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    25 Most Collectible Midcareer Artists: Lisa Ruyter

    In its September issue, Art+Auction compiled a list of the 25 most collectible midcareer artists working today. This month, ARTINFO will publish one installment from the feature per day. Click here to read Art+Auction editor-in-chief Eric Bryant’s introduction to the list. To see all the installments published so far, click here.

    Lisa Ruyter |  b. 1968  |  United States

    The Vienna- and New York–based artist creates her Pop art–inspired works through a combination of media: she takes photographs, produces line drawings from them, and then blocks out specific color zones where she applies paint. The result is two-dimensional image with digital attributes.

    For subject matter, Ruyter focuses largely on the mundane activities of people in shopping centers, restaurants, bars, and elsewhere.

    Her work has been shown in international exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Colección Jumex in Mexico City; the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg, Austria; and the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, among others. This past spring, Eleven Rivington presented “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” the artist’s first New York solo show since 2006. 

    According to Helen Waters, codirector of the Alan Cristea Gallery in London, the artist’s U.K. representative since 2010, her paintings, including Walker Evans ‘Floyd Burroughs, cotton sharecropper. Hale County, Alabama,’ 2011, range in price from $10,000 to $35,000, while her editioned prints sell for $1,200 to $5,000. Walk Softly, Stranger, a woodcut on Japanese Unryushi paper from 2012, produced in a run of 35, is currently on offer for $1,900.

    Most Collectible Artists 2015

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  • 09/27/15--04:32: Vorschau Viennacontemporary

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    Christie’s and de Pury’s Radical LAC Sale Collaboration

    Auction house Christie’s has announced a bold new collaboration with de Pury, the new online-led auction business founded by Simon and Michaela de Pury. Christie’s and de Pury have joined forces to present an auction featuring items from the renowned Lambert Art Collection. The sale will take place in London on October 14 and will also be delivered via “a new online experience which will feature rich content, stunning photography, and artist videos.”

    A Visual Odyssey: Selections from LAC (Lambert Art Collection)” includes 306 objects spanning eight categories and three centuries. Highlights include works of art by Christopher Wool, Ugo Rondinone, Richard Prince, Rudolf Stingel, and Cindy Sherman as well as a number of important items of furniture including a spectacular Louis XV ormolu mounted ebony bureau plat, Jean Dunand’s 1922 “Panther & Snake” two-panel screen, and a Donald Judd desk and chair set.

    The sale can be previewed from the 3-14 October at Ely House in Dover Street, London as a curated exhibition presented by acclaimed designer Jacques Grange. The auction will also be presented and streamed live simultaneously on both Christie’s and de Pury websites, establishing what Christie’s describe as “a radical new auction format” that will create “an exciting and dynamic sale, set to be a highlight of Frieze week.”

    Francis Outred, Christie’s Head of PostWar and Contemporary Art, Europe: “The Lambert Art Collection is the product of a restless, global, cultural mind and heart whose curiosity has been borne across the 20th Century and is now brought into the 21st century with an exciting and innovative online presentation. The origins of this collection lie with the Lambert family in Belgium, whose matriarch helped to rebuild the banking dynasty after the war.”

    Simon de Pury: It is most unusual to find in the same collection a French 18th-century bureau plat and cartonnier, outstanding 20thcentury decorative arts ranging from a gorgeous Jean Dunand screen to an exquisite Donald Judd desk, a collection of posters that students were plastering on the walls of Paris during the May revolts in 1968, a wonderful group of artworks by Richard Prince, Rudolf Stingel, Ugo Rondinone and Cindy Sherman, a Topolino car from the 1950s, and fashion by Capucci.”

    Click the slideshow to see highlights from the sale

    View the full catalogue here

    A Visual Odyssey: Selections from LAC

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    Anselm Kiefer’s Awesome “Palaces” Expansion at HangarBicocca in Milan

    Anselm Kiefer: I Sette Palazzi Celesti 2004-2015” at the Fondazione HangarBicocca in Milan is an expansion of celebrated German artist Anselm Kiefer’s permanent installation “The Seven Heavenly Palaces” which was inaugurated for the opening of HangarBicocca in 2004.

    Curated by Vicente Todolí, the spectacular display combines the seven 90-tonne, 14-18 metre tall concrete “towers,” which are now open for the public to walk through, with five large-scale paintings to form a single installation entitled “The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015.”

    The “Seven Heavenly Palaces” installation takes its name from the palaces described in the Sefer Hechalot or “Book of Palaces, an ancient Hebrew text describing the symbolic path of spiritual initiation for those wishing to enter into the presence of God.

    The five paintings – “aipur” (2009); two works from the series “Cette obscure clarté qui tombe des étoiles” (2011); “Alchemie” (2012); and “Die deutsche Heilslinie” (2012-2013) – were made between 2009 and 2013 but are being shown for the first time.

    According to the HangarBicocca, Keifer uses the language of painting in these works to reference some of the key themes already present in “The Seven Heavenly Palaces,” including man’s attempt to ascend to the divine through the great architectural constructions of the past.

    “They also add a number of considerations that are key to the artist’s poetic vision, including the relationship between man and nature, and references to the history of ideas and of Western philosophy,” the HangarBicocca states.

    “The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015” is a special project that launches the new three-year program of HangarBicocca, running till 2018 and curated by the Artistic Director Vicente Todolí.

    Kiefer in dialogo con Celant | Teaser

    #HBKiefer2015 Da oggi è possibile visitare il nuovo allestimento "I Sette Palazzi Celesti 2004 - 2015" arricchito da cinque nuove opere pittoriche di Anselm Kiefer. Ecco un estratto dalla conferenza stampa di ieri con Vicente Todolì, Germano Celant e Anselm Kiefer, a breve potrete trovare il video completo sul nostro canale Youtube. Continuate a seguirci su #HBKiefer2015

    Posted by HangarBicocca on Friday, September 25, 2015

     

    Video by HangarBicocca. Courtesy HangarBicocca

    Anselm Kiefer at HangarBicocca

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  • 09/28/15--07:46: Miami
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    A Difference of Night and Day: The Rise of Daytime Auctions

    Although top earners like Picasso’s Femmes d’Alger (Version “O”)—snapped up for a cool $179 million at the designer “Looking Forward to the Past” sale at Christie’s—grab the headlines and spark frantic Buy! Sell! Hold! crowing from conspicuous art speculators, lots like these represent only a tiny fraction of the broader art trade. According to the TEFAF Art Market Report released last March, 1,530 lots each brought more than €1 million ($1.21 million) at auction in 2014, amounting to just 0.5 percent of total transactions. And though the report placed those lots’ share at an impressive 48 percent of the overall value, it’s an open question just how much money the houses make on triple-figure sales, thanks to the lever-and-pulley system of guarantees and premium-splitting, resulting in a schism between price, value, and profit.

    “The focus on the high end does a disservice to the overall market,” says Jeff Rabin, a former Christie’s financial services executive who went on to cofound the advisory firm Artvest and the Spring Masters fair in New York. “If you have $20 billion—which many of these people and entities do—to spend $100 million is not going to change your lifestyle at all. We’re talking about the 0.001 percent of the world that can even participate at these levels.”

