Jean Arp (1886-1966), Ganymede, 1966, $500,000 from Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York City.
Menconi & Schoelkopf Fine Art, New York City, sold New Orleans #8 (left) by Ralston Crawford (1906-1978), 1957, 28¼" x 23¾". St. Anne Street (right), 24" x 18", oil on canvas, was $185,000.
The images of fencers by Eadweard Muybridge were $10,000. The locomotion images were photographed from 1871 to 1885 and published by the University of Pennsylvania in 1887; they were offered by the Laurence Miller Gallery.
Debra Force Fine Art, New York City, asked $1,350,000 for Skipper Mick by Robert Henri (1865-1929), signed lower left and 24" x 20". Debra Force photo.
At the Sean Kelly Gallery, Robert Mapplethorpe’s portraits of artists were a crowd favorite. Not all were for sale. Some sold. Prices ranged from $8500 to $100,000 each; Ed Ruscha’s portrait was $17,500.
Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, sold the Sol LeWitt sculpture, BK XVI, 2005, white-painted wood, 40 5/8" x 41" x 21½" and signed on the bottom, and the LeWitt painting with squiggly red lines on black, a 56" x 56" silkscreen monoprint priced at $60,000. The dealer sold another LeWitt piece.
Charles Calverley (1833-1914), Little Ida,modeled in 1869 and carved in 1881, marble relief in original ebonized wood, gilt, and gesso shadow box, 17" x 13", $250,000 from Conner•Rosenkranz, New York City. There are two marbles; one is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a plaster is at the National Academy. Conner•Rosenkranz photo.
William Hunt Diederich’s Polo Players weathervane came with a wall or floor mount and was $90,000 from Conner•Rosen- kranz, New York City.
New York City
The Art Show, the annual Art Dealers of America (ADAA) show, at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City celebrated 25 years March 6-10. Billed as the longest-running art fair (antiques fairs are older), it is known among art dealers as the venue where pictures jump off the walls and enter significant collections.
It has its own traditions. Dealers have to be invited by their peers to participate. To get into this show a dealer must be a member of the ADAA, and to be a member, he or she has to be invited to join. To be an exhibitor, the dealer is asked to put forth a proposal for a stand, either for a thematic exhibition or a solo show for an artist. Generally 90 or 100 dealers apply. Their proposals are distributed to all their peers who have indicated that they want to show. Each dealer then votes on the 70 he or she thinks should be included. The 35 that get the most votes are in; the rest of the stands are allotted by the ten dealers on the Art Show committee, who also work out the floor plan, determining who gets which booth. Each year dealers must reapply and go through the process again. It works.
“The level of credibility is unmatched,” said Art Show committee member and New York City dealer Andrew Schoelkopf of Menconi & Schoelkopf Fine Art.
The dealers must be American dealers, but the material they offer is international. It is heavy on postwar and contemporary art, and American artists are well represented. There is some historical American material.
“For us, showing the Stieglitz group, 1900-1950, Hartley, Marin, O’Keeffe, Nadelman, Dove, Lieberman, Calder, provided the roots of later abstraction,” said Schoelkopf, pointing to O’Keeffe’s 1947 painting Pelvis, a closeup of an animal’s pelvic bone, as an example of a link in the evolution of abstraction.
Most of the American art specialists in this show presented surveys. Conner•Rosenkranz offered mid-19th- to mid-20th-century American sculpture; Debra Force showed art of the 1913 Armory Show; Forum Gallery, figures in modern sculpture; and Maxwell Davidson Gallery, a survey of kinetic and optic art.
There was plenty that was not American. Galerie St. Etienne has made the market in Expressionist masters including Erich Heckel, E.L. Kirchner, Gustav Klimt, Emil Nolde, Egon Schiele, and others. Mary-Anne Martin put together a survey of realism, Surrealism, and abstraction in 20th-century Latin American art. Acquavella Galleries celebrated the 50th anniversary of the ADAA with works that the gallery had sold over the five decades, including a Degas and a de Kooning.
More than half the galleries offered one-person shows. David Zwirner installed rarely seen early works by Milton Avery; Pace Gallery offered new work by Kiki Smith. Sean Kelly featured Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographic portraits of artists; Mitchell-Innes & Nash had Jean Arp sculptures and works on paper; Laurence Miller showed the animal locomotion photographs of Eadweard Muybridge; Van de Weghe Fine Art had Damien Hirst. Pace Gallery presented a solo show of bronze sculptural works by Kiki Smith that were acquired by museum trustees and patrons of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The quality was generally high; the crowd was enthusiastic and lively. Several gallerists sold out their stands. Others sold one or two important works. Conner•Rosenkranz sold a sculpture by Paul Manship for $4.5 million. Menconi & Schoelkopf sold several works including an abstract painting by Ralston Crawford. Among other sales reported were works by Mona Hatoum at Alexander and Bonin; Mary Corse at Lehmann Maupin; and Zarina Hashmi at Luhring Augustine.
Many of the dealers do no other shows, while several dealers also showed at the Armory Show at the Piers at the same time. The Armory Show on Piers 92 and 94 is a much larger venue where adventurous collectors find their way among a diverse group of dealers, many from abroad, and where many introduce new talent. In comparison, the ADAA show is more staid, serious, carefully curated, and elegant. The ADAA acknowledges the Armory Show’s importance in the marketplace and moved the show, which always had been in late February, to coincide with the Armory Show, which has spawned several tailgate shows that bring people to New York City for a week saturated with art events.
In this environment the ADAA Art Show was a high-energy show, known for its vetted content, tonier crowd, and more intimate scale—just 72 dealers, and a policy that makes room for historical works and Modernists but not for old masters, even though some dealers in that field are members of ADAA. (Old masters dealers are in Maastricht the same week; old masters are a major focus at that show.)
From the show’s inception in 1988, the Art Show preview party has benefitted the Henry Street Settlement in New York City. This year the preview party raised $1 million for the settlement house, which was founded in 1893 on the Lower East Side and delivers health care and arts programs to improve the lives of 50,000 New Yorkers each year.
Lectures seem to be an imperative at shows. The ADAA 50th anniversary keynote lecturers, Jock Reynolds, director of the Yale University Art Gallery, and Michael Findlay, director of Acquavella Galleries, offered their thoughts on what the art world might look like over the next decade. Videos of their lectures have been posted on the ADAA Web site (www.ArtDealers.org) and are worth watching.
Reynolds talked about the recently revamped Yale University Art Gallery with its emphasis on teaching with art and sharing collections with other college art museums. In sharing his message of making art accessible to all, he called the gallery a three-course meal (it fills three buildings) and emphasized that it is free to the public.
Findlay pointed out that 25 years ago 22% of the ADAA dealers offered contemporary art and 25 years later only 22% of them were not contemporary art dealers. He noticed a marked shift at the show from ten years ago to more 20th-century and other kinds of art. He said what is really new is “what is innovative, evolutionary, and revolutionary; not what is novel, bright, and shocking.” He said really new work influences what is going to prevail and changes what has gone before. He noted that things now are changing very fast in this global world with new mediums and new delivery systems (i.e., iPhone apps), and he warned that there are some very good artists in danger of being left out of the canon.
Findlay worries about art museums becoming places for entertainment. While at the new Barnes in Philadelphia, people were listening to their iPhone apps and looking at the pictures on their devices instead of sitting down and experiencing the paintings in front of them. Asked where the future great artists are to be discovered, he suggested in a kindergarten somewhere in China. After his talk he signed copies of his new book, The Value of Art.
For more information, go to the Web site (www.artdealers.org/artshow.html).
Originally published in the July 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest