Unpacking Gerhard Richter's Wand (Wall) in London.
NEW YORK - Arriving in New York yesterday I was blown away to see the highlights of our February Contemporary Art Evening sale installed in the 10th floor galleries. My colleagues and I have been working on this sale for the last three months, sourcing works of art from all over the world. As the catalogue comes together you develop a vision for the sale; you identify the star lots and mentally build a picture of how each new consignment will look when juxtaposed with other great objects. Of course some works I know from collectors' homes, or I have seen in our London offices prior to this exhibition – others I only knew from pictures – but this morning was the first time that I saw them all hanging together side by side, according to the mental image of the installation that I had sketched out on a piece of paper back in London. It's a real highlight of my job for me to finally see the artworks in person and to encounter the unexpected dialogues that they have with one another.
Art Handlers transport Gerhard Richter's Wand (Wall) at Sotheby's London.
The last time I saw our cover lot, Gerhard Richter's incredible Wand (Wall) from 1994, it was fresh off a freighter in a chilly warehouse close to Heathrow. Even in the austere fluorescent light of the warehouse I could see that it was far, far better than it had appeared in reproduction; but seeing it installed on the 10th floor, even on a wet and grey January day, it's clear why the artist kept this in his own collection for so long. It has this sensational, incandescent red, which fills the gallery space. In New York it's more often a Rothko hanging on this wall, but for me this painting has all the drama of the AbEx master with a more minimalist, pseudo-photographic sensibility typical of Richter.
Highlights from London's upcoming Contemporary and Impressionist and Modern Evenings sales are on view at Sotheby's New York.