the fin-de-siècle French artists, to Washington, DC’s Phillips Collection, says the Christie’s sale of 30 works reflects “pieces we bought just we loved them”. Leading the pack in November is Mitchell’s “Untitled, Diptych” (1989), with an estimate of $10mn-$15mn. Gauguin’s “Pêcheur et baigneurs sur l’Aven” (1888) is a Brittany scene, painted with the colors of Martinique, which Sant bought for $2.9mn at auction in 2000 and now has a $6mn-$8mn estimate. Sant highlights a personal favourite, Nicolas de Staël’s “Agrigente” (1953-54, est $4mn-$6mn).
Charitable sales are coming thick and fast. American artist Stanley Whitney is to donate the proceeds of a new work, estimated up to $900,000, to the Art for Justice Fund, which addresses unnecessary mass incarceration, and Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, which provides reproductive healthcare. The work is appropriately titled “The Freedom We Fight For” (2022), and Whitney says he chose the charities “because of everything going on in the world, in terms of women’s rights, people’s rights, family rights”. The two-metre-square painting goes on sale as a single-lot auction on Artsy between September 27 and October 7 and will be on view 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 commissions art for NHS mental health units in the UK. The sale was part of a three-year project between the charity and Hauser & Wirth gallery to raise £1mn.
London celebrates the centenary of the birth of Lucian Freud with a rich selection of shows, including the National Gallery’s New Perspectives. Adding to the mix this week is the gallerist Pilar Ordovas with the first exhibition dedicated to Freud’s love of horses, racing and the gambling scene. Horses & Freud (to December 16) includes one of only two paintings of Sioux, a mare at the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Center — unusually among the attendees at the artist’s funeral.
There are also portraits of the bookmaker Irving Tindler, “Man in a Sports Shirt” (1982-83), and Freud’s life-long 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 on show here, the catalog includes a transcript of a recent conversation between Parker Bowles, Ordovas and Freud’s longtime assistant and photographer David Dawson.
Nothing is for sale but down the road at Lyndsey Ingram is a show of more than 50 of Freud’s “Bon-A-Tirer” etchings, approved by the artist for numbered editions, available for between £10,000 and about £100,000 (September 29- November 4).
After 24 years at Dickinson Gallery, from new MA graduate to managing director, Emma Ward has left to deal privately in Impressionist to contemporary art. She has joined forces with the London Old Masters expert Fabrizio Moretti, who recently opened a swanky space in St James’s. The partnership, called Ward Moretti, is separate from his gallery of him — with its own front door, Ward emphasises — though she is not ruling out the occasional show. Ward says her upbringing of it informed a focus on “quality, not quantity”.
James Roundell, previously a director at Dickinson, has joined Ward’s new business as a consultant. Gallery founder Simon Dickinson says he Ward and Roundell for their “many years of outstanding service” and that his gallery “will shortly announce a major and exciting new development regarding the company’s future trajectory”.
Despite a “palpable shift in behavior” on the part of 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 happens post-art schools, which flood the sector with young female artists who then disappear,” Ward says. His comments him as the foundation announces its shortlist for its seventh award for UK institutions — £110,000 to show work by under-recognized, mid-career female 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 Art Fund for a separate acquisition grant to enable institutions to buy works by previous award-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 Turner Prize nominee Veronica Ryan.
In 1998, the writer William Boyd invented an artist called Nat Tate, writing a pseudo-biography for “an American artist” alive between 1928 and 1960. Those in on the hoax at Modern Painters magazine, where Boyd was on the editorial board, included the musician David Bowie, who hosted a launch party while Boyd himself created Tate’s art. The fiction was swiftly discovered but the art market loves a back-story and, in 2011, the first “Tate” work sold for an above-estimate £7,250. This week Sotheby’s has another work — “Study for Bridge Drawing” — authenticated by Boyd and on offer online for £2,000-£3,000. Its seller, the film director Paul Crompton, was given the sketch after working on a program that featured the hoax.
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