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Phillips is used to coming in at the tail end of these auction series, with a smaller, shorter sale than Sotheby's or Christie's, and with a more contemporary, less postwar emphasis. The auctioneer's problem is to secure good examples by artists at reasonable estimates because, in most cases, the house is second or third port of call for sellers. Now in its plush, central location on London's Mayfair, with Sotheby's and the new, large Gagosian gallery-to-be just around the corner, it is also upgrading the staff. With former Christie's chief executive Ed Dolman at the helm, the latest signing is Matt Carey-Williams, a young man with a veteran's experience from Sotheby's, Gagosian, and White Cube, as deputy chairman, Europe and Asia, who was very much part of the action this evening.

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A Damien Hirst artwork featuring butterflies stuck onto a surface of wet paint has been sold at Art Stage Singapore for US$1.6 million (S$2.15 million), making it the top sale so far this year. The artwork, titled "Amorous," was sold to a collector from the region last Thursday.

Confirming the sale to "The Sunday Times," Mr. Aenon Loo, 35, the Hong Kong-based director of gallery White Cube which represents Hirst, said in a phone interview that Damien Hirst is a rare artist "who addresses universal themes through his art."

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Wednesday, 12 November 2014 11:32

Damien Hirst Unveils New Cityscape Paintings

Damien Hirst has unveiled his new series of paintings in Brazil, following his universally panned exhibitions at the Wallace Collection, where he showed a group of Francis Bacon inspired skull paintings and his 2012  exhibition of "Parrot Pictures" at White Cube Bermondsey. For his latest painting exhibition, Hirst has created what he describes as "portraits of living cities," the "Black Scalpel Cityscapes" are made up of vast numbers of surgical instruments that combine to create bird’s-eye views of urbanized areas from around the world. With the series, Hirst investigates subjects pertaining to the sometimes-disquieting realities of modern life – surveillance, urbanisation, globalisation and the virtual nature of conflict – as well as elements relating to the universal human condition, such as our inability to arrest physical decay.

In the paintings, manmade features and natural elements such as buildings, rivers and roads are depicted in scalpels as well as razor blades, hooks, iron filings and safety-pins, all set against black backgrounds.

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Monday, 13 October 2014 16:47

Frieze Week Hits London

Frieze Week, a seven-day concentration of art events, is currently underway in London. Between auctions, selling exhibitions, and a swath of fairs, approximately $2.2 billion worth of art will be up for grabs.

The epicenter of the event, the Frieze Art Fair, will open to VIP guests on Tuesday, October 14. Now in its twelfth year, the fair will present contemporary offerings from 162 international dealers, including Gagosian Gallery, Marian Goodman Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, Casey Kaplan, Lehmann Maupin, Pace Gallery, Galerie Perrotin, Sprüth Magers, White Cube, and David Zwirner. Located in a bespoke structure in Regent’s Park, the Frieze Art Fair features a number of unique sections.

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Thursday, 17 October 2013 22:38

Frieze Art Fair Kicks Off in London

Frieze London, the most highly anticipated contemporary art event of the year, opened on October 17 in a custom-built structure in Regent’s Park. This year’s show features 152 preeminent galleries from around the world offering works by well-known artists as well as promising newcomers.

The art world’s elite flock to Frieze to browse works being offered by established dealers including Gagosian Gallery, Lehmann Maupin, Lisson Gallery, Pace, White Cube and David Zwirner. This year’s offerings include five works by American pop artist Jeff Koons (Gagosian Gallery), sculptures by Swiss artist Urs Fischer (Sadie Coles HQ) and a monumental white odalisque sculpture by New York-based artist Jennifer Rubell (Stephen Friedman Gallery).  

Now in its second year, Frieze Masters, which presents works created before the year 2000, ranging from ancient era and old masters to late 20th century works, is taking place at the same time as its contemporary counterpart. Exhibitors include Acquavella Galleries, Hauser & Wirth and Landau Fine Art.

During Frieze’s preview on October 16, the Tate Collection acquired five works by emerging and leading international artists thanks to a £150,000 gift from The Outset/Frieze Art Fair Fund.

Frieze London and Frieze Masters will take place through October 20.

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Wednesday, 05 December 2012 14:00

Highly-Anticipated Art Happenings Kick-Off in Miami

The anxiously awaited event, Art Basel, begins tonight, December 5, with a VIP preview and runs through Sunday, December 9. Now in its 11th year, Art Basel has become a defining event in the art world and each year the city of Miami is taken over by collectors, curators, artists, celebrities, and art enthusiasts as well as a host of art fairs.

Taking place at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Art Basel features over 260 big-name galleries from around the world and exhibits works by more than 2,000 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Renowned for its support of young and emerging artists and galleries, Art Basel includes performance art, public art projects, lectures, and video art installations. Some exhibitor highlights include Acquavella Galleries, Mary Boone Gallery, Gagosian Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, Lisson Gallery, and White Cube, among many others.

