The Top 3 Art Dealers to Watch

The Top 3 Art Dealers to Watch by Etienne Kiss-Borlase

What defines a great art gallery? Is it the quality of its dealer, or is it the works showcased? The answer is probably both, but the later often depends on the former. Without a talented dealer, there’s no real sense of guidance or taste in terms of defining the kind of work the gallery will exhibit. Here are three of the most important dealers at the forefront of design right now.

Maria Foerlev from Etage Projects, Copenhagen

In only three years after opening her gallery, the Danish dealer has been able to establish a solid reputation as a forward thinker. She’s known for having a keen sense of what’s next in art, fashion, and furniture. She was an early supporter of artists like Pettersen & Hein, known for their Brutalist sculptures, Sabine Marcelis and her neon-and-resin lights, and Thomas Poulsen, also known as FOS. Her refined taste comes from a combination of having a childhood immersed in art (she was raised in a house designed by none other than renowned Arne Jacobsen) and her studies at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

Patrick Parrish from the Patrick Parrish Gallery, New York City

Some people may know Patrick’s collections from his days when he dealt 90’s vintage design in Mondo Cane. But it wasn’t until 2010, via his blog Mondoblogo, that he became associated with conceptual furniture duo RO/LU from Minneapolis. The artistic pair were part of Patrick’s first contemporary exhibit at Mondo Cane, featuring furniture that referenced icons like Rudolph Schindler and Scott Burton. By 2014 he opened Patrick Parrish Gallery in Tribeca, where he now exhibits work from artists like Jesse Moretti (painting), Ian McDonald (architectural ceramics), and Marcus Tremonto (lighting).

Amaryllis Jacobs and Kwinten Lavigne from Maniera, Brussels

Amaryllis and Kwinten founded their gallery in 2014. They started off by sectioning off half of their apartment, which happens to be a former 1920’s lingerie factory, and inviting the public into their home. Known for commissioning artists and architects that make functional objects, today this couple has shown at places like Design Miami and sold numerous pieces to Belgian museums. As of late, they will finally be moving into a bigger exhibition space. Their first collection features works from Kersten Geers David Van Severen and architect Anne Holtrop. They also intend to showcase conceptual artists whose work is highly inspired by architecture.

Final Thoughts

As a collector, keeping an eye out for influential dealers is a great way to discover new artists, find truly unique pieces, and stay up to date on the latest artistic trends. Who are some of your favorite dealers?

70 Ceramics and Sculptures by Picasso to Sell in February

‘Woman with an Open Robe’ by Pablo Picasso. Ceramic jug. 1955. Estimated worth between $52,500 and $67,500.

You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of the epic artist Pablo Picasso and his infamous paintings. But lesser known are his large collection of ceramics and sculptures.

Most people don’t know that throughout Picasso’s career, he hand-molded and painted roughly 4,000 pieces of pottery. These pieces vary from vases and plates to animal figurines. Some he created as stand-alone pieces and others were produced in various editions.

‘Owl’ by Pablo Picasso. Painted ceramic. Estimated worth of $44,700.

70 of these pieces are now going up for auction come Feb. 5 at Sotheby’s in London, being sold directly by Marina Picasso, his granddaughter. A portion of the collection will be exhibited in Sotheby’s New York during January to bring awareness to the London sale.

Along with the sculptures, Marina will also be auctioning off roughly 110 drawings.

Interest in and prices for these ceramic works have been soaring as of late. In February 2015, one sale of a terra-cotta figure set the record for Picasso’s ceramics when a collector paid Sotheby’s $1.9 million. The work was expected to sell for a third as much. In June 2015, a group of 126 ceramics from the collection of Ms. Picasso was sold at Sotheby’s for $19.4 million, again selling for roughly three times as much as  estimated.

Notable works in the upcoming sale include “Woman with an Open Robe” and “Bird,” both pictured here.

‘Bird’ by Pablo Picasso. 1957. Estimated worth between $9,000 to $12,000.

