Warhol Joins $50 Million Schiele in Fighting Frieze
Paintings from Andy Warhol’s “The American Indian” series and an Egon Schiele work valued at nearly $50 million are among the gallery exhibits vying for collectors’ attention during London’s busiest-ever Frieze Week.
The Schiele is part of a collection of 20th-century German art valued at 100 million pounds ($161 million) assembled by U.S. real-estate financier Benedict Silverman, 83, who has been buying German Expressionist art for more than 50 years. The works are being shown by the 22 Bond Street dealer Richard Nagy and will be sold privately next year to fund literacy programs.
“It’s a collection for connoisseurs, rather than auction buyers,” says Nagy, explaining why Silverman, who has been a customer for 20 years, decided to sell privately. “Everything will be sold. Nothing can be finalized for a few months.”
The Silverman show will coincide with the inaugural edition of Frieze Masters, which previews tomorrow. The new fair in Regent’s Park, devoted to pre-21st century art, will complement the contemporary works on show nearby at Frieze London, now in its 10th year.
“I’ll be giving ball-park numbers on works,” Nagy said. “When the time is right, there will be a list of interested parties. It sounds horribly like the contemporary art world.”
Schiele’s 1918 allegory “The Round Table,” showing the short-lived painter sharing a symbolic “last supper” with artist friends, has a U.K. valuation of 30 million pounds.
Otto Dix’s 1923 painting “Self-Portrait with a Model” will be priced at about 18 million pounds. Gustav Klimt’s 1911 posthumous portrait “Ria Munk,” depicting an Austrian industrialist’s daughter who committed suicide at the age of 24, is valued about 15 million pounds.
Back in the contemporary-art world, four big-name New York galleries are opening branches in the city’s Mayfair district to coincide with Frieze. U.S. dealers are expanding across the Atlantic to court London’s growing community of wealthy international residents.
Michael Werner inaugurated his first- and second-floor gallery at 22 Upper Brook Street on Sept. 27 with a show of new paintings by the Scottish artist Peter Doig, who now lives in Trinidad. The works are priced at as much as $2.5 million.
Fellow New Yorker Per Skarstedt opens his first-floor space at 23 New Bond Street on Oct. 10 with a Warhol exhibition. In 1976 the Pop artist made a series of works based on a photo of the Native American actor and activist, Russell Means.
Seven paintings of this rarely seen series are on show, in two sizes priced as much as $2.5 million and $4.5 million respectively, with four drawings tagged at about $200,000.
Pace Gallery and David Zwirner opened large-scale spaces in Mayfair last week. Pace debuted its gallery at 6 Burlington Gardens, part of the Royal Academy of Arts, with a show of dark paintings by Mark Rothko (on loan) and seascape photographs by Hiroshi Sugimoto (for sale at undisclosed prices).
New paintings by the Belgian artist Luc Tuymans inaugurated Zwirner’s 18th-century town house gallery at 24 Grafton Street. It is the New York dealer’s first European location.
“It makes sense for New York galleries to open over here,” Arianne Levene, a London-based art adviser particularly for collectors in the emerging markets, said in an interview. “It is a central point for Asian and Middle Eastern clients.”
Other gallery events Frieze Weekers will try to cover include “BAD FOR YOU,” a show of 67 contemporary U.S. artists, curated by the New York collector, Beth Rudin DeWoody, at Shizaru in Mayfair; latest sculptures by Anish Kapoor at the Lisson Gallery; and the first solo exhibition by Tim Noble & Sue Webster since 2006. The latter will be held in Blain|Southern’s new gallery in Hanover Square.
“This is the most ambitious Frieze Week I’ve ever seen,” Levene said. “It’s exciting, and daunting. I’m not going to be able to get to everything. I’m going to have to prioritize.”
New York-based auction house Phillips de Pury & Co. has paid more than 100 million pounds for a 52,000 square-foot building in the Mayfair district of London, the Estates Gazette magazine reported on Oct. 6.
Phillips has acquired a seven-story block at 30 Berkeley Square from PRUPIM, part of the M&G Group, it said. The auction house plans to turn the basement, ground and first floors into a London headquarters that echoes its flagship premises at 450 Park Avenue, New York, and tenants will be sought for the upper floors of the building, the magazine said.
The press offices of both Phillips de Pury & Co. and PRUPIM declined to comment when telephoned by Bloomberg News today.
The auction house has been holding its London events in a former Post Office sorting station at Howick Place, Victoria, since 2008. The relative inaccessibility of the location has deterred some clients, dealers said.
Last year, in an attempt to establish a foothold in Mayfair, the company leased a retail space in Claridge’s hotel.
(Scott Reyburn writes about the art market for Muse, the arts and culture section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)
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