    Peer beneath the top-end froth and an iceberg takes shape. The best indicators for assessing the overall state of the market can be found among the other 99.5 percent of transactions, the most significant of them taking place in the day sessions of contemporary and Impressionist/modern art at Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips, which are scheduled in conjunction with their evening counterparts (in May and November in New York; in February, June, and October in London). According to Helena Newman, international co-head of Impressionist and modern art at Sotheby’s, day sales—with their higher volume and greater depth—“give you a barometer for the health, the appetite, the spread, and the taste of the market.” If jaded attendees complain that the theater of chandelier bids, predictable brand names, guarantees that effectively presell the biggest lots, and ponderous phone volleys have stripped the nighttime proceedings of any real electricity, day sales in these two categories are showing decisive signs of life.

    “Three years ago, when many of the lots came up, you’d procrastinate just under the reserve level, waiting for something to happen,” says David Kleiweg de Zwaan, head of the Impressionist/modern day sale at Christie’s New York since 2009 and also its chief auctioneer. These days, however, “it’s great to see 5, 7, 10 hands go up almost before you’ve called the lot number. People in the room and on the phone are calling out numbers that are way beyond the current bid. There’s a real excitement there.”
    Georgina Gold, co-head of the Imp/mod day sale at Sotheby’s London since 2012, concurs. “In the last four years there really has been a significant growth in the middle market,” she says.

    These second-tier sales, which can last several hours and feature hundreds of lots—many of them by the same blue-chip names that appear in the marquee auctions—accounted for some $845 million in sales at the top three houses in 2014. “They are our bread and butter,” says Sara Friedlander, head of the postwar and contemporary evening sale at Christie’s New York and former day sale chief. And they are highly profitable. Unlike the astronomically priced works at the top end, for which the consignor often pays nothing and may even share in the buyer’s premium, the houses make their largest commissions from both buyers and sellers in this band, so it makes sense that the houses are upping their promotional efforts with client events, tours of select works, and social media outreach.

    According to Rabin, “The auction houses earn full boat on middle-market property, and they earn very little in terms of gross margin on the high end. Plus, they have expenses with moving that property around the world and producing vanity catalogues,” he adds. “One of the things we pointed out in an analysis for Citibank Research in 2013 was that Sotheby’s had been ignoring the low and middle market at the expense of the high end, and it was an enormous mistake.” Sure enough, in February Sotheby’s sharply increased the commission paid on purchases at auction, so winning bidders now pay 25 percent on a mounts up to $200,000 versus the earlier limit of $100,000, and they pay 20 percent from there up to $3 million, where the upper limit for that rate used to be $2 million. The Art Newspaper calculated the change has already netted the firm an extra £3.1 million ($4.9 million) in change from its London sales.

    If there is a widening gulf between the high end and everything else, this has more to do with the over-exuberance at the top than a sag in the middle market: In the contemporary category alone, day sale totals at the aforementioned houses were up some 3 4 percent between 2010 and 2014; in the Impressionist and modern category at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, the rise was closer to 41 percent. (Totals from the first half of 2015 so far are tracking with or better than those from 2014.) What’s more, this growth has occurred against the backdrop of increasing competition—from online players and fairs, and even from the private sales, selling exhibitions, and thematic auctions within the houses themselves—for a slice of this mid-tier pie, where prices begin under $20,000 and have lately soared past seven figures.

     

    “You’re seeing these works squarely estimated under $1 million, which maybe three or four years ago would have stopped there, that are now making multimillion-dollar figures,” explains Kleiweg de Zwaan. “It’s day sale property making evening sale prices. That’s where the fireworks are.”

    Consider, for example, the $3,189,000 paid in May 2014 for Lyonel Feininger’s Sails, 1954 (est. $600–800,000), at a Sotheby’s day sale in New York, or the $3,637,000 a private buyer ponied up at Christie’s last spring for Joan Mitchell’s Magnolia, 1978 (est. $1.2–1.8 million), the loftiest of 15 lots in the session to clear $1 million. Or the $3,077,000 achieved for Georges Braque’s Tête de femme II, 1930, which raced past its $600,000 high estimate at Christie’s New York in May. Or the gem of a Giorgio de Chirico offered at Sotheby’s London in February 2014, Studio per Piazza d’Italia, circa 1913 (est. £35–45,000; $57,100–73,400), which a private U.K. collector chased to £1,314,500 ($2.1 million), a record for a work on paper by the artist.

    It’s not simply a matter of the art market’s rising tide lifting all boats. Between bidders squeezed out of the evening sales—the median contemporary price at Christie’s and Sotheby’s in May was about $4.1 million—and new buyers from Asia and South America entering the fray, new competition abounds. At all three top houses, the tally of new clients has ranged from 20 to 40 percent per sale since 2012, an uptick that specialists attribute to the friendlier price points. “The overall take is that the totals numerically have been growing—the end results as well as the sold-by-lot rate—over the past four or five seasons,” says Henry Highley, head of contemporary day sales at Phillips. And, he adds, “the market seems to get more intelligent every time.”

    There is, of course, plenty of day sale demand for works by the best-known artists who also appear regularly in the headline sales: Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Paul Gauguin in the Imp/mod category; Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Christopher Wool on the contemporary side. These can seem like a bargain when compared with the premier properties of the evening sales. Of Gauguin’s Rouen landscape Le poulailler, 1884 (est. £250–350,000; $390–550,000), which fetched £665,000 ($1 million) in a day sale at Sotheby’s London in June, Gold says, “It was a very beautiful picture, it had been in the same private French collection since the 1970s, it just ticked all the boxes.”Five bidders jumped at the chance to acquire this early work by the artist, whose 1892 Nafea faa ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) had changed hands in a private sale in February for a reported $300 million.

    While less expensive works by major names still stud the top lots, the encyclopedic nature of the day sales—as well as the sheer quantity of lots on offer—also allows deeper cuts from the canon to emerge. “In the day sale we can set up a broader context for [the leading artists] than in the evening channel,” says Saara Pritchard, head of postwar and contemporary afternoon sales at Christie’s New York, lining up works by Thomas Schütte and Albert Oehlen, say, alongside those by Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter. “I think collectors appreciate our thinking more actively about their broader collecting rather than just reactively selling what we are offered.” As Johanna Flaum, who leads the contemporary day sales at Sotheby’s New York, puts it, “We get to be a little more creative, a little more strategic. What hasn’t the market seen in a long time, and what are our clients looking for?”

    Occasionally, what clients are looking for is surprising. Interest in Tsuguharu Foujita, a Japanese-born School of Paris artist (and pal of Modigliani and Soutine) who remains popular in his home country but whose market peaked in the late 1980s, was aroused after one of his works hurdled seven figures in a Christie’s day sale in November 2013—Nu allongé à la toile de Jouy, 1949, went for $1,205,000, obliterating his previous auction record of $325,000. There has long been a regular churn of lesser works, particularly at smaller houses, but the day sale offered the opportunity for an above-average piece to take off. That in turn coaxed one of the artist’s finest works in private hands to market. Combining two of Foujita’s most enduring themes, Nu au chat, 1930, made £1,202,500 ($1.9 million) in the Imp/mod evening sale at Sotheby’s in June.

