Sotheby’s Institute of Art | Taxidermy to Tennis Balls: Rauschenberg and the Art of Recycling

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From the esteemed faculty of the Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, Pierre Saurisse introduces us to New York’s Abstract Expressionist, Robert Rauschenberg.

To imagine Rauschenberg finding inspiration in the streets of New York, where he moved in 1949, is to evoke the figure of a scavenger. Shops, flea markets, but also the city streets were a gold mine for this tireless object hunter. Striding along the streets, he brought back to his studio a vast array of artifacts which would be integrated into his Combine paintings. These objects include newspapers, a crank, gears, a mirror, photographs, stamps, wax, fabric, a mirror, a quilt, a pillow, socks, shoes, maps, plastic, a light bulb and a tennis ball. The list, of course, is far from complete.

A very different kind of object is the taxidermy Angora goat Rauschenberg bought in a second-hand shop in 1955, still early on his career. In the artist’s studio in Pear Street, there was no doubt that the long-haired ruminant stood out among the bric-a-brac dragged in from the streets. Soon it found its way onto a shelf attached to the upper part of a Combine painting. Majestic and somewhat intimidating with its long curving horns, it was the largest object Rauschenberg had ever incorporated in a single piece.

But this was not the final destination of the goat. As the original work was dismantled, the animal found itself not only encircled by a tire but attached to another panel, this time near the floor (while the first panel was reworked into another combine, Rhyme, in 1956). However, this pairing was also short-lived, as two years later the new panel and the goat were separated by the artist. The former was incorporated into yet another Combine painting, Summerstorm (1959), while the latter, still caught in a tire, landed on a square canvas placed horizontally. It is only then, in 1959, that Monogram took its definite form.

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The convoluted fate of the goat in Rauschenberg’s studio is less a symptom of the artist’s indecisiveness than a sign of his extraordinary ability to recycle his own works. It epitomises his unique propensity to rework his Combines and reuse parts of them in other works as he saw fit. Recycling was at the very heart of his artistic strategy during the years he spent in New York.

By the end of the 1950s, other young artists were incorporating everyday materials into their works, both in the United States and in Europe. In reference to an avant-garde movement not uncommonly associated with nonsense and madness, the label ‘Neo-Dada’ was, rather inadequately, sometimes used to refer to this trend, and it was not meant to be flattering. When in 1961 the Museum of Modern Art in New York mounted an exhibition on The Art of Assemblage, in which two works by Rauschenberg were shown, anger and outrage were still voiced at such a prestigious temple of art opening its door to, literally, junk.

About Sotheby’s Institute of Art

3rd

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is The Graduate School of Art and its Markets. Evolving from a small connoisseurship program started by Sotheby’s Auction House in 1969, Sotheby’s Institute is now the foremost leader in art business education and object-based learning. Its global faculty represent the best of almost every facet of the art world, helping students decipher and master the unique forces at play at the intersection of art and commerce.

With campuses in the cultural capitals of London, New York and Los Angeles, Sotheby’s Institute offers graduate level programs that have become more relevant than ever in an art world that is constantly seeking individuals with art historical scholarship and business acumen. Besides Master’s degrees, Sotheby’s Institute offers programs of study such as summer classes, 15-week semester courses, online learning and executive education. Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s programs provide the knowledge and credentials needed to achieve success in today’s worldwide art markets and cultural institutions.

Discover more from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art

Sotheby’s | The Amazing Story of Four Ancient Roman Statues

Find out how four ancient Roman statues found themselves overseeing decadent rock ‘n’ roll parties in Jamaica. Bought in 1968 by international jewellery dealers Doug and Diene Cooper to adorn their opulent villa in Montego Bay, the larger-than-life statues surrounded the swimming pool – scene of exclusive parties attended by illustrious high-society revellers. These splendid statues are highlights of Sotheby’s Ancient Marbles: Classical Sculpture and Works of Art sale on June 12 in London.

Art & Home | Royal Welcome

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From April’s volume of Art & HomeIyna Bort Caruso takes us into the royal world of castles.

In the world of luxury real estate, perhaps no single category of residence rises to the level of fantasy than the castle.

