Nelson Mandela Sketch Sells at Auction, and Frieze Brings Major Sales

Ancient engraved gem (© 2019 Christie’s Image Ltd.)
Ancient engraved gem (© 2019 Christie’s Image Ltd.)

The J. Paul Getty Museum acquired 17 ancient engraved gems from Roman art dealer Giorgio Sangiorini’s collection. The acquisition includes gems from the Minoan, Archaic, and Classical periods, along with Etruscan and Roman gems, some in their original gold rings. “The acquisition of these gems brings into the Getty’s collection some of the greatest and most famous of all classical gems, most notably the portraits of Antinous and Demosthenes,” said Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “But the group also includes many lesser-known works of exceptional skill and beauty that together raise the status of our collection to a new level.” [via email announcement]

William Faden, "A Map of South Carolina and a part of Georgia" (1780), black and white line engraving with period hand color on laid paper, in two sheets: top sheet H: 28 inches x W: 48 1/2 inches, bottom sheet H: 28 inches x W: 48 1/2 inches, Museum Purchase, 2019-59, A&B (image courtesy Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)
William Faden, “A Map of South Carolina and a part of Georgia” (1780), black and white line engraving with period hand color on laid paper, in two sheets: top sheet H: 28 inches x W: 48 1/2 inches, bottom sheet H: 28 inches x W: 48 1/2 inches, Museum Purchase, 2019-59, A&B (image courtesy Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has acquired a copy of “A Map of South Carolina and a Part of Georgia,” created in 1780 by William Faden. The map is a “significantly revised version” of a 1757 map by cartographers William Gerard De Brahm and Thomas Jefferys, a copy of which already exists in the Colonial Williamsburg collection. “De Brahm’s map … was viewed in the period, as it is today, as a remarkable achievement of eighteenth-century cartography,” said Katie McKinney, Colonial Williamsburg’s assistant curator of maps and prints. “ … Compared to the earlier version, this map will allow us to better interpret the westward movement of people and objects in the region throughout the eighteenth century.” [via email announcement]

Susan Hiller, "Sa Testa: Homage to Joseph Beuys" Edwardian mahogany cabinet with lock and key, glass-fronted, containing 30 bottles of water collected from sacred springs, holy wells, etc. 6.3 x 9 x 11 inches (image courtesy TEFAF)
Susan Hiller, “Sa Testa: Homage to Joseph Beuys” (1969–2016), Edwardian mahogany cabinet with lock and key, glass-fronted, containing 30 bottles of water collected from sacred springs, holy wells, etc., 6.3 x 9 x 11 inches (image courtesy TEFAF)

A number of prominent sales occurred last week at TEFAF New York. London and Hong Kong gallery White Cube sold Mark Bradford’s “Gone” (2006) for $2.75 million, as well as an untitled 1969 brass sculpture by Donald Judd for $1.45 million. Kamel Mennour sold four works by Bertrand Lavier: three acrylic paintings titled “Walt Disney Productions” (2019), “Nobilis no2” (2019), and “Ramlösa” (2013), as well as an acrylic painted Steinway piano titled “Erard” (2018). Sprüth Magers sold Barbara Kruger’s “Untitled (WE ARE PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE)” (1984) for $650,000. Lisson Gallery sold several works, including Carmen Herrera’s acrylic painting “Ariel” (2006) for $750,000; Mary Corse’s “Untitled Blue Arch” (1999) for $300,000; Sean Scully’s untitled work on paper (1990) for $220,000; and Susan Hiller’s sculpture “Sa Testa: Homage to Joseph Beuys” (1969–2016) for $58,800. Almine Rech sold two sculptures by De Wain Valentine for between $100,000 and $200,000; as well as Claire Tabouret’s painting “The Swimmers” (2019). Sean Kelly Gallery sold Laurent Grasso’s “Seismography of the Soul;” a sculptural work by Marina Abramović for $33,500; a monochrome work on paper by Stell Snead for $22,3000; a work of black and white ink on paper by Minoru Onoda for $16,700; and a found photograph with ink by Kris Martin for $14,500. David Zwirner sold most of a group of 10 1930s works on paper by Paul Klee. Dickinson sold Giorgio Morandi’s “Natura Morta” and Adolph Gottlieb’s “Sea and tide.” Eykyn Maclean sold an untitled 1974–75 work by Mario Schifano for $300,000. Acquavella Galleries sold Lucien Freud’s painting “Portrait” (1972) for an undisclosed price. Oscar Graf sold a carved and painted pain by Lars Kinsarvik for $50,000. Galerie kreo sold Gino Sarfatti’s “169/4” (1951) and Jaime Hayon’s “JOLLY SMALL MODEL” (2018). [via email announcement]

