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Artnet News
Oct. 12, 2006 

The hush that has settled over the Manhattan art world is the sound of ringing cash registers in London, as the art market shifts to the English capital for the fourth edition of the Frieze Art Fair, Oct. 12-15, 2005, along with attendant smaller fairs. Frieze features 150 of the hottest contemporary dealers, including Gagosian, Gladstone, Marian Goodman and Greene Naftali, among others. And, by all appearances, the art market remains astonishingly strong. California megacollector Eli Broad purchased Jeff Koons' new Cracked Egg (Blue) sculpture from Gagosian for $3.5 million, according to the New York Sun, while Jake and Dinos Chapman set up their easels in a special booth at White Cube to paint portraits for a modest £4,500 each.

The other art fairs in London include the Zoo Art Fair, Oct. 13-15, 2006, now in its third year, with 46 exhibiting galleries in a custom-built structure by the animal cages, which specializes in less expensive works priced under £3,000, according to fair director Soraya Rodriguez. Two additional fairs are Scope London, Oct. 13-16, 2006, which opens with approximately 80 exhibitors at the Old Truman Brewery in the East End, and the new Year_06 Art Projects, Oct. 12-15, 2006, with approximately 30 galleries at the Art Deco-style Mary Warren House.

Equally important, needless to say, are exhibitions at London museums and galleries. Especially notable in this regard is "USA Today: New American Art from the Saatchi Gallery," Oct. 6-Nov. 4, 2006, at the Royal Academy of Arts, a survey of works by about 40 young artists, ranging from Kristin Baker, Jules de Balincourt and Huma Bhabha to Dash Snow, Banks Violette and Kelley Walker. And over at Tate Britain is "Turner Prize 2006," Oct. 3, 2006-Jan. 14, 2007, the show of works by the four artists shortlisted for the famous prize for new British art -- Tomma Abts, Phil Collins, Mark Titchner and Rebecca Warren.

The real theater of the art market takes place, however, on the auction block. Christie's London is putting on five sales during Oct. 15-17, 2006, including an auction of contemporary art (Oct. 15), its sixth annual sale of 20th-century Italian art (Oct. 16) and a post-war and contemporary sale (Oct. 17). Highlights include a 1996 Peter Doig diptych titled Pink Mountain (est. £500,000-£700,000), a 1995 "Big Family" painting by Zhang Xiaogang (est. £350,000-£450,000), a Pino Pascali "Dragon's Head" from 1966 (est. £200,000-£300,000), and a small 2006 panorama (17 x 50 in.) by Cecily Brown (est. £25,000-£35,000). The rate of exchange, by the way, is about £1 = $1.86.

At Sotheby's London, four sales are scheduled, including a sale of donated contemporary work by some 60 artists to benefit the Whitechapel Gallery extension (Oct. 13), a pair of auctions of contemporary art (Oct. 14 and 16) and a sale of 20th-century Italian art (Oct. 16). Phillips, de Pury & Co. has scheduled its first auction in London of contemporary art on Oct. 14, 2006, a sale that includes Piotr Uklanski's 1997 Saturday Night Fever-style Dance Floor (est. £100,000-£150,000) and a 1999 painting by Elizabeth Peyton of Princes William and Harry (est. £300,000-£400,000). Check Artnet's signature Fine Art Auctions Report for results.

It's not easy for ordinary mortals to read super-glossy fashion magazines like W, especially when they take up the subject of "the art world's next generation of stars." But here at Artnet News we fearlessly embrace the task, beginning with congratulations to Lisa Yuskavage, whose erotic painterly concoctions (soon to appear in double shows in New York at David Zwirner and Zwirner & Wirth) have clearly provided the inspiration for Mario Sorrenti's cover photo of a fashion model in an outfit by Miu Miu.

Oops. The image turns out to be the result of a collaboration between Sorrenti and Richard Tuttle, with much more contained in a "portfolio" inside -- though Sorrenti does a series of photos of Yuskavage, too. No wonder we're confused. But that's not all -- the issue also contains an exclusive DVD with an 18-minute film documenting the fashion shoot by Chiara Clemente (daughter of Francesco). Have to watch that soon.