    Other artists who have notched new high-water marks via day sales since the events began their upward swing in 2012 include Josef Albers, Walton Ford, Marc Quinn, El Anatsui, Ellen Gallagher, John McCracken, and Kerry James Marshall. Yoshitomo Nara, whose eerily wise kiddo Baby Blue, 1999—posited in the catalogue as a latter-day heir to Picasso’s Blue Period paintings of youth—set an artist record at Sotheby’s in May when it rocketed past its $700,000-to-$900,000 estimate to fetch $2,170,000 (the result was bested a few weeks later at a Christie’s evening sale in Hong Kong).

    And whereas women are noticeably underrepresented at the highest level, by dint of historically lower prices, they make up a greater percentage of day sales, where a string of triumphs can help pave a path to the evening auction. Helen Frankenthaler is a prime example of an artist who, having generated considerable heat during daylight hours—8 of her top 10 prices have been achieved in day sales since 2008—has now started to appear more regularly in evening events. “She was definitely one of the success stories in May,” says Flaum. “Between the painting in the evening sale and two in the day sale, we achieved the top three records for the artist. It was sort of a perfect storm.” Strong prices in day sales have also propelled Sonia Delaunay, Sturtevant, and Ruth Asawa into greater market recognition.

    The day sales are also often the first proving ground for darlings of the primary market—often to their dealers’ consternation. Phillips leads the field in this regard, having introduced Dan Colen, R.H. Quaytman, Carol Bove, Ryan Trecartin, Tauba Auerbach, and Jonas Wood to the secondary market through its day sales; all have since made the leap to prime time. It can be a tricky calculation, because the last thing any of the parties want is for a work to buy in. “You’re reading what’s going on and taking it to auction at the right time, giving it the right setting and the right marketing in order to get these prices,” explains Highley of Phillips.

    Says Pritchard, who formerly headed the even-more-emerging First Open sale, where Christie’s often introduces young names, “It’s not in our interest to present artists too soon, and we do make a point of not presenting works made in the last year. When a certain type of work is completely unavailable but very desirable, we perceive that as the right moment, because if you wanted to get it, you couldn’t…. While we still try to set estimates close-ish to retail, maybe a little above, we’re not pushing the estimates to where we think the works are [actually] going to sell,” she adds. “It’s really for the market to determine the price point.”

    The trickle-up effect is not limited to the buzziest young names, however; day sales often hold clues to the next season’s coming attractions. Reviewing the most recent trends at the evening level, from modern sculpture to Surrealism to Gutai to late Warhol, one can find early indicators percolating up through the day sale channel. So what will be next? In the postwar and contemporary arena, specialists point toward Minimalism, especially Light and Space, and Color Field artists as primed for a breakthrough.

    “I think that John McCracken will be reevaluated in the coming years. He sells quite well in the context of day sales, and I think that it’s only a matter of time before a new bar is set,” says Pritchard, who sold a 1970 untitled cube sculpture for $269,000 in May. Flaum of Sotheby’s pegs Larry Poons, whose work offers a bridge between Abstract Expressionism and Color Field and saw a record of $1,157,000 set in November 2014 for Little Sangre de Christo, 1964 (est. $150–250,000). In a similar vein, Highley cites Kenneth Noland as a comparatively undervalued Color Field painter. Two “Lozenge” canvases from the 1960s, each tagged at $120,000 to $180,000, fared well in the May sale at Phillips, fetching $269,000 and $245,000. “Even though they set strong prices, I think those were a great buy,” he says.

    Among Imp/mod artists, Kleiweg de Zwaan has seen Chinese buyers ratcheting up prices for André Brasilier and, notably, Bernard Buffet, who set a chain of day sale records in 2013 and 2014, which were followed by the April 2014 sale of Deux clowns, saxophone, 1989, for a RMB4,950,000($792,000) result at Christie’s Shanghai. “The Buffets are often large-scale, very bold, extremely colorful paintings that are generally quite accessible,” Kleiweg de Zwaan says. For those coming from a different cultural background, “these are definitely a very interesting entry point to the collecting of Western art.”

    For her part, Gold of Sotheby’s has noticed a rabid interest among her clients in sculpture, such as Rembrandt Bugatti’s stalking panther in cast bronze, Panthère marchant, patte arrière levée, circa 1925, which brought £377,000 ($590,000) on an estimate of £250–350,000 ($390–550,000) in London in June. “Maybe they’ve run out of room on their walls,” she jokes.

    If these categories and artists gain traction, far from the market toppling due to top-heaviness, it could find a new plateau on a higher plane. As the global audience for day sales continues to expand, so too will the range of property on offer. After all, says Gold, “You can’t get the buyers if you don’t have the material.” This in turn should have a positive impact on the visibility for many lesser-known artists. Ultimately, a thriving middle market has the potential to diversify the top end—which should leave everyone breathing easier about the sustainability of nine-figure sales.

    Carolee Schneeman

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    25 Most Collectible Midcareer Artists: Marianne Vitale

    In its September issue, Art+Auction compiled a list of the 25 most collectible midcareer artists working today. This month, ARTINFO will publish one installment from the feature per day. Click here to read Art+Auction editor-in-chief Eric Bryant’s introduction to the list. To see all the installments published so far, click here.

    Marianne Vitale |  b. 1973 |  United States

    “Like Arte Povera, it’s never only conceptual and it’s never only about the material. It’s about the material having a certain history,” says Nicole Hackert of Berlin’s Contemporary Fine Arts (CFA) in describing the practice of Vitale, who works across media and genres, creating sculptures, works on canvas, and performances.

    While Vitale’s large-scale pieces appear to reference artists like Gordon Matta-Clark and Mark di Suvero, artist and curator Rachel Foullon says that she “is not directly addressing art history as much as she’s addressing her own life-span and perceptions of a postindustrial detritus. It’s an investigation into the materials that are left around to rot and a repurposing of them,” adds Foullon, who included Vitale’s work in the inaugural exhibition this past summer at the Other Room, Jasper Johns’s new space in downtown Manhattan.

    Vitale, who was included in the 2010 Whitney Biennial, has received commissions from Frieze and Performa. In June CFA brought her work to Art Basel, where she saw brisk sales despite still being relatively unknown in Europe. Paralleling her range in styles and sizes, the prices for Vitale’s works also vary—small masks can be acquired for as little as $6,000, while sculptures from her “Worthy” series can reach $45,000. An exhibition of her work opens at Venus Over Los Angeles in January 2016.

    25 Most Collectible Artists 2015

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    Shows That Matter: Richard Serra's "Ramble Drawings"

    WHAT: “Richard Serra: Ramble Drawings

    WHEN: Through October 26

    WHERE: Gagosian Gallery, Upper East Side

    WHY: Alfred H. Barr Jr., the first director of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, once said that every generation has to paint its own black square. He was referring to the 1913 monochrome by Kazimir Malevich, founder of the Russian Suprematist movement, who searched for a new beginning, a “zero degree,” in art. But his statement could also apply for a later generation to Richard Serra, whose “Ramble Drawings,” displayed at Gagosian Gallery’s Upper East Side outpost in a show that opened Saturday, demonstrate the same reductive impulse.