A number of works were bought and sold last week at Frieze New York: Some of the paintings that sold were Georg Baselitz’s “Night of the Nightingale IV (Obozenko)” (1998) at Thaddaeus Ropac for $565,000; two of Mary Corse’s “Grey Light” (1988) paintings at Kayne Griffin Corcoran for $300,000 each; most of Jenny Holzer’s “Redaction paintings” at Hauser & Wirth for $175,000–300,000; and many more. Of the sculptures and installations that were sold, there’s Max Ernst’s “Dans les rues d’Athenes Huismes” at Paul Kasmin for $500,000; Red Grooms’s soft sculpture, “The Bus,” at Marlborough Gallery for $550,000; a Doug Aitken work at 303 Gallery for $350,000; and more. In the photographs and prints category, Robert Longo’s “Untitled (Rose, November 22, 2017)” (2017) at Thaddaeus Ropac sold for $600,000; Wolfgang Tilman’s “Paint Spill” (2018) at Maureen Paley sold for $95,000; Tina Barney’s “The Paneled Wall” (2018) at Kasmin sold for $22,000; among other notable sales. A full list can be found on Artnet.

Brett Weston, "Rock Wall" (1975), vintage gelatin silver print (image courtesy Snite Museum of Art)
Brett Weston, “Rock Wall” (1975), vintage gelatin silver print (image courtesy Snite Museum of Art)

The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame has received a gift of 50 photographs by Brett Weston from Christian Keesee, an Oklahoma philanthropist who founded the Brett Weston Archive. Keesee acquired Weston’s work in 1996 from the artist’s estate. The gifted works were made are dated from about 1940 to 1985. Many are vintage prints created around the time of the negative. “The Museum and University are honored to receive this important gift,” said Museum Director Joseph Antenucci Becherer, “It furthers greatly one of the important university collections of photography.” [via email announcement]

Ingalena Klenell, "There is a thread" (photo by Daniel Milton, image courtesy Nationalmuseum Sweden)
Ingalena Klenell, “There is a thread” (photo by Daniel Milton, image courtesy Nationalmuseum Sweden)

The Nationalmuseum Sweden has acquired “There is a thread,” Ingalena Klenell’s object in kiln-cast glass. As the Nationalmuseum does not receive state funds, the acquisition comes through a gift from the Bengt Julin Foundation, through Nationalmusei Vänner. [via email announcement]

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, "The Cell Door, Robben Island" (2002) (image courtesy Bonhams)
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, “The Cell Door, Robben Island” (2002) (image courtesy Bonhams)

Nelson Mandela’s sketch “The Cell Door, Robben Island” (2002) sold for $112,575 at Bonhams Modern and Contemporary African Art sale. After retiring in 1999, Mandela began creating sketches as a therapeutic activity. In 2002, he created 22 sketches about his 27-year-long incarceration, and “The Cell Door, Robben Island” was the only one he kept for his personal collection. “This is the first time that a piece by Nelson Mandela has ever come to the auction market, and it resonated strongly with buyers,” said Giles Peppiatt, Bonhams Director of Modern and Contemporary African Art. “It was featured in a very strong auction which set six new world records as a New York debut for African Contemporary Art.”

Christie’s sale of Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds Including Oriental Rugs and Carpets in London brought in a total of £16,031,375 (~$20,917,000) on May 2. The sale’s top lot, an important Safavid silk and metal-thread “Polonaise” carpet, Isfahan, Central Persia, first quarter of the 17th century, sold for £3,895,000 (~$5,082,000).

Weegee,
Weegee, “Jumping on Beach” (c. 1955), gelatin silver print, image: 7 3/4 x 9 1/2 inches, sheet: 8 1/4 x 10 inches (image courtesy Christie’s)

Christie’s online sale of Weegee Photographs: The Elastic Lens online brought in a total of $53,625 on May 2–7. The sale’s top lot, Weegee’s “Jumping on Beach” (c. 1955), sold for $12,500.

Christie’s Mrs. Thatcher: Part III online sale brought in a total of £1,087,750 (~$1,416,000) on May 2–8. The sale’s top lot, Van Cleef & Arpels’s multi-gem and diamond brooch, sold for £50,000 (~$65,000).

George Stubbs, "Two Tygers (or A Tiger and a Sleeping Leopard)" (1788), etching (image courtesy Swann Galleries)
George Stubbs, “Two Tygers (or A Tiger and a Sleeping Leopard)” (1788), etching (image courtesy Swann Galleries)

Swann Galleries’s sale of Old Master Through Modern Prints in New York brought in a total of $1,722,680 on May 2. The sale’s top lot, George Stubs’s “Two Tygers (or A Tiger and a Sleeping Leopard)” (1788), sold for $45,000. [via email announcement]

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