£6m worth of Picassos to go on show during Frieze
The exhibition, to be held in a property co-owned by a Russian billionaire, also includes works by Warhol, Hirst, Richter and Saatchi's "New Sensations"
By Gareth Harris. Web only
Published online: 09 September 2010
Four rare works by Picasso thought to be worth over £6m and an 1875 Cézanne oil on canvas will go on sale during Frieze week next month in an ambitious exhibition to be held at a London property part owned by a Russian billionaire. The show, entitled "The House of the Noble Man" (12-20 October), will open at 2 Cornwall Terrace, an 18th-century building off Regent's Park in London near to the Frieze Art Fair site. The exhibition is curated by artist Wolfe von Lenkiewicz, whose works will feature in the display, and Russian curator Victoria Golembiovskaya. Around £20m worth of art will be for sale, approximately a third of the show, confirms Von Lenkiewicz.
According to the co-curator, the Picasso pieces on offer will include Buste d'Homme à la Pipe (1969, priced at £3m); the 1905 drawing The Family of Saltimbanques and a cubist painting, Nature Morte au Gobelet (around 1914). An 1875 oil on canvas by Cézanne, Don Quixote, is priced at £1.25m. Works by Yves Klein, Egon Schiele, Gerhard Richter, Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol will also be for sale. Von Lenkiewicz's own works will be in the £30,000-£60,000 price range.
"The Picassos etc. are from anonymous dealers who will take their portion of the percentages. Any other proceeds made during the show will go back into the funding of the exhibition which is hugely expensive despite its sponsorship [by the Russian real estate company Mirax]," adds Von Lenkiewicz. A selection of works from Charles Saatchi's "New Sensations 2010" roster of emerging artists will also be for sale. Twenty students shortlisted for the prize, which is sponsored by Cadogan Tate, have been chosen to present their work; these artists include Matthew Welch, Katie Sims and Pablo Wendel. A non-selling section will include works from the London-based Zabludowicz Collection and the holdings of the Iraqi-born industrialist Ragdan El-akabi.
"The show came about when I was in Moscow exhibiting my work at Triumph Gallery. Victoria took me to the Mirax city project, a huge development in central Moscow. She talked to Sergei Polonsky [head of Mirax] about the Cornwall Terrace buildings which he has shares in. He was willing to sponsor the show," says Von Lenkiewicz. The Mirax group are co-developers of the Cornwall Terrace historical complex, parts of which are up for sale.
Ironically the exhibition, awash with blue-chip items, is meant to reflect the typical tastes of a 21st-century collector who may well treat art as a commodity. "The notion of the noble man with sangre azul, [with] blue blood developing a blue-grey skin tone from eating off the family silver, has prevailed for centuries. But this idea is bankrupt, outmoded. Our collector spends his days and nights bathed in the blue light of a computer screen, as he trades in dematerialised securities, or price options based on weather conditions on the other side of the globe," according to a press statement. "It is important that the show comes across strongly as a curatorial concept playing with the idea of commerce, mirroring the [art] market with irony. We based the idea around nobility and bankrupt values in a post humanist age," says Von Lenkiewicz.
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