Keith Haring’s computer fantasy in 1984 to tempt technicians


Christie’s will sell an early computer painting, made in 1984 by Keith Haring, for between £ 3.9 million and £ 4.5million on June 30. The prophetic work, in Haring’s trademark graphic street style, presents a world in the grip of technology and was painted the same year as the release of the first Apple Macintosh.

The 9m² artwork is almost as familiar as its theme – it was sold from the collection of German gallery owner Paul Maenz for £ 3.9million (with fees) in London in 2018. This time around, it meets even more a public aware of the pandemic. tuned in to the dominance of technology. The work can also be paid for digitally: Christie’s will accept bitcoin or ether, including for its commission, and its third-party guarantor is also open to cryptocurrency, confirms Katharine Arnold, co-head of the art of post-war and contemporary for Christie’s Europe.

“There is a tantalizing aspect to the auction right now. Some collectors are curious about this point in time and what could happen to the prices, ”she says. The work will be offered in an auction broadcast live from London.

Benji Reid’s ‘Going Home’ (2019) to be featured at Photo London

Art Basel confirmed that its first in-person event since June 2019 will take place in Basel from September 24-26 (from September 20 for VIPs), but “with certain restrictions and adaptations”. Sanitary conditions at the Swiss fair include proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 or a recent negative test, while more space will be created thanks to a scaled-down event and public weekend tickets will be reduced by a third.

However, one wonders how full the aisles of Art Basel will be, as travel and quarantine restrictions are slowly lifting. Other fairs have been held in a similar style, but have mostly taken place in cities like New York or Hong Kong, which have more local visitors than Basel. But with the Zurich Art Weekend which takes place just before (September 17-19) and the remote broadcasting which has served its Hong Kong fair well, the organizers of Art Basel are banking on sufficient momentum for its flagship fair to continue to grow. steal.

“It’s a courageous decision because it’s a fair that everyone comes to from virtually every city in the world. But if they think it can go ahead, then that’s fantastic, ”says James Holland-Hibbert, a British art dealer.

Photo London has also confirmed that it will be held at Somerset House (September 8-12), in tandem with a digital fair that will run through September 28. Tefaf Maastricht, however, has decided to cancel its postponed fair to September and take place only online. this year.

“Kuchu Ndagamuntu (queer identity card)” by Leilah Babirye (2021) © Mark Blower

There was a lot of praise for the first London Gallery Weekend, which brought activity to 137 independent spaces in the city just when needed (4-6 June). Most of the participating galleries were significantly busier than usual, despite the London rain that graced the opening day.

At the Stephen Friedman Gallery, which opened three exhibitions, there was “a constant flow of admixture of visitors,” says Mira Dimitrova, Director of Sales. All of the works of sculptor Leilah Babirye have been sold ($ 15,000 to $ 50,000). Babirye had to flee Uganda in 2015 when she was revealed as gay and was granted asylum in the United States in 2018.

The works of another African artist, Marc Padeu from Cameroon, had previously sold at the Jack Bell Gallery ($ 45,000 to $ 55,000), but visitors indulged in his eye-catching work. “Many said it was their first time in a shopping mall,” says director Oly Durey.

Even more could be done to unite London’s disparate galleries and help make weekends a viable alternative to art fairs, which are considerably more expensive for exhibitors. Suggestions include more performance and conference lineup and even “food trucks hopping between galleries,” suggests exhibitor Lyndsey Ingram, who described the event overall as “a good first stab at” . Most expect the collaboration to become an annual event.

Saatchi Yates Gallery in the Burlington Arcade in London

Saatchi Yates Gallery in the Burlington Arcade in London

As luxury retailers rethink their stores, more spaces are available for galleries who wish, on the contrary, to increase their physical presence. London’s last spots can be found at Burlington Arcade, a Dickensian covered shopping area off Piccadilly, built in 1819 and bought by billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben nearly 200 years later. A dozen spaces in buildings with bay windows have been reserved for galleries, confirms David Rosen, partner at the specialized real estate agencies Pilcher.

Already in Saatchi Yates, a gallery founded last year in Cork Street near London by Phoebe Saatchi Yates, daughter of collector Charles Saatchi, and her husband, Arthur Yates. They took two spaces on the arch, initially using its distinctive windows to display the works while locked.

“We wanted a way to show art that is not virtual. The arcade is lost in time, charming and quite magical – everything you need to love about London, ”says Saatchi Yates.

“Rags-to-Wobble” by Suzanne Jackson (2020) © David Kaminsky

that of New York Ortuzar projects opens this week an exhibition that brings the 1970s to life Sapphire show, which founder Ales Ortuzar said was the first in the United States to be dedicated to African American women. The original took place in the short-lived Gallery 32 in Los Angeles and featured six artists, including Suzanne Jackson, who also ran the gallery.

This month’s exhibition takes up the poster from the 1970 exhibition – the only documentation that remains – which featured childhood photos of the artists with a caption that is the title of the relaunched exhibition: “You’ve come a long way, baby ”.

Ortuzar says conversations with the four remaining artists, including Jackson, made him realize that “we didn’t want a nostalgic show about a moment in history, it’s more about their successes since then.”

He notes that one of the featured artists, Betye Saar, now 94, organized an exhibition to mark the reopening of the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2019. Ortuzar’s exhibition brings together around 35 of their works, from the 1960s to more recently, and runs until July 31 (price range of $ 15,000 to $ 250,000).

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