    The exhibition’s 74 works on paper (all from 2015) are variations on Malevich’s square, stretched out and pressed with black lithographic crayons to achieve different textures: oily, streaky, pocked, solid. The pictures, stacked like rows of large, incongruous industrial cement bricks across the gallery walls, are anything but monotonous, however. Black never looked so colorful.

    Richard Serra3-6, 2015. Litho crayon on paper, 22 x 30 in. (55.9 x 76.2 cm). © Richard Serra. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photograph by Robert McKeever.

    The 75-year-old American modernist has in the past explicitly invited a comparison to Malevich, observing: “Malevich’s black square = spirituality. My black square = materiality.” Serra’s description of the earlier work was in line with the way many American artists of the 1960s and ’70s — Donald Judd and Mel Bochner among them — preferred to think of its creator: as a Euclidian rationalist unconcerned with process. This was either an innocent misreading or a calculated mischaracterization, designed to differentiate their own projects from the Suprematists’. In truth, as art historian Yve-Alain Bois pointed out in a 2011 essay, Malevich laid down paint with bristling, varying surfaces.

    Serra is right, though, in imputing mystic inclinations to Malevich. In his 1915 Petrograd gallery show, he hung his black square painting in a corner near the ceiling, the place where, in a Russian home, the icon of a saint would be displayed. Here was a new icon for modernity, Malevich suggested, released from the burden of representing real life in portraits or landscapes.

    Serra’s drawings are hung at a less celestial height and exhibit a less pure abstraction. There is a sensuality to the long crayon marks  pressed onto the paper with varying degrees of weight. Some works might remind viewers of a moment in a Degas sketch, a Munch drawing, or a Cézanne painting. And those associations are perfectly acceptable. Paul Klee famously defined drawing as taking a line for a walk. These “Rambles” on the other hand, are desultory wanderings, of the line and the eye. 

    Richard Serra "Ramble Drawings" Gagosian Gallery

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    Art on the Plate: Chef Lee Boon Seng Brings Singapore's Flavors to New York City

    One of the brightest rising stars on Singapore’s food scene, Lee Boon Seng seized the opportunity to present the Southeast Asian city’s best culinary specialties to New York’s discerning diners in September.

    As part of Singapore’s 50th Jubilee celebrations around the world, the Singapore Tourism Board asked Lee, the sous chef of Resort World Sentosa’s award-winning modern Australian restaurant OSIA, to work with luxury retailer Bergdorf Goodman to present Singapore-inspired menu.

    On the menu were contemporary takes on traditional foods, such as “yu sheng” — a traditional fish salad eaten during the Lunar New Year that Lee presented as smoked salmon carpaccio, topped with freeze-dried orange segments and edible flowers; lobster and ravioli laksa (a spicy, seafood-and-coconut-broth); as well as desserts bubur cha cha (yam and sweet potatoes in coconut milk) and cheng tng (a sweet, clear soup with fruits and nuts).

    Lee deftly translated Singapore cuisine’s bold flavors into some very refined food suitable for the ladies who lunch; his dishes were also beautifully plated. For Lee, who did not even know the English word for “carrot” when started his kitchen career from scratch at Equinox, a restaurant in Singapore’s Swissotel The Stamford, aged 17, it was a remarkable opportunity to showcase his oeuvre on a global stage.

    Lee's lobster laksa. Photo by Michelle Tay.

    Blouin Lifestyle caught up with the chef, who is now 30, about the response to his cuisine.

    Why did you choose these dishes to present in New York?
    All these dishes are my personal favorites, and I’ve come to be able to present them differently using modern European techniques, but never covering up their authentic flavors.

    How has the response been?
    It’s exceeded my expectations. We’ve sold 20 portions a day, and the top sellers are the lobster laksa and halibut soup. I think it’s because I researched the American palate and made sure nothing was too heavy. For example, I emulsified the laksa broth so it’s not too spicy or thick with coconut, and I made the fish soup a clear broth.

    What inspires you?
    Being able to combining fresh local ingredients from New York, like lobster and halibut, with these flavors that I eat every day, and that I grew up with.

    What inspires your plating?
    I am mostly inspired by modern European techniques. Singapore always emphasizes its status as a garden city, so I like using edible flowers to make my dishes look like a garden.

    Yu Sheng

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    MCA, Tate, Qantas Announce $2.75m Australian Art Acquisition Fund

    Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Qantas, and London’s Tate have announced the establishment of an unprecedented $2.75 million, five-year International Joint Acquisition Program for contemporary Australian art.

    The $2.75 million corporate gift from the Qantas Foundation will be used to purchase a range of major works by established contemporary Australian artists spanning all media and dating from the late 1960s through to the present.

    The works will be acquired for the collections of MCA and Tate and will be owned and displayed by both institutions. A selection of the first artworks acquired will be presented at the MCA in 2016, before heading to Tate.

    Museum of Contemporary Art Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, said: “One of our core missions is to present Australia’s contemporary artists in an international context, stimulate dialogue and raise their profile globally. So we are very excited about what this collaboration means for Australian artists.

    “We are extremely grateful to Qantas – one of the MCA’s long-standing Major Partners – for their incredibly generous gift and visionary support of Australian artists. We are thrilled to be working with Tate – a world leader in collecting and presenting contemporary art from around the world.”

    Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: “In recent years Tate has made great progress in presenting a more international view of art, but this is only possible with the expertise and support of other organisations.

    “Thanks to the generosity of the Qantas Foundation, this new collaboration with the MCA will ensure both collections can represent Australian art at its best and its connections with the wider Asia-Pacific context.”

    Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, with Qantas flight attendants

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  • 09/28/15--23:06: Inside Le Sereno, St Barth

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    250 Best Auction Houses Worldwide: Asia

    It’s no secret that auctions are big business. In 2014, sales of fine art alone amounted to nearly $8 billion. And in May, records were set at Christie’s for the most expensive sculpture ever sold at auction, Giacometti’s L’Homme au doigt, at $141,285,000, and for the most expensive work of art altogether, Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O), at an extraordinary $179,365,000. In fact, business is only getting bigger—not just at the high end, where the numbers keep climbing, but at every level and around the world, as houses expand their online services and outreach to younger buyers. Hundreds of important players with expertise that extends beyond art and antiques to design, collectibles, numismatics, jewelry, and the fast-growing luxury segment make for a vibrant—and complex—industry.