The pottery for sale was mostly created between the late 1940s and the mid-1960s, before Picasso moved away from pottery to begin working in bronze. The drawings being sold, though, span Picasso’s entire career.

Some of the pieces up for sale carry astounding starting estimates as high as $269,000, such as a 1962 paper cutout of a woman’s face (seen below) that was used to develop Picasso’s sheet-metal sculptures of “Sylvette,” a subject seen repeatedly in his work.

‘Head Face’ by Pablo Picasso. 1962. Starting estimate worth of $269,000.

What’s even more interesting about these Picasso ceramics auctions is the fact that their prices have been increasing even as prices across the market have been plateauing. According to the auction-tracking firm Artnet, the average price for Picasso’s ceramics have increased from a respectable $16,100 in 2012 to a whopping $35,300 in 2015. Who know’s what these auctions will reach now that we’ve entered 2016.

Part of the reason for the high demand is the fact that, relative to Picasso’s other works, his ceramics are actually at a decent price point. This means long time fans of Picasso can add an original piece to their collections without spending top dollar. (For comparison, Christie’s sold his “Women of Algiers (Version O),” painting for $179 million last May.)

The price point is also particularly attractive to novice collectors looking to get a few big name pieces into their collection without draining their budget before they are able to add other important pieces to their portfolio. As evidence, at a similar auction back in March 2015, it was reported that 62% of the auction winners were first-time buyers of Picasso’s ceramics.

It’s great to see novice and seasoned collectors alike getting excited about these special pieces from one of the greatest (and certainly most famous) artists of all time.

Art Collecting: Beginners Guide to Starting an Art Collection

art-collectionArt collectors around the world know that first and foremost, art is about passion. Art collectors tend to hold their collections near and dear to their hearts because chances are if they chose to invest in them, it’s because they have a personal connection with them. That being said, you shouldn’t sink your money into anything that can give your heart that familiar tinge of emotion. You should do your research, consult with the right people, and make sure that your purchase makes financial sense for your individual circumstances. But, you should be passionate about the art you’re investing in. Don’t buy art to impress others or because you want a big pay off when it appreciates in value. Buy art because you enjoy it.

First time buyers are often not sure where to start. And understandably so. Collecting art is in itself an art form. Here are some quick tips to help you when you’re just starting out in the art buying world.

Establish a realistic budget from the get-go.

It’s easy to get caught up in a high-priced passion piece and blow your budget before you’ve even gotten started. Decide from the beginning how much you’re prepared to spend and how many pieces you would ideally like to have. Make sure to factor in figure costs into your budget such as framing, maintenance, and insurance. You’d be surprised how much that can add to your total cost.

Think long term.

Once you find a peace that speaks to you, make sure it fits within your long term collection goals. Each piece should have a meaningful place in the overall purpose of your collection. What you buy today should be enjoyed for years to come. It shouldn’t be looked at as a short-term profit unless you’ve found an up and coming talent before you believe they’re about to hit it big. This can be a fun and lucrative exception.

See as much art as possible.

Part of being a beginner is learning the ropes. There’s no better way to begin understanding the art world and start forming opinions about what you would like in your collection than by seeing as much art as possible. The more you see, the better you’ll understand what’s out there, what it costs, and most importantly, what you like. Find out where your local galleries and museums are. Subscribe to an online art publication or magazine. Attend a few art fairs. These are all great places to start.

Don’t rush.

Waiting to buy your first piece can feel like waiting to open presents on Christmas morning. It’s an exciting and engaging process, but don’t buy the first pretty thing that comes along. Wait for a piece that you truly love and want to spend years admiring.

Make sure you understand the buying process.

Are you buying a new piece for sale directly by the living artist or are you buying it from a collector at an auction house or gallery? Make sure you understand the fees involved in the transaction. Galleries usually take their fee from the seller, but auction houses can charge an additional 20 – 25 percent buyer’s premium.

Do your research.