In between photos of a topless Kate Moss in assorted fashion ads, the issue's daunting 372 pages includes toothy prose on Peggy Guggenheim's loves and Michael Govan's prospects of goosing up the "dowdy" Los Angeles County Museum, as well as profiles of Marc Glimcher of PaceWildenstein (he "masters the deal") and the three children of Manhattan superdealer William Acquavella, who are Eleanor (33), Nicholas (29) and Alexander (25) and all seem to be going into the family business.

A "Talent Show" surveys five "up-and-coming artists" -- Aya Uekawa, Urs Fischer, Kristin Baker, Nicola Lopez and Erneso Caivano. Another article visits with Jeff Koons ("How does a baby-faced former salesman climb to the highest ranks of the art establishment? By throwing anxiety out the window and doing as he pleases"). Richard Prince contributes a series of 20 photos, unaccompanied by text, including one that we bet is his upstate "Body Shop" girly bar, and Adam McEwan provides Prince with one of his signature premature New York Times obituaries. A macabre honor, to be sure. Then there are pieces on Bruce Nauman and Brice Marden. It's all yours, if you dare, for a modest $4.50.

The skyrocketing art market seems to have once again become a factor in the machinations of the superrich for world domination. According to a story by Carol Vogel in the New York Times, entertainment mogul David Geffen has sold two paintings from his collection for a total of $143.5 million. The works are Jasper Johns' seminal False Start (1959), which supposedly brought $80 million, and Willem de Kooning's Police Gazette (1955), which reportedly sold for $63.5 million. Observers speculate that the sales could be part of a Geffen bid to raise dough to take over the Los Angeles Times.

Buyers of the paintings were, respectively, Kenneth C. Griffin and Steven A. Cohen, hedge-fund billionaires both. With his wife Anne, Griffin, who is managing director of the Chicago-based Citadel Investment Group, has recently given $19 million to the Art Institute of Chicago to finance a new modern art wing. Paul Gray and Andrew Fabricant of the Richard Gray Gallery in New York and Chicago, who are consultants to the Griffins, confirmed the sale of the Johns. The confirmation of Cohen's purchase of the de Kooning abstraction was made by his advisor, Sandy Heller.

Stalwart Chelsea nonprofit Printed Matter is launching "The NY Art Book Fair," Nov. 17-19, 2006, featuring more than 40 specialists in books on art and by artists in a space in Chelsea at 548 West 22nd Street. Richard Prince, Matthew Brannon and Chris Johanson are all creating limited edition artworks as a benefit to the opening. For more info, visit the Printed Matter website.

Washington, D.C.-based art dealer Cheryl Numark has announced plans to close her Numark Gallery at the end of the year after 11 years in operation. In a letter, Numark cited "a number of personal, health and professional reasons" for the decision, and said she plans to start a new venture as an art advisor. The gallery's final exhibition, titled "The Last Show," opening Oct. 28, 2006, features artists with whom the gallery has worked most closely.

Robert Richenburg, 89, Abstract Expressionist painter who was a member of the legendary Eighth Street Club in the 1950s, died in New York on Oct. 10. Richenburg's organic abstractions vary in style, and frequently reflect the metaphor of "finding light and color in darkness," according to art historian Greta Berman. Richenburg studied at the Art Students League in New York in 1940, and served in the U.S. Army as a combat engineer during World War II before returning to New York in 1947, where he worked with Hans Hofmann. Leo Castelli included him in the historic Ninth Street Show in 1951. He taught first at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and then at Cornell in Itaca. He had retrospective exhibitions at Guild Hall in East Hampton (1992), the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University (1993) and at David Findlay Jr. Fine Art (2003). A survey of his work, "Robert Richenburg: The Path of an Abstract Expressionist," Sept. 29-Oct. 27, 2006, is on view at the Sidney Mishkin Gallery at Baruch College at 135 East 22nd Street in Manhattan.

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