    In a special summer issue of Art+Auction, which will be published in installments on ARTINFO this month, we bring you the information you need to navigate this vast market. We’ve assembled the top 250 houses, along with some of their most notable sales, as well as insider takes from 50 CEOs and specialists on the past year and the changes ahead. Below you’ll find the list of the best auction houses of Asia in 2015. To see other installments from the special issue, click here

    CHINA

    BEIJING CHENGXUAN AUCTIONS
    Beijing
    PERSONNEL: Zuo Jinghua, chairman; Gao Hong, general manager
    ESTABLISHED: 2004
    SPECIALTIES: Chinese paintings and calligraphy, ceramics, works of art, coins, stamps
    NOTABLE LOTS: Common Pain, 2009, by Tu Hongtao, $60,000 (est. $29–43,000), from the Modern and Contemporary Art Spring auction, May 17, 2015. Picnic on the Meadow No. 2, 2006, by Wei Jia, $56,000 (est. $35–45,000), from the Chinese Oil Painting & Sculptures Spring auction, May 16, 2014. Two Horses, 1947, by Ma Jin, $37,000 (est. $4,700– 6,300), from the Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy (Part I) Autumn auction, October 30, 2012.
    CONTACT: ichengxuan.com, info@chengxuan.com, +86 10 5887 0808

    BEIJING COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL AUCTION CO. LTD.
    Beijing
    PERSONNEL: Dong Guoqiang, chairman and president
    ESTABLISHED: 2005
    SPECIALTIES: Chinese classic and modern fine art, Chinese antiques
    NOTABLE LOTS: The Flute Player, by Fan Tchunpi, $993,000 (est. $628–785,000), from the 2012 Spring Auction, Oil Painting and Sculpture, June 3, 2012. Landscape in Autumn, by Qi Baishi,
$1.8 million (est. $944,000– 1.3 million), from the 2011 Autumn Auction, Modern Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, December 2, 2011. Nude, by Liu Haisu, $1.7 million (est. $877,000– 1.2 million), from the 2010 Spring Auction, Oil Painting and Sculpture, June 6, 2010.
    CONTACT: council.com.cn, council@council.com.cn, +86 10 8440 0975

    BEIJING HANHAI AUCTION
    Beijing
    ESTABLISHED: 1994
    SPECIALTIES: Chinese ceramics, Asian art, decorative arts
    NOTABLE LOTS: Smoke, by Dong Xinbin, $12,000 (est. $6,500– 9,800), from the Chinese Contemporary Painting sale, June 26, 2015. Hermits, 1993, by Fan Yang, $4,700 ($4,000), and Drunk-heart, 2012, by Zang Yuehua, $41,000 ($36,000), from the Chinese Painting and Calligraphy sale, March 15, 2015.
    CONTACT: hanhai.net, hanhai1994@sina.com, +86 10 6318 2926

    BEIJING JIUGE AUCTIONS
    Beijing and Shanghai
    ESTABLISHED: 2004
    SPECIALTIES: Chinese paintings, calligraphy, porcelain
    NOTABLE LOTS: Heavenly Capital Peak, by Lui Hai Su, $33,000; Nude, by Chang Shuhong, $592,000; Fruit, by Yang Feiyun, $477,000, all from the 2010 Spring Auctions, June 22, 2010.
    CONTACT: jgauc.com, office@jgauc.com, +86 10 5869 2808

    CHINA GUARDIAN AUCTIONS
    Beijing
    PERSONNEL: Hu Yanyan, director and president; Wang Hui, director and vice president
    ESTABLISHED: 1993
    SPECIALTIES: Chinese antiques and art
    NOTABLE LOTS:Boy and Cattle, by Li Keran, $336,000 (est. $55–87,000), from the 30th China Guardian Quarterly Auctions, Chinese Painting and Calligraphy II, June 18, 2012. Landscapes, by Qi Baishi, $6 million (est. $2.1– 3.4 million), from the China Guardian Hong Kong 2012 Autumn Auctions, Chinese Painting and Calligraphy from the Four Seas, October 7, 2012. Flowers, Birds, Figures, and Landscape, by Xie Zhiliu and Pan Boying, $2.2 million (est. $1.9–3.6 million), from the China Guardian 2013 Spring Auctions, Grand View: Chinese Painting Highlight, May 10, 2013.
    CONTACT: cguardian.com, mail@cguardian.com, +86 10 6518 2315

    DUOYUNXUAN AUCTIONS
    Shanghai
    PERSONNEL: Zhu Junbo, founding general manager
    ESTABLISHED: 1992
    SPECIALTIES: Chinese paintings, oil paintings, rare books, porcelain, jade, antiques, coins, special stamps
    CONTACT: duoyunxuan.com.cn, +86 21 6122 9066

    HOSANE AUCTION
    Shanghai
    PERSONNEL: Zhao Yong, chairman
    SPECIALTIES: Chinese paintings and calligraphy, oil paintings, sculpture, postage stamps, banknotes, coins
    NOTABLE LOTS: A silver dollar, China, Republican era, $167,000 ($49,000), from the 2015 Spring Auction, June 6, 2015. A pair of lemon-yellow glazed dishes, Yongzheng mark and period, $38,000 (est. $33–49,000), and a carved jade square Ding vessel, Qing Dynasty, $30,000 (est. $26–43,000), from the 2015 Spring Auction, June 20, 2015.
    CONTACT: hosane.com, hs@hosane.com, +86 21 2328 6888

    MACAU CHUNG SHUN INTERNATIONAL AUCTIONS
    Macau
    PERSONNEL: Kou Vai, president
    SPECIALTIES: Paintings, Buddhist statuary, porcelain, jade works of art
    CONTACT: macaucsa.com.cn, macaucsa@yahoo.com.hk, +86 853 2833 0583

    POLY INTERNATIONAL AUCTION
    Beijing
    PERSONNEL: Chen Lingchu, director Wang Li, general manager
    ESTABLISHED: 2005
    SPECIALTIES: Chinese antiquities, Chinese modern and contemporary oil paintings, Chinese modern paintings and calligraphy, Chinese ancient paintings and calligraphy
    NOTABLE LOTS: A teapot by Kong Chunhua, $53,000 (est. $33–41,000), from the Beijing Poly 2015 Spring Auctions, June 5, 2015. An emerald and diamond ring, $225,000 (est. $196–294,000), from the Beijing Poly 2015 Spring Auctions, June 6, 2015. A turquoise vase, Qianlong period, $2.3 million (est. $2–3.6 million), from the 2014 Autumn Auctions, December 3, 2014.
    CONTACT: polypm.com.cn, service@polyauction.com, +86 10 6408 2277

    RAVENELINTERNATIONAL ART GROUP
    Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai, China; Taipei, Taiwan
    PERSONNEL: Michelle Lin, president, admininstration; Flora Fu, president, art auction division
    ESTABLISHED: 1999
    SPECIALTIES: Modern and contemporary Asian art, Chinese works of art, jewelry, jadeite, fine wines
    NOTABLE LOTS: Lumière captive III, 1992, by Chu Teh-Chun, $155,000 (est. $110–168,000); 19.12.66, 1966, by Zao Wou-Ki, $2.6 million (est. $2.5–2.9 million); Keep out, 2013, by Yuan Yuan, $139,000 (est. $71,000– 110,000), all from the Ravenel Spring Auction, May 31, 2015.
    CONTACT: ravenelart.com, +852 2889 0859

    RONGBAOZHAI (SHANGHAI) AUCTION
    Shanghai
    ESTABLISHED: 1894
    SPECIALTIES: Chinese modern and contemporary art, calligraphy
    CONTACT: art139.com, rbzshjy@art139.com, +86 21 6586 7799