Germany, England, Spain and most notably France are among the countries with high concentrations of historic manors, where bedrooms number in the dozens, square footage is measured in the tens of thousands and amenities include moats, lookout towers and turrets.

Scotland£6,000,000 GBP | Edinburgh, Scotland | United Kingdom Sotheby’s International Realty

The United States has its share of palatial counterparts, too, even if they don’t have 900-year-old masonry, says Elizabeth Corbin Murphy of Chambers, Murphy & Burge Historical Architecture in Akron, Ohio. “The estates of Newport, Rhode Island, are wonderful examples, but you can have a castle in any city depending on its culture and context. A structure of character that is reflective of the society that builds it and the craftspeople who contribute to it–that’s a castle.” Her firm’s landmark restoration projects have included the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, now a museum in Grosse Point Shores, Michigan, and Thomas Jefferson’s privy at Monticello in Virginia.

Turns out it can be surprisingly attainable to be king–or queen–of one’s castle. While fully restored palaces close to major centers like Paris, Geneva or London can exceed $30 million, others are on a par with two-bedroom apartments in those same cities, says Alexander V. G. Kraft, chairman of Sotheby’s International Realty France and author of “Living in Luxury” (Thames & Hudson, NY). “Prices can start at or even below $700,000 for smaller castles in rural locations in need of some updating.”

Rhode Island$17,500,000 USD | Newport, Rhode Island | Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty

In areas with low labor costs, a ready pool of artisans and local tax incentives, ownership is even more attractive. Still, a castle is less an investment to round out a portfolio than a passion project.

“From a practical standpoint, a castle’s solid stone construction and centuries of modifications can make such ordinary tasks as re-plumbing or re-wiring extremely challenging,” Kraft says. Owning a castle takes “deep pockets and patience,” he adds.  And it also takes someone who approaches restoration with respect and balance.

FrancePrice Upon Request | Uzes, France | Uzes Sotheby’s International Realty

“There’s nothing wrong with making a castle your home,” says Murphy. “Everyone has to feel like it’s their own and not the ghosts who went before. But being able to soak up the legacy of the families who invested in the property and the craftsmen who built it is the reward and responsibility of ownership.”

Germany6.400.000 € EUR | North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany | Cologne Sotheby’s International Realty

Kraft agrees–he knows the rewards first-hand. He owns a restored 19th century hunting château in Provence. “One gets to live in an unusual, beautiful environment and become the guardian of a piece of history,” he says. “How many people can say that, even amongst the world’s elite?”

See homes from around the world in previous editions of Art & Home

Sotheby’s New York | The Collection of David & Laura Finn

The collection of David and Laura Finn offers a glimpse into the development of European Post-war sculpture. A collector and esteemed businessman, David Finn also imbued these sculptures with emotion through his photography. Discover the collection built upon the Finns’ affinity for art before it is offered in Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening sale tomorrow night, May 16, in New York.

Sotheby’s Auction House | Magnificent and Noble Jewels

Sotheby’s spring sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels at Mandarin Oriental, Geneva will be led by the ‘Apollo and Artemis Diamonds’. Individually, these captivating diamonds – one Fancy Vivid Blue, one Fancy Intense Pink – are truly exceptional stones and when considered as a pair, they enter a class of their own: the most important earrings ever to appear at auction. Preview these extraordinary pieces and others before the auction on May 16th in Geneva.

GE1702_500_8The Apollo Blue – Fancy vivid blue diamond weighing 14.54 carats | Estimate: 38,100,000 – 50,200,000 CHF – and – The Artemis Pink – Fancy intense pink diamond weighing 16 carats | Estimate: 12,500,000 – 18,100,000 CHF

GE1702_500_4Diamond Rivière, mid-19th century | Estimate: 800,000 – 1,400,000 CHF

GE1702_500_6Fancy Intense Purplish Pink diamond ring weighing 7.04 carats | Estimate: 8,000,000 – 12,000,000 CHF

Discover the entire auction

Sotheby’s Institute of Art | Extraordinary Women in the Art World

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March is Women’s Month around the world and the Sotheby’s Institute of Art is celebrating a selection of extraordinary women from the world of art. Following their passion for art throughout their professional career – decades-long for some, burgeoning for others – they have made their mark as auctioneers, gallery owners, writers, and entrepreneurs in a challenging, but rewarding environment. Discover three of them, and learn more about how their passion brought them where they are today.

