Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Jemima Khan, Mario Testino, and a chap called 3D from the band Massive Attack were among the buyers who made a bee-line for East End gallery Stolen Spaces last week for the opening of Lightness of Being, an exhibition of holograms and prints by light artist Chris Levine.
Levine achieved prominence four years ago with his commissioned hologram portrait of the Queen, and was unveiling some unseen images of her in less guarded moments in the exhibition.
The light installations use several hundred lasers and LED projections to create the images, which are available in editions of three and priced at £30,000 each. Prints of the images are available in much larger editions priced from £1,000 to £10,000 and both have been selling like hot cakes.
Buyers were also queuing up for 42-year-old Armenian painter Armen Eloyan's first exhibition at the Timothy Taylor gallery in Mayfair, where eight new paintings, which depict a world of unruly cartoon characters, were presented last week.
Priced at between £5,000 and £30,000, all were sold before the opening. Other sell-out shows on view this week are for the Los Angeles street artist David Choe, who has sold more than 45 works priced at up to £40,000 each in exhibitions at the Lazarides Gallery's two branches in London and Newcastle; and for dynamic young French artist Nicolas Pol, whose new prints and paintings at Allsopp Contemporary, west London, were priced between £800 and £19,000 each.
The annual International Asian Art Fair in New York, which opened last Saturday in new, but much smaller premises on Park Avenue, has been upstaged this year by the array of themed exhibitions, many by British dealers, which are taking place in the big apple.
The shows range from classical Chinese furniture (MD Flacks, prices £5,000 to £700,000); Himalayan carpets (Rossi and Rossi, prices £9,000 to £90,000); and Indian miniatures (Francesca Galloway and Sam Fogg, prices £7,000 to £100,000); to Indian and South east Asian sculpture (John Eskenazi, prices £25,000 to £1m) and Chinese sculpture and works of art (Giuseppe Eskenazi, £9,000 to £500,00).
Among the Chinese sculptures that Giuseppe Eskenazi is showing at the Pace Wildenstein gallery on 57th Street is a Tang dynasty earthenware figure of a lokopola or guardian king, with arm raised, seemingly ready for combat. Made for a tomb of high status, it has an unusual number of coloured glazes and is priced at £100,000.
This week sees the opening of the second Art Dubai fair for modern and contemporary art. The balance of exhibitors shows an emphasis on the new market for contemporary Middle Eastern art.
The fair's director, John Martin, is urging collectors to enter this field sooner rather than later. He said that sources indicate the market for Arab and Iranian art could reach £15m this year, compared to Indian art (£65m) and Chinese art (£250m).