    SUNGARI INTERNATIONAL
    Beijing
    PERSONNEL: Liu Ting, chairman
    ESTABLISHED: 1995
    SPECIALTIES: Chinese paintings and calligraphy, antique curios, vintage wines, oil paintings, sculpture, jewelry
    NOTABLE LOTS: Maiden, 1997, by Zhu Xinjian, $374,000 (est. $130–195,000); Crane Dance, 2005, by Yu Hui, $47,000 (est. $33–41,000); and Calligraphy, by Ouyang Zhongshi, $37,000 (est. $20–29,000), all from the Sungari 2014 Autumn Auctions—Contemporary Ink Session, December 6, 2014.
    CONTACT: sungari1995.com, hw@sungari1995.com, +86 10 6415 6669

    XILINGYINSHE AUCTION
    Hangzhou
    ESTABLISHED: 2004
    SPECIALTIES: Chinese paintings and calligraphy, carved seals and inkstones, oil paintings and sculpture, contemporary carved jade, rare books, wine
    NOTABLE LOTS: Flowers, 1917, by Wu Changshuo, $1.1 million (est.$231–385,000), from the XiLingYinShe 2011 Spring Auctions, Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, July 16, 2011. Living in the Mountain, 1947, by Zhang Daqian, $3.4 million (est. $900,000–1.5 million), from the XiLingYinShe 2010 Autumn Art Auctions, Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy of the Shanghai Painting School, December 12, 2010. Birthday Peaches, 1914, by Wu Changshuo, $671,000 (est. $219– 366,000), from the XiLingYinShe 2009 Autumn Art Auction, Modern and Contemporary Chinese Painting and Calligraphy I, December 18, 2009.
    CONTACT: new.xlysauc.com, xlpm@xlysauc.com, +86 571 878 96778

    INDIA

    BID & HAMMER
    Bangalore and New Delhi
    PERSONNEL: M. Maher Dada, chairman and managing director
    ESTABLISHED: 2007
    SPECIALTIES: Modern and contemporary Indian art, old Tanjore paintings, ceramics, textiles, works of art, collectibles
    CONTACT: bidandhammer.com, info@bidandhammer.com, +91 80 3202 9681

    PUNDOLE’S
    Mumbai
    PERSONNEL: Khorshed Pundole, owner
    ESTABLISHED: 1963
    SPECIALTIES: Modern and contemporary Indian art
    NOTABLE LOTS: Untitled, 1982, by Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, $2.7 million (est. $1.5–2.4 million), and Metascape, 1977, by Akbar Padamsee, $451,000 (est. $242–403,000), from the Indian Art: Classical to Modern sale, April 9, 2015. Untitled, 1958, by Maqbool Fida Husain, $380,000 (est. $248–513,000), from the Fine and Decorative Arts sale, August 26, 2014.
    CONTACT: pundoles.com, khorshed@pundoles.com, +91 22 228 418 37

    SAFFRONART
    Mumbai and New Delhi, India; New York, U.S.; London, U.K.
    PERSONNEL: Dinesh Vazirani, cofounder; Minal Vazirani, cofounder
    ESTABLISHED: 2000
    SPECIALTIES: Art advisory, art storage, private sales, appraisals and valuations
    NOTABLE LOTS: Nari, 1998, by S. H. Raza, $138,000 (est. $98,000– 131,000), from the Discerning Eye: Bangalore Live Auction, April 16, 2015. Peripheral Nirvana, 2012, by N. S. Harsha, $90,000 (est. $115–148,000), from the Kochi Muziris Biennale Fundraiser Auction, April 8, 2015. Cape and Promonotory, 1977, by Jenhangir Sabavala, $334,000 (est. $197– 295,000), from the Modern Evening Sale, February, 13, 2015.
    CONTACT: saffronart.com, info@saffronart.com, +91 22 2436 4113

    JAPAN

    AUGUR AUCTION
    Tokyo
    PERSONNEL: Takashi Yamamoto, director Mitsuhiro Kaji, director Ryoichi Matsuo, director
    ESTABLISHED: 2006
    SPECIALTIES: Contemporary art
    NOTABLE LOTS: May 12, 1988, 1988, by On Kawara, $216,000 (est. $183–266,000); Untitled 87-11-23, 1987, by Chung Sang-Hwa, $89,000 (est. $5,000–10,000); and Infinity Dots, 2006, by Yayoi Kusama, $58,000 (est. $58–75,000), all from Sale 21, April 10, 2015.
    CONTACT: augur.jp, caa@augur.jp, +81 3 5428 2285

    ISE ART AUCTION
    Tokyo
    PERSONNEL: Nobuhiko Ise, founder
    ESTABLISHED: 2008
    SPECIALTIES: Fine Japanese and Asian arts and crafts
    NOTABLE LOTS: Femme au chapeau, by Pierre Auguste Renoir, $959,000, and Mother, Child, Cat, mid 19th century, by Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, $307,000, from the April 26, 2012, sale. Thirty- six Views of Mt. Fuji, by Katsushika Hokusai, $59,000, from the September 29, 2012, sale.
    CONTACT: ise-art.co.jp, info@ise-art.co.jp, +81 3 6402 5333

    MAINICHI ART AUCTION
    Tokyo
    PERSONNEL: Hiroaki Mochizuki, president and representative director
    ESTABLISHED: 1973
    SPECIALTIES: Fine art, decorative arts, Japanese antiques, jewelry, watches
    CONTACT: my-auction.co.jp, art@my-auction.co.jp, +81 3 3527 7330

    SHINWA ART AUCTION
    Tokyo
    PERSONNEL: Yoichiro Kurata, president
    ESTABLISHED: 1989
    SPECIALTIES: Impressionist paintings, Post-Impressionist paintings, European decorative arts, Japanese antiques, jewelry, watches, contemporary art, wine
    NOTABLE LOTS: Mount Fuji, 1964, by Yokoyama Taikan, $644,000 (est. $248–371,000), from the Modern Art sale, November 16, 2012. Roses and Mimosa, by Umehara Ryuzaburo, $467,000 (est. $189–315,000), from the Modern Art auction, May 19, 2012. Woman Standing on Black Ground, 1914, by Kishida Ryusei, $436,000, from the Modern Art auction, March 24, 2012.
    CONTACT: shinwa-art.com, english@shinwa-art.co.jp, +81 3 3520 0066

    KOREA

    SEOUL AUCTION
    Seoul
    ESTABLISHED: 1998
    SPECIALTIES: Korean paintings and calligraphy, fine art, jewelry
    NOTABLE LOTS: A white porcelain jar, Joseon period, $939,000, from the 136th Auction, June 6, 2015. Work, 1966, by Yoo Youngkuk, $386,000 (est. $314–494,000), from the 135th Modern and Contemporary Art Auction, March 9, 2015. Vajra guardians, carved and colored wood, $133,000 (est. $110–183,000), from the 134th Korean Traditional Art Auction, December 17, 2014.
    CONTACT: seoulauction.com, info@seoulauction.com, +82 2 2075 4422

    PHILIPPINES

    SALCEDO AUCTIONS
    Makati City
    PERSONNEL: Karen Lerma, president
    ESTABLISHED: 2010
    SPECIALTIES: Fine Filipino art, watches, jewelry, furniture
    NOTABLE LOTS: Pagoda, 1967, by Hernando R. Ocampo, $821,000 (est. $64–73,000); We Are Many, 1950, by Alfonso Ossorio, $265,000 ($17–19,000); and Dalagang Bukid, 1958, by Fernando Amorsolo, all from the March 2015 Important Philippine Art sale.
    CONTACT: salcedoauctions.com, info@salcedoauctions.com, +63 2 659 4094