Amy Cappellazzo
CappellazzoEven before she spoke at Sotheby’s Institute’s first panel that focused on women leaders in the art market in New York in September 2016, Amy Cappellazzo has been on our radar of powerful women to watch in the art market.

Cappellazzo is Chairman of the Fine Arts Division at Sotheby’s; before, she was a founder and principal of Art Agency, Partners, a global art advisory firm acquired by Sotheby’s in January 2016. As an advisor, Amy drew upon 13 years of experience in the art market as a leader in the field of Post-War & Contemporary Art. Amy has overseen the sale of some of the most important collections and works of art of our time, served as a pioneer in private sales and online auctions, and acted as an advisor to numerous families, foundations, and trusts.

Melanie Gerlis
5003d452a8da016f3ed02a6385cf54e8-1-300x300Since graduating from Sotheby’s Institute in 2006, Melanie Gerlis has been an expert of art market and finance. As the art market columnist for the Financial Times and Editor at Large for The Art Newspaper, she was recently one of the panelists of Bourgeois/Kusama: Women in Art History, a discussion held at Sotheby’s auction house exploring how Louise Bourgeois and Yayoi Kusama opened up new territories for female artistic expression. She also contributed an entry on private museums and the art market in Art Business Today: 20 Key Topics, a collaborative book edited by Professor Jos Hackforth-Jones and published by Lund Humphries in 2016.

Helena Newman
45_HIMIW_270598kUnder the gavel of Sotheby’s auctioneer Helena Newman, Gustav Klimt’s exceptional summer landscape Bauerngarten inspired energetic bidding to achieve £48 million on March 1, 2017 – the third most expensive artwork ever sold at auction in Europe in a sale that overall brought in the highest total for any auction ever staged in London.

Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe since July 2016, the 28-year veteran of the auction house said after the historic sale: “Tonight’s outstanding result is a new benchmark for London sales as much as it is a statement on the momentum of the global art market in 2017”. The only woman alongside fellow chairmen Oliver Barker, Mario Tavella, and Philipp Württemberg, Helena Newman has long been at the forefront of the development of the Impressionist & Modern Art market, building extensive contacts with a wide range of international collectors and institutions.

Learn about more women in art with the Sotheby’s Institute of Art

About Sotheby’s Institute of Art

3rd

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is The Graduate School of Art and its Markets. Evolving from a small connoisseurship program started by Sotheby’s Auction House in 1969, Sotheby’s Institute is now the foremost leader in art business education and object-based learning. Its global faculty represent the best of almost every facet of the art world, helping students decipher and master the unique forces at play at the intersection of art and commerce.

With campuses in the cultural capitals of London, New York and Los Angeles, Sotheby’s Institute offers graduate level programs that have become more relevant than ever in an art world that is constantly seeking individuals with art historical scholarship and business acumen. Besides Master’s degrees, Sotheby’s Institute offers programs of study such as summer classes, 15-week semester courses, online learning and executive education. Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s programs provide the knowledge and credentials needed to achieve success in today’s worldwide art markets and cultural institutions.

Discover more from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art

Art & Home | Imagination to Innovation

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The latest volume of Art & Home is here! This month, Iyna Bort Caruso takes us to the forefront of design and innovation.

There are architects who design homes. And then there are visionaries who rethink the very definition of what a home is and how it should be experienced. 

Utah$6,700,000 USD | Park City, Utah | Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

In certain circles, innovative architecture is a boundary-pushing test of one-upmanship. Architects are juxtaposing styles and exaggerating silhouettes to create what seems like newly invented forms. They’re embracing the element of surprise and a hint of playfulness. 

Texas$5,995,000 USD | Austin, Texas | Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

To be successful, however, innovative design has to do more than break with the past. It has to be functional. It is the architect’s responsibility to create designs that better the lives of the people who inhabit the home, says Dan Brunn, a Los AngelesCalifornia-based architect whose residences have incorporated pivoting walls to display (or conceal) artwork and zig zag-shaped balconies. Bringing shapes and spaces together, capturing volume and light, framing views and choreographing floor plans so that “forms comes alive” are the attributes of great architecture, Brunn says.   

