Art market

Private View: our pick of September gallery shows

New exhibitions at commercial galleries, from Joan Mitchell's last show at Cheim & Read, to Francesca Woodman's haunting photographs in Venice

Joan Mitchell’s Mandres (1961-62) Photo: © Nash Baker; © Estate of Joan Mitchell; Courtesy of Cheim & Read

Joan Mitchell’s Mandres (1961-62) Photo: © Nash Baker; © Estate of Joan Mitchell; Courtesy of Cheim & Read

Joan Mitchell

Cheim & Read, New York. Until 27 October

With a surge in demand for figurative painting, the market for Abstract Expressionists has cooled slightly. Except, that is, when it comes to Joan Mitchell (1925-92), who will be the subject of major retrospectives at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Baltimore Museum of Art in 2020. Her auction record was broken in May at Christie’s New York when Blueberry (1969) sold for $16.6m; the following month, several Mitchell canvases sold for prices not far off that at Art Basel. This loan exhibition, of paintings from 1953-62, marks the artist’s ninth and final show at Cheim & Read—the Chelsea gallery will close at the end of the year to operate privately from a new premises.

A photograph from Francesca Woodman’s Eel Series, Venice, Italy (1978) © Charles Woodman; Courtesy of Charles Woodman and Victoria Miro

Francesca Woodman

Victoria Miro, Venice. 15 September to 15 December

American by birth, the photographer Francesca Woodman (1958-81) considered Italy her second home. This exhibition of her often poetic, ethereal images at Victoria Miro’s Venice outpost explores the artist’s enchantment with Italian antiquity, especially during her time in Rome (1977-78). It was there that she not only made some of her best known photographs at the Cerere, an old pasta factory-turned-studio home to the San Lorenzo Group, but also met Sabina Mirri, Woodman’s model and muse until the photographer’s suicide at the age of 22.

Hanna Wilke’s Untitled (around 1975) Photo: © Michael Brzezinski; © Marsie, Emanuelle, Damon and Andrew Scharlatt, Hannah Wilke Collection & Archive; Licensed by VAGA, New York/DACS, London; Courtesy of Alison Jacques Gallery

Hannah Wilke

Alison Jacques, London. 27 September to 21 December

Hannah Wilke (1940-93) was seen as anathema to the feminist movement in the 1960s and 70s, condemned as uncritical by her contemporaries for her use of kitschy, girlish materials such as chewing gum and her tongue-in-cheek exploitation of her own body in her performance work. Today, she is considered one of the foremost feminist artists in the Modern American canon and major institutions have been snapping up her work in recent years. With a track record of raising market awareness of unseen and undervalued female, Alison Jacques’s retrospective of Wilke’s paintings from the 1960s to 1987—many of the early ones not seen together since the artist’s death—is likely to make waves.


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