    SINGAPORE

    33 AUCTION
    Singapore
    PERSONNEL: Linda Ma, owner
    ESTABLISHED: 2009
    SPECIALTIES: Modern and contemporary Asian art
    NOTABLE LOTS: Andong (Horse Cart), 1978, by Affandi, $281,000 (est. $200–280,000), and Never Lose Your Fighting Spirit, by Hendra Gunawan, $249,000 (est. $200–280,000), from the May 2014 Modern and Contemporary Asian Art sale. Border, 2002, by Xin Dongwang, $226,000 (est. $157–204,000), from the October 2014 Autumn sale.
    CONTACT: 33auction.com, info@33auction.com, +65 6747 4555

    BOROBUDUR FINE ART AUCTION
    Singapore
    PERSONNEL: John Andreas, CEO
    ESTABLISHED: 2004
    SPECIALTIES: Asian contemporary and modern art, Nordic design, watches, jewelry
    CONTACT: borobudurauction.com, borobudur@singnet.com.sg, +65 6745 6066

    LARASATI AUCTIONEERS
    Singapore; Jakarta, Indonesia; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Hong Kong, China
    PERSONNEL: Daniel Komala, CEO
    ESTABLISHED: 2000
    SPECIALTIES: Traditional, modern, and contemporary art, Asian art
    NOTABLE LOTS: Nine Gibbons at Play, by Chen Wen Hsi, $109,000 (est. $93,000–111,000), from the Modern & Contemporary Art sale, July 5, 2015. Women in the Garden, by Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès, $519,000 (est. $500– 700,000), from the Modern & Contemporary Art sale, January 24, 2015. Three Horses, by Lee Man Fong, $303,000 (est. $136– 176,000), from the Modern & Contemporary Art sale, August, 24, 2014.
    CONTACT: larasati.com, info@larasati.com, +65 67 372 130

    TAIWAN

    ZHONG CHENG AUCTION CO., LTD.
    Taipei
    PERSONNEL: Michelle Chih-Han Wang, vice president, business development
    ESTABLISHED: 2006
    SPECIALTIES: Chinese contemporary art
    NOTABLE LOTS: Triumphal Arch, 1971, by Liao Chichun, $295,000 (est. $272–320,000), from the 2015 Spring Auction— Modern and Contemporary Art, April 14, 2015. 14.06.61, 1961, by Zao Wouki, $899,000 (est. $576– 896,000), from the 2014 Autumn Auction—Modern and Contemporary Art, December 21, 2014. Illusion, 1993, by Wang Huaiqing, $1.5 million (est. $1.3–1.4 million), from the 2014 Spring Auction—Modern and Contemporary Art, June 8, 2014.
    CONTACT: art106.com, art@art106.com, +886 2 8773 3565

    250 Best Auction Houses 2015

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    250 Best Auction Houses: Hong Kong and Beijing

    In a special summer issue of Art+Auction, which will be published in installments on ARTINFO this month, we bring you the information you need to navigate the vast auction market. We’ve assembled the top 250 houses, along with some of their most notable sales, as well as insider takes from 50 CEOs and specialists on the past year and the changes ahead. Below you’ll find Q&As with auction house leaders based in Hong Kong and Beijing. To see other installments from the special issue, click here

    ACKER MERRALL & CONDIT
    Hong Kong, China; New York and Chicago, U.S.
    ESTABLISHED: 1820
    SPECIALTIES: Wine and spirits

    CONTACT: ackerwines.com, info@ackerasia.com, +852 2525 0538

    John Kapon, CEO

    What was your most successful auction in the past year?
    I would point to two in particular that set the bar for the entire industry: our January 2015 Hong Kong and February 2015 New York City auctions. Both featured the personal collection of the legendary Martine Saunier. Martine was for decades the U.S. importer of two equally legendary Burgundy winemakers, Henri Jayer and Madame Bize-Leroy. The wines from her collection were beyond rare, and our clients around the world competed for them aggressively.

    Which lot was the most exciting or surprising?
    You could choose literally any lot from the Martine Saunier Collection and be thrilled as a wine collector and connoisseur. There were so many bottles and magnums directly from her personal cellar that would be incredible to drink. However, just as exciting was a superlot of every wine that Comte Louis-Michel Liger-Belair has made at the Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair, which we auctioned in our May 2015 Hong Kong auction. He is making Burgundies as great as any these days.

    Is there an artist, market, or medium you think is overlooked right now? Something you’d invest in?
    The greatest Burgundies, not unlike the most famous artists, will only become more rare because they are made in such small quantities. And global wealth creation means that more connoisseurs want these wines in their cellars. The same is true for the great vintages of older, more mature Bordeaux from the 1960s to ’90s. Those are extra- ordinary wines to drink and age, and collectors and connoisseurs know that these are much savvier Bordeaux to buy, compared with newer vintages. And don’t ignore the great reds of Piedmont and Tuscany—they’re incredible wines that are being sought after by more and more collectors around the world.

    How have online auctions changed the way you do business?
    It’s ironic that the Web has, on the one hand, made more information about the greatest wines available to every collector, enabling them to make their own decisions about what to collect, buy, and drink beyond what the most famous critics think and say. Yet it has also reinforced the importance of buying the very best, the best of the best, for your cellar. Because collectors know these unique, famous vineyards cannot be replicated—there is only one Romanée-Conti, La Tâche, Pétrus, Latour, Lafite, and so on, to name just a very few of the top 25 or so most collectible wines we auction.

    What part of your business saw the most growth in 2014?
    For the first time in our long history, auction sales of Burgundy exceeded those of Bordeaux. This is likely a longer-term trend, given how little Burgundy is made comparatively.

    Where would you like to take the company in the next several years?
    To more people in more countries. We are the best at what we do, and a lot of people still don’t know it.

    What one thing do you wish more collectors knew?
    That they need to taste religiously.

    ***

    KINGSLEY ART AUCTION
    Beijing, China; Taipei and Taichung, Taiwan
    SPECIALTIES: Chinese contemporary art
    CONTACT: kingsleyauction.com, kingsley.auction@hotmail.com, +886 2 2658 5000

    Christine Cheng, Vice-General Manager

    What was your most successful auction in the past year?
    Our 2014 Spring Auction. The turnover number went beyond all our expectations.

    Which lot was the most exciting or surprising?
    The turnover of Yun Gee’s oil painting Portrait of a Sailor. It sold at the price of NTD6,136,000 ($204,533), which was two million higher than we estimated.

    How have online auctions changed the way you do business?
    We’ve just began to use an online auction since the 2015 Spring Auction. It’s an undeniable fact that we’ve gained more overseas customers’ attention, but there hasn’t been a big change, because our current lots are mostly Asian artists’ works. However, we still look forward to making more possibilities and opportunities online.

