Monday, November 19, 2012

Art market news: exhibition for surrealist artist Catherine Yarrow attracts collectors

Half the works have already sold at an exhibition in London for the neglected British surrealist artist, Catherine Yarrow, writes Colin Gleadell.

Long Eared Creature (1935) by surrealist artist Catherine Yarrow. Long Eared Creature (1935) by surrealist artist Catherine Yarrow.

Charles Saatchi has chosen to open his twin Russian art exhibitions (non-conformist art from the 1960s and 1970s, and 21st-century contemporary art) this week to coincide with London’s major Russian art sales. However, there is little crossover in content between the two events. Apart from a few non-conformists, the auctions have steered clear of contemporary art because it has not been performing well. Significantly, Sotheby’s, which used to end its main evening sale with contemporary art, now has early examples of Soviet Socialist Realism, glorifying the communist worker, in its place. Clearly an area of the market to watch.

Sotheby’s and Bonhams held sales of modern British art last week which fetched a respectable £9.7 million in all. Perhaps the most interesting aspect was the sale of works from the collection of architect Colin St John Wilson, the best of which have been left to the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester. The sale achieved a record price for a work on paper by Richard Hamilton, who died before his impressive retrospective exhibition, currently at the National Gallery. Hommage à Chrysler Corp, 1957, sold for a treble-estimate £325,250. Another collage, the art work for an insert to the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album by Peter Blake, did not attract pop collectors and sold to Blake’s dealer, Leslie Waddington, below estimate for £55,250.

Waddington is opening a retrospective exhibition of Blake’s works on paper this week. More noteworthy results were achieved for small sculptures by Sir Anthony Caro, which regularly exceeded estimates. The top lot, a small, early amber-lacquered Table Piece from 1970, was estimated at £10,000 but sold to the London dealer Daniel Katz for £73,250.

An exhibition for the neglected and almost entirely forgotten British surrealist artist, Catherine Yarrow, who died in 1990, is at the Austin Desmond Gallery, close to the British Museum. Mostly drawings, watercolours and prints from the artist’s estate above), it has attracted serious interest from collectors, and at least two major British institutions, and half the works have sold, priced reasonably at between £1,000 and £5,000 each.

British collector David Roberts had a sneak preview last week of an exhibition by the young Swedish Somali artist, Ayan Farah, which opens at the Vigo gallery off Bond Street today, and bought the lot. Farah graduated from the Royal College of Art this year, and makes ephemeral, translucent, abstract paintings on fabrics – clothing and bedding bleached by sunlight or an old UV light from a sunbed the artist bought on eBay. Priced at between £800 and £2,900 plus VAT each, further works not in the exhibition were also bought by the collector Richard Devereux, who chairs the African Art Acquisitions Committee at Tate. They will be shown in a forthcoming exhibition of African art from his collection at Pallant House.

No comments:

Post a Comment