Germany3.500.000 € EUR | Saxony, Germany | Berlin Sotheby’s International Realty

In areas like Scottsdale, Arizona, some luxury home buyers are shifting away from traditional Tuscan and Southwest Territorial styles. They’re opting for statement-making properties with striking contemporary lines that “contrast with our Sonoran Desert, yet balance with its natural setting in terms of aesthetics,” says Deems Dickinson, president and principal broker of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty in Scottsdale. A custom home located on the 17th fairway of the prestigious Mirabel Golf Club community, for instance, is a remarkable example of modern architecture that stands out in the openness of the desert surroundings. The home features an indoor atrium with a bamboo garden, a floating staircase and windows that extend from the floor to ceiling and beyond, becoming full-length skylights. 

Arizona$4,490,000 USD | Scottsdale, Arizona | Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty

Architecture that challenges conventions has the power to turn heads. But architecture that’s fueled by transformational design has the power to turn homes into instant landmarks.

Alabama$3,275,000 USD | Orange Beach, Alabama | Kaiser Sotheby’s International Realty

See homes from around the world in previous editions of Art & Home

Sotheby’s Institute of Art | How To See Art From Around The World Without Leaving London

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With international galleries from the East End to the west, the now well-established Frieze art fair each October, and a busy calendar of major auctions, London is a vibrant, global center of contemporary art. For today’s blog, the MA Contemporary Art faculty at Sotheby’s Institute of Art tells us about what makes London the dynamic, outward-looking art hub it is today, and which local institutions they believe have played a part in its transformation. Here are three things you can’t miss.

Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts)

This is a gallery and research center that has foregrounded the work of artists from outside the West and of UK artists of diasporic descent since its inception in 1994. For a time in the 90s it published a journal, Annotations, which traced connections between postcolonial thought and artistic practice. Despite swingeing funding cuts, it remains, with its library, exhibition program and public talks, a vital resource for artists, students and scholars, including of course students on our MA program in Contemporary Art.

Autograph ABP

Autograph ABP is located in the same David Adjaye-designed center as Iniva, on Rivington Street in Shoreditch. Under the dynamic stewardship of Mark Sealy, it has used its exhibition and education programs to raise the visibility of historically marginalized photographic practices, such as those of British photographers of diasporic descent, and to promote research into photographic developments in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It houses a major archive that has long served as a research tool for our students.

Tate Modern

Tate Modern, which opened in 2000, has shown a strong commitment to collecting art from around the world for over a decade now. It has appointed specialist curators to implement this acquisitions policy and the opening in June 2016 of the new wing, dubbed the Switch House, has enabled them to put more of these newly acquired works on display. In another sign of their determination to broaden the geographical reach of their program, Nicholas Serota and his team have in recent years devoted shows to a number of artists from Africa, Asia and South America, including Meshac Gaba, Bhupen Khakhar, Gabriel Orozco and Saloua Raouda Choucair.

Discover more in London with the Sotheby’s Institute of Art

About Sotheby’s Institute of Art

3rd

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is The Graduate School of Art and its Markets. Evolving from a small connoisseurship program started by Sotheby’s Auction House in 1969, Sotheby’s Institute is now the foremost leader in art business education and object-based learning. Its global faculty represent the best of almost every facet of the art world, helping students decipher and master the unique forces at play at the intersection of art and commerce.

With campuses in the cultural capitals of London, New York and Los Angeles, Sotheby’s Institute offers graduate level programs that have become more relevant than ever in an art world that is constantly seeking individuals with art historical scholarship and business acumen. Besides Master’s degrees, Sotheby’s Institute offers programs of study such as summer classes, 15-week semester courses, online learning and executive education. Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s programs provide the knowledge and credentials needed to achieve success in today’s worldwide art markets and cultural institutions.

Discover more from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art

Sotheby’s Auction House | Rétromobile Show Week in Paris

Starting of the 2017 calendar, RM Sotheby’s will once again be present at the Rétromobile show week in Paris. Held at the historic Place Vauban in the city’s center, the stunning grounds offer the perfect setting for the finest sports, racing and touring cars from both pre- and post-war periods. Ahead of the sale, here are four automobiles with exceptional rarity and provenance to be featured at the February 8 auction event.

rm-paris-2017-51964 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III BJ8 Works Rally Car. Estimate €340,000–450,000

Winner of the 1964 Spa-Sofia-Liège rally, BMO 93B is one of three Austin-Healey Works cars prepared for the 1964 season and one of only five to win a major event. Offered for the first time in twelve years, after undergoing a complete restoration between 2009 and 2014, BMO 93B is ready to make its return to the vintage racing scene.

rm-paris-2017-11934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3. Estimate €3,800,000–5,000,000

Driven by celebrated drivers such as Tazio Nuvolari and Pierre Louis-Dreyfus, complete with an unbroken history of ownership and confirmed factory-original components, this P3 is a sensational example of the first monoposto Grand Prix model.

rm-paris-2017-21964 Porsche 901 Cabriolet Prototype by Karmann. Estimate €850,000–1,000,000

Offered for the first time at a public sale, this car is the only open-topped example of the thirteen Porsche 901 Prototypes built in the 1960s. Presented in largely original condition, this prototype has undergone no significant cosmetic restoration since leaving Porsche in 1967 and has had only three private owners.

rm-paris-2017-41956 Inter 175A Berline. Estimate €50,000–70,000

A distinctive ‘microcar’ brimming with aeroplane design elements, this Inter 175A Berline is one of just 30 surviving examples – all of which are unique. Designed by a French aeronautics firm, the Inter is a fascinating bit of automobile history

Discover more historic automobiles available at this event

2017 Color of the Year | Greenery

Pantone®, the global color authority announced PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery as the color of the year for 2017.

A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings, according to Pantone. Greenery is nature’s neutral. It is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew.

Greenery can be found in nature in flourishing foliage and can be manifested in our daily lives as we find ways to incorporate this invigorating color into our art, our homes and our world.

Explore places and spaces with hues inspired by Greenery.

latvia1.450.000 € EUR | Latvia | Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty

This residence is located right next to the Daugava River, near Old Town, the business center and Riga’s true pride – beautiful, green parks. Interesting and modern architectural solutions include the building’s façade, made of glass and colorful materials, which makes this building so unique and special. The building has 24-hours security, video surveillance, four panoramic elevators, beautiful courtyard with children’s playground and parking on the ground level.

texas$4,995,000 USD | Austin, Texas | Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

Soaring Wings is the creation of one of Austin’s most visionary Architects and the result of four years of work by some of the most talented craftsmen in Austin. Completed in 2007, dozens of talented and creative individuals – metal smiths, woodworkers, stonemasons, plasterers and glass workers – came together to create this landmark Austin estate. The structure of Soaring Wings is constructed entirely of red iron on concrete piers sunk deep into rock. All the connections are joined with full penetration welds, the strongest type of connection and many times more costly than bolted connections.

florida$1,875,000 USD | Santa Rosa Beach, Florida | Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty

A 2,634-square-foot home that exudes beauty and Zen-style modern living with sought-after architectural design by renowned architect Russell Johnson, this three-bedroom, three and one half bath residence is unlike anything you have seen before, where every room makes a statement. With a careful display of windows, skylights and invisible mirrors, this property brings the outdoors, inside.

south-africaR 39 900 000 ZAR | Western Cape, South Africa | Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty

This stunning estate of 27 hectares was established in 1668 and has magnificent views of the surrounding mountain ranges. The manor house has been lovingly restored with all modern conveniences, a high-tech security system, complete gym/sauna/steam room, 12-seat home cinema and a laundry facility. The grounds also feature five guest cottages with separate swimming pool, all set in a beautifully manicured garden. The entire farm is planted with established olive trees and has a fully functional and sophisticated olive pressing factory.

washington$2,995,000 USD | North Seattle, Washington | Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty

Meet Chateau DeLance; a showcase estate that will take you by surprise with a new level of splendor. One of the most fantastic houses in Seattle, this property offers breathtaking views; Built in 2005 and thoroughly redesigned in 2016 sparing no expense with Venetian plaster, crystal chandeliers, gourmet kitchen and whole house sound.

Discover Pantone’s prior colors of the year on the Extraordinary Living Blog