Regarded as Miami art week’s anchor fair, Art Miami got a head start on Art Basel and hosted a VIP preview on December 4 at the Art Miami Pavilion in the city’s Wynwood Arts District. The fair, which features modern and contemporary offerings from more than 125 international galleries, runs from December 5 through December 9. While Art Basel tends to be spotlighted during Miami’s art week, Art Miami is the original and longest-running contemporary art fair to be held in the area with 23 years under its belt. Exhibitors include Douglas Dawson Gallery, Eli Klein Fine Art, Haunch of Venison, Hollis Taggart Gallery, Jerald Melberg Gallery, Michael Goedhuis, and Waterhouse & Dodd.

This year, Art Miami coincides with the inaugural CONTEXT art fair, which features 50 galleries representing emerging and mid-career artists. Located in an ultramodern pavilion adjacent to Art Miami, CONTEXT boasts indoor and outdoor projects as well as solo artist installations, curated projects, and multimedia exhibits. Between Art Miami and CONTEXT, there will be over 200,000 square feet of exhibition space and over 250 participating galleries.

Another highlight of the city’s art week is Scope Miami, which opened on December 4 with a VIP preview and will run through December 9 at a new location in the midtown arts district. With a 100,000 square foot pavilion, Scope features 20 new galleries as part of its “Breeder Program” and 85 established exhibitors. Besides modern and contemporary art, there will be design, music, and fashion offerings.

Pulse Miami opens to the public on December 6 and runs through December 9 at The Ice Palace Studios. One of Art Basel’s many satellite fairs, Pulse is in its eighth year and features 86 international galleries exhibiting works on paper, paintings, sculptures, performances, installations, and video art. Pulse also includes its signature series, Pulse Projects, a selection of installations proposed by galleries and not-for-profit institutions. This year’s Pulse Projects includes a short film by Zackary Drucker shown earlier this year at MoMA PS1, marble installations courtesy of Venske & Spanle and Margaret Thatcher Projects, and a special screening of street artist Invader’s Art 4 Space, courtesy of Jonathan LeVine Gallery.

While there are countless fairs, events, parties, concerts, and openings happening in Miami this week, one not to be missed affair is the Masterpieces from the Berardo Collection exhibit at the Gary Nader Art Centre. Opening on December 5, the show features pieces from one of the finest modern and contemporary art collections in existence. Hand-picked from the private holdings of Joe Berardo, a Portuguese mogul, the 110 works are worth $500 million. Featured artists include Francis Bacon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alexander Calder, Salvador Dali, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and many more.

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Picasso’s lovers, Richard Serra's steel and Andreas Gursky’s yacht-studded Monaco are the highlights of a $130 million trove Gagosian Gallery is taking for its first expedition to Brazil next month.

The occasion is the second annual ArtRio in Rio de Janeiro, a fair spread over 7,500 square meters (80,730 square feet) in four warehouses on Guanabara Bay. It will feature 120 galleries, including David Zwirner and White Cube, as well as events hosted by Christie’s and Sotheby's. The size and participants reflect a growing interest in the world’s sixth-largest economy.

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A colossal south London warehouse packed with art worth millions: when White Cube Bermondsey opens today it will become Europe's biggest commercial art gallery – and cement yet another victory for the gallery's mercurial owner.

Jay Jopling, 48, is the founder of London's White Cube gallery empire, which has launched its third outpost in the capital to coincide with the Frieze art fair. It will see thousands of the world's wealthiest collectors flock to London over the next three days. Last night Jopling hosted hundreds of VIPs at the Bermondsey gallery's lavish official opening party – with many luminaries attending a small gathering at his Marylebone home afterwards. This week, London auction houses will sell 25 works by Jopling's most famous artist, Damien Hirst, emphasising the gallerist's standing as one of a small group of elite overlords in London's aggressive commercial art world.

Jopling's buoyancy exists despite widespread economic uncertainty. One London-based art collector said yesterday that some poorer galleries are currently "walking on eggshells" because of the financial downturn. Yet Jopling's mixture of charm, savvy and bullish behaviour will make him this week's most surefire victor.

"Jay told me a long time ago that if he couldn't be the best at what he does he wasn't interested," says White Cube's exhibitions director Tim Marlow. "The Bermondsey gallery is an affirmation of that. He wants a complex of galleries that will allow him to do the best shows with the best possible artists."

Jopling – "JJ" to his friends – is recognisable by his signature thick-framed specs and tailormade black suit and crisp white shirt. He exudes success, which creates the impression that his enterprises cannot fail – a useful trait in the tempestuous art world.

Throughout his career he has hit headlines – not least because of high-profile marriage to the artist Sam Taylor-Wood and short-lived fling with singer Lily Allen – along with a knack for representing attention-grabbing artists such as Hirst, Tracey Emin and the Chapman brothers, expanding while others contract through two financial downturns over the past 20 years.

