The salerooms will soon be dominated by November’s Modern and contemporary auction season in New York, but there are some forthcoming Old Master sales of note too. Sotheby’s latest consignment is a group of 10 works from the Baroque art collection of the divorcing couple Mark Fisch and Rachel Davidson, to be offered in January 2023. The group is topped by Peter Paul Rubens’ suitably gory “Salome presented with the severed head of Saint John the Baptist” (c1609), estimated between $25mn and $35mn. Works by Orazio Gentileschi and Guercino also feature, with a total estimate of $40mn-$60mn.
Separately, for London in December, the auction house has a version of “Venus and Adonis” painted by Titian and his workshop around 1555-57 and estimated at between £8mn and £12mn. The racy work failed to sell at auction in 1998 but previous concerns over its wartime provenance have since been assuaged and subsequent technical examination found “clear evidence of the artist’s hand”, according to Sotheby’s.
The French gallerist Emmanuel Perrotin is about to open his first permanent space in the Middle East in the Dubai International Financial Centre. The gallery, which marks Perrotin’s sixth city outside its Paris headquarters, is just 100 square metres but is well-located “in between Christie’s and [restaurant] Cipriani”, Perrotin says. “It is a small space but I hope it is going to be sexy.” The gallery opens with a group show while Perrotin has also joined forces with the nearby, swanky ICD Brookfield Place for temporary solo shows by his artists Jason Boyd Kinsella and Takashi Murakami (November 25-January 28 2023).
Perrotin describes Dubai as “a real hub, just a [maximum] six-hour flight away from half of the world’s population”. He notes that activity turns to the Middle East next month with events beyond the art world including the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the football World Cup in Qatar. The recent influx of wealthy Russians and Ukrainians to Dubai is, he says, unrelated to his plans to open there as these were finalised before Russia’s invasion. Perrotin’s Dubai gallery director is the art collector and adviser Massine Benouki.
The market for work by William Kentridge, who has an acclaimed retrospective at London’s Royal Academy at the moment, is relatively modest compared with his artist peers, according to a September report by ArtTactic. The report wonders though if the RA show and a separate sweep at LA’s The Broad museum, opening November 12, could prove a “tipping point” for the South African artist.
Kentridge’s top five auction prices were made in New York and London, led by his 25-part sculpture “Procession” (1999-2000), which sold for $1.3mn in 2013. But ArtTactic finds that there is a “healthy balance” between his international and domestic sales, with 76 per cent of lots and 54 per cent of value made in South Africa since 2016, led by Strauss & Co auction house. Next month, Strauss in Johannesburg offers key works by Kentridge, including his two-metre-square woodblock printed “Mantegna” (2017, est R800,000-R1.2mn, or $44,000-$66,000, November 7).
Kentridge’s multimedia practice likely accounts for his more modest auction results — paintings, drawing and prints are always easier sells. But his South Africa and London representative, Goodman Gallery, confirms a near-sellout show in London with acquisitions in train for all three editions of his latest major film, the five-channel “Oh To Believe in Another World” (2022), priced at $600,000 each.
In Dallas, this year’s Two x Two charitable gala raised $9.4mn, including from an auction of about 130 pieces of contemporary art, in support of AMFAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and the Dallas Museum of Art. The bulk of the art was sold through a silent auction, with a live sale of six works held at a black-tie dinner on October 22, in the home of the collecting couple Cindy and Howard Rachofsky.
The London gallerist Josh Lilley was among those who, with his artists, donated to the auction, including “Untitled” (2022) by Spencer Lewis, a live-auction lot that was valued at $120,000 and sold for about three times more. Lilley was also in town to open a show of his artists at the five-star Joule hotel, joining forces with the hotel’s owner, oil tycoon, film financier and art collector Tim Headington. “The quality of people out here is incredible, in terms of their intellectual and economic investment,” Lilley says. His exhibition at The Joule runs until January 2023 with work by seven artists including Martine Gutierrez, Nicholas Hatfull and Rebecca Manson — who has proved particularly popular with Dallas collectors. Prices for the 14 works range from $8,000 to $80,000.
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