Before you agree to buy, make sure you learn as much about your potential piece and it’s creator. The gallery or auction house can likely fill you in on many of the details, but don’t shy away from doing your own research back at home. You may also want to consult a professional advisor who can estimate the long-term value of the piece.

Compare the price to similar works.

If you aren’t sure what a fair price is, chances are you’ll get a better idea by looking at the selling price of comparable works by the same artist. You can obtain this information from the auction house or gallery or from the online auction records of Christie’s, Sotheby’s or Phillips. Another great tip: you can sometimes find more reasonably priced art at charity auctions and studio tours.

Don’t hesitate to seek a professionals opinion.

Art advisors make a great living at what they do for a reason: people need professional guidance. If you’re unsure or having serious doubts about a potential purchase, by all means meet with an advisor. Not only will they make sure you’re not making a poor investment, but they’ll also be able to guide you to similar pieces and artists based on what you have shown an interest in. They have insider knowledge that takes years and sometimes decades to acquire. Take advantage of every resource you have, and you’ll be sure to sleep soundly knowing you’ve made the right choice.

 

Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to a collection that you and your loved ones will adore. As the writer Chuck Klosterman once said, “Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.”

Collection On The Move

Sunbaker-Max-DupainThe infamous Sunbaker picture by Max Dupain from 1937 will be on the move after Minter Ellison, the owners of a large collection will be transferring fantastic pieces to the highest bidder. The law firm Minter Ellison has had marvelous artwork hanging in their Sydney office for over fifteen years. Unfortunately, the firm is moving to a warehouse styled office, which means they will not need artwork hanging around the office. The company owns 56 pieces of artwork, estimated roughly just under $2 million US dollars.

Even though the collection consists mostly of Australian photographs, the collection is still one of the top collections in all of Australia. It includes work from Tracey Moffatt, Bill Henson, and as mentioned earlier, Dupain. Minter Ellison is not the first company to sell a great collection of artwork. A few years back Foster’s Art Collection sold a collection for over $13 million US dollars. These collections are not uncommon with larger, prominent companies who use artwork to woo and get clients in the door, and show off success.

Although artwork is not a main facet for organizations, Sotheby’s Australia explains, “Large art collections of big companies to assess whether they should remain dormant on their books, as businesses look for new premises.”

Australia and Europe are known for their love of expensive artwork, and companies are joining this group by constantly owning collections which can be then sold for a great profit. The collection by Minter Ellison is expected to be sold July 21st.

For more Etienne, please visit Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Official Website.

Swiss Cracking Down On Art Market Laundering

auction-dayAfter the recent FIFA scandal emerged, the Swiss government is now looking to crack down on the laundering of money and even art.

According to some sources, Russian leader Vladimir Putin bribed a FIFA executive with a Picasso painting in order to have Russia be a future host for the World Cup. The Swiss government already passed a law in parliament limiting the amount of cash that can be traded in a transaction as well as the ability to freeze assets in Swiss Bank accounts. The once highly trusted bank accounts in Switzerland, commonly used to smuggle or launder money, are now getting a major face lift due to the recent number of crimes gaining publicity.

The new law, which will be implemented in the beginning of 2016, only allows 100,000 CHF ($104,000) to be transferred in any cash transaction. This change directly targets the art market, since many auctions have pieces which sell well over the 100,000 CHF limit being imposed.

As the head of the Swiss Money Laundering Office, Stiliano Ordolli explains, these transfers are:

Payable by credit card or the seller must carry out due diligence obligations. Either the seller does not accept it or they must ask additional questions to be sure of the legal origins of funds.”

The reason for the change is not to make it difficult, but rather to protect people from laundering and other forms of extortion which can fly under the radar when cash is changing hands.

This move is expected to put a stop to fraud since all auctions must be made public and leave a paper trail. Recently, Freeport leader and art leader, Yves Bouvier was arrested for fraudulently selling paintings which were not done by the artist.

For more about Etienne, please visit Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Official Website.