Marlow says that part of his success is that White Cube owns all of its properties – alongside Bermondsey, White Cube has spaces in the West End enclave of St James's and once-edgy, now commercialised Hoxton – meaning Jopling is in little debt. The man himself rarely gives interviews, preferring – it seems – to let the stratospheric sums fetched by his artists around the world and the endless photographs of Jopling and his famous friends do the talking.

He has endured three eventful decades in the art world. The son of Tory baron Michael, he became interested in art as a teenager, reading Gilbert and George's 1974 book Dark Shadow in assembly while a pupil at Eton. "He genuinely loves art," says cultural commentator Michael Bracewell. "I think he's genuinely passionate about it". He studied art history at Edinburgh University and when there flew to New York to convince artists including Julian Schnabel and Jean-Michel Basquiat to participate in a charity auction. He reportedly began selling fire extinguishers as a sideline, demonstrating their effectiveness by setting fire to his sleeve.

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Even as workmen toil to complete the building, one thing is clear: the new gallery that White Cube is about to add to its empire is vast. When contemporary-art dealer Jay Jopling's latest venture opens on 12 October, at 5,400 sq metres, it will be the largest commercial art gallery in Britain: the Tate Modern of the for-profit art world.

White Cube Bermondsey – a stone's throw from Tate Modern and Renzo Piano's Shard building – will be Jopling's third outpost in London, adding a branch south of the river to galleries in the West End and Hackney. A fourth, in Hong Kong, is planned for early next year. What began in 1993 as one of the smallest galleries in London now employs more than 100 people.

The new gallery, converted from a 1970s warehouse once used as a distribution centre for the Radio Times, contains an array of new spaces for showing White Cube's roster of artists, who range from Damien Hirst and Gilbert and George to Anselm Kiefer and Doris Salcedo. The West End gallery has 464 sq metres to play with, the Hackney outpost 903 sq metres. Jopling's first gallery was just four sq metres.

The main "south galleries" in Bermondsey have the scale of of a respectable-size public museum and will, according to White Cube's director of exhibitions, Tim Marlow, provide the area for the main shows. But there are also three smaller galleries that will host one-off exhibitions by emerging artists not normally represented by White Cube, and a further, cube-shaped space measuring 9 x 9 x 9 metres.

"You should never keep things static," said Marlow. "The more interesting and the more varied spaces we can provide, the more excited artists get about working in them." He laughed off suggestions that such a hefty expansion could prove unsustainable. "It's definitely sustainable. London is a city where artists always want to be shown, to have representation. It is the equal of New York in terms of the art market. And we're not scrabbling around for shows. It's still going to be a struggle for our artists to have major exhibitions at White Cube more than once every three years."

Its current expansion presents an intriguing commentary on the vagaries of the art market. While smaller galleries, and those outside London, have suffered in the recession, with Glasgow's Sorcha Dallas the latest to bite the dust, White Cube appears to have withstood the downturn. Marlow says: "At the top end, the art market is a global market, and we have therefore been less affected than other people. It's also the case that when economic conditions are the toughest it is sometimes good to think about expansion."

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Hong Kong’s aspirations to become an art hub took another step forward when White Cube Gallery, best-known as the London home to artists such as Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin, revealed plans to set up shop in the south China metropolis.

The news confirms rumors that were swirling in Hong Kong’s relatively small art scene.

“We’ve tried to be discreet, but it’s hard to do things discreetly in Hong Kong, and we’ve been looking for space concretely for about a year,” Tim Marlow, director of exhibitions at White Cube, said in an interview from London.

The new gallery will take up two floors at the new office tower designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern at 50 Connaught Rd. in Hong Kong’s Central neighborhood. The main exhibition space is on the ground floor, which has 6-meter (20-foot) ceilings. The second floor has an additional 4,000 square feet of space, Mr. Marlow said.

“The timing is because only right now the right space has opened up,” he added. “Finding space in Hong Kong is extremely difficult. If you don’t have good gallery space to put ambitious shows on, it’s not worth looking at from our perspective.”

Mr. Marlow said he just signed the lease last week and that he expects to open in May 2012. He has already been in discussions with artists to begin programming for the gallery but declined to say who they were or what the opening exhibition would be.

While many artists on White Cube’s roster are already represented in major markets like New York, few have gallery homes in Asia, and Mr. Marlow said they’re eager to sell in the region. Already, White Cube has been a participant in the Art HK fair and sold a work by the Chapman Brothers titled “Dass Kapital is Kaput? Ja? Nein! Dummkopf!” to an Asian collector for £525,000 ($821,000).

Nearby China’s art boom is a major factor. Its art market has grown rapidly, surpassing London to become the world’s second-largest market, according to a study by the European Fine Art Foundation. Earlier this month, Christie’s said its sales in Hong Kong so far in 2011 were up 60% from 2010.

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