Commercial artist Lorenzo Quinn has already scored a win ahead of this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Quinn, who became popular with his widely shared sculpture of huge hands sticking out of water during the 2017 Venice Biennale, was commissioned by tournament sponsor Hyundai to make a sculpture for Al Bidda Park, the site of the fan zone and the festival, where matches will be screened live from 20 November. Full details of Quinn’s work are under wraps, but a rep confirms the artist is planning an 18-meter-wide, 8-meter-tall sculpture made of recycled stainless steel mesh. The hands will be back for ‘The Greatest Goal’ – this time with goal posts for the arms.
The £2m deal was done through MTArt Agency, which acts for visual artists in the mold of representing talent for sports and showbiz stars. These intermediaries are increasingly present on the art market, responding to needs outside the traditional gallery system. “It’s another level when you’re talking about negotiating things like advertising rights, global logistics between manufacturers, and ironclad business-to-business contracts,” says Marine Tanguy, founder of MTArt Agency.
She confirms that her company has been B Corp certified, with a validated commitment to social and environmental sustainability, “which is significant in the context of Qatar,” says Tanguy. The work, which will be unveiled just before the tournament, will be Quinn’s largest freestanding sculpture to date.
Miami-based veteran collector Ella Fontanals-Cisneros was bitten by the non-fungible token (NFT) bug. She plans to release 44 works from her collection of more than 26,000 pieces of contemporary Latin American art as images on a new set of collectible tarot cards. Digital works from the NFTarot collection will be priced on the LiveArt platform between 0 and $3,000, a spokesperson said. Profits will be shared between the artists and the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), which commissions works and provides grants. The first two artists to exhibit are the Cubans Glenda León and Gustavo Pérez Monzón. Seven works of each will be released on October 6.
Fontanals-Cisneros says her mind turned to digital solutions during the pandemic, when the foundation couldn’t host exhibits. Soon after, she says, “NFTs became popular, but they’re just certificates, so we wanted to think of some sort of game to introduce a younger generation to the idea of collecting.” The philanthropist has run companies in the telecom sector and has long been open to technological solutions; this year, CIFO also launched its Ars Electronica awards of up to $30,000 for new media artists.
Art experts were quick to notice Canaletto’s 1744 view of Venice as the backdrop for the accession of Britain’s new monarch, King Charles III, to St James’s Palace in London last weekend. Luckily, just up the street at Christie’s, another version of the same Canaletto view is on display as the flagship lot of the prestigious Ann & Gordon Getty collection.
Christie’s Canaletto, also an eastern view of the Grand Canal with Santa Maria della Salute and the Customs House, is dated later than the painting in the Royal Collection (probably 1749, according to the auction house) and is estimated between 6 and $10 million for the October 20 Sale in New York. The work is on display at Christie’s London, alongside other paintings, textiles and furniture from the Gettys’ home in Pacific Heights, until Sunday.
Lynne Drexler (1928-1999), a second-generation American abstract painter, began to attract market attention this year when Christie’s achieved its auction record of $1.2 million for a 1962 painting sold by the Farnsworth Art Museum in Maine. The work had been estimated between $40,000 and $60,000, already high for a painter whose work hadn’t publicly sold for more than $10,000 until 2020, according to Artnet.
Today, two New York galleries are collaborating on an exhibition to cement Drexler’s re-emergence. Berry Campbell, who began representing the estate this year, has teamed up with big league Mnuchin Gallery to show 10 years of early Drexler work. The Upper East Side’s Mnuchin Gallery will show work from 1959 to 1964, while Berry Campbell in Chelsea will take the next five years.
Drexler was taught by Robert Motherwell and produced dense, colorful paintings during what galleries call her “early decade”. Married to a then more recognized artist, John Hultberg, and lately reclusive, Drexler’s relative obscurity was the same old story, says Sukanya Rajaratnam, a partner at Mnuchin. “It’s hard to imagine that Lee Krasner [married to Jackson Pollock] was neglected for so long, but it was,” Rajaratnam says. Drexler “stands out, and not just among female artists”. Both exhibitions run from October 27 to December 17 with works ranging in price from $500,000 to $2.5 million.
Following a sold-out solo exhibition of Hedda Sterne’s works in 2020, London’s Victoria Miro Gallery now represents the New York School artist’s estate, alongside Van Doren Waxter in the United States. Sterne (1910-2011) was born Hedwig Lindenberg to Jewish parents in Bucharest and fled to New York when the Nazis occupied the Romanian city in 1941. A favorite of gallerists Peggy Guggenheim and Betty Parsons, Sterne deliberately defied categorization and is quoted in a 1979 Book saying, “I believe. . . that isms and other classifications are deceptive and diminishing.
In November, Miro will open an exhibition of Sterne’s work from the 1960s and 1970s at her gallery in Venice, where the artist lived and worked as a Fulbright scholar. Paintings will include Sterne’s so-called ‘Lettuce’ works from 1967, for which thinned acrylic was left to form its own shapes on raw canvas, resulting in forms the artist has compared to salad leaves. “They are very intriguing, beautiful and organic,” says Miro. The works, comprising approximately five paintings and 16 on paper, will cost between $15,000 and $300,000 (from November 5 to December 10).
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