Flash News: Schiele – Sotheby’s – Picasso – Jim Shaw – New Museum



Every fortnight, Artprice provides a short round up of art market news: 24 drawings by Schiele at Sotheby’s – One Picasso may conceal another – Jim Shaw at New Museum

24 drawings by Schiele at Sotheby’s
Along with Gustav Klimt, Egon SCHIELE (1890-1918) is the most renowned Austrian artist and a major figure in the Expressionist movement. A precocious artist more disposed to drawing than to studying, he began attending the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts at the age of 16 thanks to an exemption, but the academic system at the school did not suit him. A few months later, his meeting with Gustav KLIMT was well-timed: Klimt would become his teacher and his patron.
Audacious, and wildly talented, Schiele quickly found his style, showing great sensuality, with a shaky brushstroke. Fascinated by the nude female form, he increased his drawings between 1910 and 1912 (watercolours, gouaches), drawing his companion Wally Neuzil but also other young women, with a raw energy. This erotic production landed him in prison in 1912, pour infringement on public morality. He died tragically six years later.
This brief, intense career, ended at the age of 28, is one of great density, with some three hundred paintings, engravings, sculptures and 3,000 drawings, including Liebespaar (Selbstdarstellung mit Wallyun), a self-portrait with Wally from 1914/15, with a deep psychological intensity, which was just resold at the Leopold Museum in Vienna after having been kept in its collection for 20 years. Sotheby’s, who was in charge of the sale, selling this rare work for USD 12.39m on 5 November 2015 in New York, setting a record for Schiele’s drawings. On 4-5 November, the American market was overrun with a veritable manna of works by Schiele – 24 drawings in total – including a good amount from the famous Alfred Taubman collection. The prices range from USD 100,000 to more than USD 3m, depending on completion and quality of the work.

One Picasso may conceal another
Pablo PICASSO painted La Gommeuse at the age of 19, in 1901, the year of his first huge exhibit at Galerie Ambroise Vollard in Paris (24 June-14 July 1901). It was the start of his Blue Period, his first personal period, which unfolded until 1904. La Gommeuse is emblematic in many ways, especially because it contains two works in one! When its former owner, American industry billionaire Bill Koch, purchased the canvas in 1984 for 3 million dollars, he was completely unaware of the existence of a second painting on the back, a painting of Petrus Manach, a friend of Picasso with the appearance of a yellow imp, wearing a red and white turban, and urinating.

It was discovered during restoration work in 2000. The arrival of La Gommeuse at auction was the most anticipated of all the rare works of this general stature in public collections rather than private… This is why Sotheby’s dedicated a separate catalogue to it, composed of forty-some pages, hoping to obtain more than USD 60m. Their goal was realized, with a final price of USD 67.45m including fees, achieved during the Modern and Impressionist sale on 5 November 2015. Picasso remains the honour of sales and museums: two large exhibits are currently dedicated to him–his sculptures are being featured at MoMA in New York, and the Grand Palais in Paris is hosting Picasso-Mania.

Jim Shaw at New Museum
Drawings by Jim SHAW are still affordable, as was the case during the sale organized by the De Vuyst company in October, where a work in pencil sold for less than USD 2,500. That said, the New York market is in a frenzy over him, for which the New Museum in New York has dedicated an exhibit to him (Jim Shaw : The end is here running through 10 January 2016).
The 63-year-old American artist, painter and video maker is a true icon of the Californian scene, and considered one of the most influential American artists of our time. He explores the collective unconscious in the surfeit of images from all mediums and all time periods, with a polymorphic perversity that plunges into comics, magazines, religions, cultural symbols, and which traverses all history and art. Shaw’s art is both collage and grafting, simultaneously Pop, illustrative, surrealist, expressionist, conceptual, Kitsch and inventive, which speaks to a wide range of collectors… His work is shown and sold primarily in the United States (85% of his auction market) but some occasionally appears in European markets. This is where the best business is done, before the American market can increase the prices.