NEW YORK - In changing the name of the New York mid-season sales to Contemporary Curated, we decided that instead of just sounding more exciting and edgy, we actually wanted to be that way. We took a page from our more editorial friends in fashion, publishing, and even online art venues, and decided to invite individuals from both in and outside the art world to look at our catalogue and tell us what caught their attention, and why. We wanted people who, whatever their industry, are known for having an interesting eye – a particular way of seeing things, and a unique perspective.
Contemporary Specialist Courtney Kremers examines Christopher Wool's Untitled (P63) from the Contemporary Curated sale.
There were a lot of unknowns with this new idea, like, what do we do if everyone picks the same works? Surprisingly enough, no one did. We also worried that the turn-around time from when we could send a PDF of the catalogue in a semi-finished state, to when we needed responses, was a matter of days. I was thrilled to have Jason Rubell, Tamara Mellon, James Frey and Adam Fields, weigh in for September, but I was dreading trying to nudge four very busy people into sitting down to look at 380+ artworks in a giant PDF format, and then come back with comments. They couldn’t have made it easier and more enjoyable.
James Frey was heading on a camping trip with his son and would be off the grid, so he got back to us almost immediately. Speaking with him over the phone I was surprised to hear about some of the works in his collection (awesome), and the stories that accompanied them.
View all of James' picks
Roy Lichtenstein's Wallpaper with Blue Floor Interior, 1992. Estimate $25,000 - 35,000.
Tamara Mellon was traveling in Europe when she made her picks. We had to keep splitting the PDF into smaller files so that she could download it abroad. On the verge of launching her own fashion empire this fall (Jimmy Choo was just cutting-teeth?), she took the time to select a beautiful group of minimal, graphic, smart works that, I think, perfectly encapsulates her own elegance and style.
View all of Tamara's picks
Alfred Jensen's Twin Children of the Sun # 5, 1974. Estimate $40,000 - 60,000.
Jason Rubell was in Aspen for Art Crush when we first spoke about this new concept. Having visited the Rubell Family Collection for the last six years during Miami Basel, I was intimidated to approach someone who has literally helped define the scope of Contemporary art, and who has been collecting since infancy (13 years old actually, but close). I think he ultimately agreed because I played the Duke card (we are both Blue Devils and love the Nasher), and because a few works jumped out at him by artists that were also part of the RFC’s exhibition '30 Americans', on view this summer at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
View all of Jason's picks
Bob Thompson's The Milky Way, 1964. Estimate $20,000 - 30,000.
Adam Fields of Artspace is our young-edgy-online-art-guy, who like Rubell, has much older ‘art eyes’ because his parents are also major collectors. When I first read his comment on the Christopher Wool in our sale, in which he said a work by the artist hangs in his family’s home… I thought, is it still there? Can we have it? I haven’t asked Adam yet but this makes it official.
Mark Bradford's Curtis, 2007. Estimate $500,000 - 700,000.
We are excited to have these four unique voices commenting on works in our auction, and are looking forward to hearing from our future curators. At the core, our mid-season sales are still the same. We have simply added voices other than our own in an effort to open the dialogue.