    What other trends do you see influencing the market? 
    Twentieth-century Asian art plays a very important role in Asian auctions. Moreover, since the economy of China is recovering, there will be more collectors attending 20th-century Asian-art auction events.

    Where would you like to take the company in the next several years?
    Kingsley is just one of the companies in the Asian auction field. In the future, we expect to introduce more and more artists from all around the world.

    What one thing do you wish more collectors knew?
    In addition to watching and buying, collectors need the patience to research and seek out artworks. Whether artworks are on paper, canvas, or anything else, all of them need to be placed in very safe and thermostatic spaces. Also, every few years, to ensure their value, artworks should be reexamined and repaired to perfection.

    Do you have a collecting obsession? If so, what purchase are you most proud of?
    Certainly! A Yayoi Kusama yellow pumpkin. I bought that painting in Seoul. It’s not very big, but it’s full of Kusama characteristics, such as pumpkin, dots, and net. The price at which I bought the painting in 2007 was higher than the prevailing market price at the time. But if we assess the painting today, it looks like a really good deal. In the future, the artwork will become more and more valuable.

    Have you ever wildly overpaid for something you bought yourself? 
    See above!

    250 Best Auction Houses 2015

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    250 Best Auction Houses: Focus on India

    In a special summer issue of Art+Auction, which will be published in installments on ARTINFO this month, we bring you the information you need to navigate the vast auction market. We’ve assembled the top 250 houses, along with some of their most notable sales, as well as insider takes from 50 CEOs and specialists on the past year and the changes ahead. Below you’ll find Q&As with auction house leaders based in India. To see other installments from the special issue, click here

    ART BULL
    New Delhi, India
    ESTABLISHED: 2012
    SPECIALTIES: Indian modern and contemporary art

    CONTACT: bidartbullindia.com, +91 4107 7020

    Kiran Mohan, Chief Planning & Operations

    What was your most successful auction in the past year? 
    Pre-Independence Modern & Contemporary Masters, held at Hotel ITC Maurya, New Delhi, on February 22, 2014, our fourth auction, and Indian Modern & Contemporary Art Auction, held at the Oberoi Hotel, New Delhi, on November 16, 2014, our fifth.

    Which lot was the most exciting or surprising?
    Top sellers at the fourth auction were a late 1970s oil painting by M.F. Husain, Untitled (Horse); Kundalini Painting, an acrylic on canvas by Syed Haider Raza; and an untitled oil by Somnath Hore. Artworks by Sanjay Bhattacharya and sculptures by B. Prabha also created a stir in the room, on the floor, and among telephone bidders. The only artwork of a folk/ tribal artist also fetched a reasonable bid. The most successful lot at the fifth auction was [a piece by] Paritosh Sen, which invited unprecedented bidding on the floor. [Pieces by] Ram Kumar, Sakti Burman, and B. Vithal and sculptures by Pradosh Dasgupta were also actively bid for on the floor.

    Is there an artist, market, or medium you think is overlooked right now? Something you’d invest in?
    Artists like K. K. Hebbar, George Keyt, Sohan Qadri, O. P. Sharma, and Paritosh Sen. Sculpture has been a prominent art medium but has been overlooked. Investing in sculptures could be more engaged and enthusiastic.

    How have online auctions changed the way you do business?
    Online auctions have a greater influence on the art business today. The reach is manifold and accessible to any time zone. However, the face-to-face interaction with the individual client is missed out on completely. A physical presence to initiate discussion of artworks and sharing of knowledge does get disregarded while doing online auctions. However amicable we may be in accepting the virtual era of the online auction, the physical auctions have their own appeal and distinction.

    What other trends do you see influencing the market?
    Art connoisseurs have become more aware and like to do their bit of fact finding and research before they decide on any particular work of art. Secondly, international auction houses conducting live auctions in India have managed to create a swing in the art market.

    Where would you like to take the company in the next several years? 

    We look forward to doing auctions every quarter. Charity auctions for a cause are also something we’ve begun and wish to continue with more fervor. We also wish to explore and promote talented artists who have not got their due in the past.

    What one thing do you wish more collectors knew?
    We wish that collectors were aware of the challenges an auction house faces in sourcing and documenting artworks, doing their due diligence, and the authentication of the artworks. The passion and the drive with which the auction team moves to identify rare, exclusive artworks from the best years of the artist.

    Do you have a collecting obsession? If so, what purchase are you most proud of?
    I collect what I like. The idea is not to hoard artworks but build a good body of Indian modern and contemporary art which complements my taste. Modern Indian art is something I am particularly fond of.

    ***

    OSIAN’S
    Mumbai and New Delhi, India
    ESTABLISHED: 2000
    SPECIALTIES: Antiquities, modern and contemporary art, books, Indian film memorabilia, sports memorabilia
    CONTACT: osians.com, +91 22 6156 3100

    Neville Tuli, Chairman

    What was your most successful auction in the past year?
    The June 19, 2015, Modern & Contemporary Indian Fine Arts auction. A relatively small auction value-wise, it was organized on the day when all of Mumbai was flooded, and yet we continued with our telebidders and completed nearly 90 percent of lower estimates as sales.

    Which lot was the most exciting or surprising?
    Many, such as the small Tyeb Mehta and the wonderful Nandalal Bose, but nothing spectacular on a global scale.

    Is there an artist, market, or medium you think is overlooked right now? Something you’d invest in?
    The whole Indian modern and contemporary fine arts market has barely any depth, as the top 15 artists account for nearly 80 percent of all global sales. The Indian film memorabilia market is set for a major boost after nearly 15 years of steady infrastructure building, and naturally once the vintage and classic automobile market is launched in India, a whole new energy, collector, and knowledge base will be placed into an inevitable momentum. The antiquarian book, print, and photography market pertaining to India and Asia is as strong as ever. The scarcity of good-quality material is evident for India.

    How have online auctions changed the way you do business?
    We have unfortunately not taken any positive decision toward online auctions, as all our online energy has been devoted to building the world’s largest knowledge base on India’s cultural civilization. Osianama.com will be fully open to the public by August 2015.

    What other trends do you see influencing the market?
    A redefining of all knowledge bases and the opening up of genuine world-class learning and education platforms which fuse online and offline models will be critical in transforming the public’s awareness and the public’s sensibility and respect for creativity, especially for countries such as India, where the base has been relatively low and of poor quality. This will hopefully lead to a strengthening and deepening of the market within the next four to five years.

    What part of your business saw the most growth in 2014?
    Liquidity-crunch-driven private sales!

    Where would you like to take the company in the next several years?
    Regain leadership with a 30 percent market share in the Indian fine and popular arts and antiquities market by 2016, as we had established from 2001 to 2008. With top-quality auction houses such as Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Pundoles, and Saffronart.com now in the fray, Osian’s will have a good challenge in front of it. It will be good to see how things unfold.

    What one thing do you wish more collectors knew?
    An understanding and respect for the history of art in the best possible sense.

    Do you have a collecting obsession? If so, what purchase are you most proud of?
    Too many. The Osian’s Archive & Library Collection still sits on over 200,000 wonderful artworks, rare memorabilia, and cultural artifacts from all over the world, despite going through five very difficult years post 2009.

    250 Best Auction Houses 2015

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