Donald Judd’s foundation goes from David Zwirner to Gagosian
After more than 10 years, the Judd Foundation – which manages the estate of Donald Judd – changed the representation of the David Zwirner Gallery to Gagosian, a mega-gallery transfer that will make waves in the art market. “We got busier and busier and it was time to make a change,” says Flavin Judd, the artist’s son and artistic director of the foundation.
The move follows Donald Judd’s recent exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and an exhibition of the artist’s “Untitled” (1980), an 80-foot-wide plywood installation, in the Gagosian Gallery in 21st street. It seems to have played a role in the decision. “They had the only space that could accommodate it,” says Flavin Judd.
The Missouri-born artist, who died in 1994, started out as a painter, but is best known for his pile sculptures, meticulously measured units that protrude from the wall. These are highly prized – a 1978 battery sold at auction last year for $ 5.2 million. In a statement, Larry Gagosian, founder of the gallery, said he met Donald Judd in the early 1980s and described him as “one of the first artists whose work I really admired”.
“I think I have never been so happy to be at a fair in my life, ”said Samantha McCoy, director of the Magnum Photos gallery, during the postponed photo from London this year. One of the first such events to be held in person since the Covid-19 pandemic, the show appeared to exceed relatively low expectations, likely a plan for the remainder of the season.
There were fewer exhibitors than when it was last released in May 2019, dropping from 114 to 88, while foreign visitors, including top museum curators, were leaner in the field. Sales also appeared to be at a slower pace, although Magnum did well, especially with Antoine d’Agata’s thermal camera record from lockdown in Paris, which sold for € 8,200 to a UK buyer.
Visitors to the Coincident Collector’s Eye showed an appetite for a new kind of fair, with works attractively scattered around Two Temple Place, the former home of William Waldorf Astor. Sales here ranged from a Persian bronze blade from 1200 BC to 1000 BC (£ 3,800, Charles Ede) to a fabric work assembled by Spiller + Cameron made this year (£ 6,230, Vigo).
In New York there was some relief that the Armory Show and the Independent Fair had taken place and that the regulars of the fairs were back, at least those who did not have to come from far. The fact that both events took place in new venues – the Javits Center and the Battery Maritime Building respectively – rang with the vibe of the new normal. There weren’t any “shocking” stands at the Armory, says Naomi Baigell, managing director of TPC Art Finance, although she reported that the works were selling quickly.
At Independent, the highly targeted stands of emerging artists worked well; Che Lovelace at Various Small Fires, Chase Hall at Monique Meloche and Hana Ward at Mrs Gallery were among those that sold. However, price levels remained relatively low. “It looks like we are in a market time where collectors want the chance to make a murder, so the work of young figurative painters in the under $ 100,000 range was doing extremely well, while most others moved a little more deliberately, ”says Julia Halperin, editor-in-chief of Artnet News.
Galleries continue to increase their area, emphasizing the importance of a real presence for their artists. In London, Edel Assanti will double its surface area with a 4000 m² gallery in Fitzrovia. “The pandemic has reinforced in all respects the importance of making ambitious physical presentations that we can also build more [digital] content around, ”says co-founder Jeremy Epstein.
The impressive listed building includes a 23-foot-high veranda and was built in 1904, originally as a youth hostel for the Young Women’s Christian Association. It is redesigned by London architects Sanchez Benton. “Space is used to slow people down, you can’t see everything at the same time,” says Epstein. It opens in January 2022 with an immersive exhibition by Noémie Goudal, the first artist to join the gallery and whose work will be presented by the gallery at Frieze London.
Epstein is also the initiator of the first London Gallery Weekend in June and, in the spirit of this collaborative event, he and co-founder Charlie Fellowes have committed to a rotating residency for an overseas gallery, twice per year and free of charge, in one of Edel Assanti’s three exhibition spaces.
Uruguay will have its first major museum dedicated to contemporary art, built around the collection of the country’s greatest sculptor, Pablo Atchugarry, whose foundation supports the building. The 75,000 square foot Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Atchugarry (Maca) will be located on the coast of Punta del Este, where the foundation already manages a sculpture park and other gallery buildings. Maca will open in January 2022 and be free to enter – a rarity for a private museum.
The permanent collection will include more than 500 works, including those by Atchugarry and other Uruguayan artists such as Carmelo Arden Quin. Artists also come from elsewhere in South America and beyond. American artists Louise Nevelson and Frank Stella are featured, while the opening exhibition will be an investigation of Bulgaria-born Christo and his Moroccan-born collaborator and wife, Jeanne-Claude. “Uruguay is a country made up of immigrants, all of different origins. Art today has so many connections, what happens in one place can happen elsewhere, ”Atchugarry says of the mix.
And finally . . . it’s been a good week for the majority owner of Frieze, Endeavor. The sports and entertainment group represents surprise US Open champion Emma Raducanu, who has signed with her agency IMG. Frieze may just be a tiny part of the Endeavor empire, but with the 18-year-old set to rake in £ 200million in grants and advertising revenue over the next few years, maybe champagne from the art fair will flow even more freely next month?
To follow @ftweekend on Twitter to discover our latest stories first