Alexandre Lenoir
Alexandre Lenoir Petite Jungle acrylic and oil on canvas; 56 ½ by 81 in. Executed in 2022 Estimate $20,000-30,000 Gallery: Almine Rech Beneficiary: Concern Worldwide USA

Sotheby’s to Launch Artist’s Choice

Initiative to Benefit Artists, their Galleries and Collectors, Institutions and Charities Inbox

6 mins read

NEW YORK, 8 SEPTEMBER 2022 – The enormous potential for creative and rewarding collaborations with artists and galleries was integral to Noah Horowitz’s appointment as Worldwide Head of Gallery and Private Dealer Services in September 2021. This holistic approach will now be fully manifested in a new, specially-devised sale format, Artist’s Choice – an exciting initiative that allows artists and galleries to engage with auctions on their own terms. The concept empowers artists to take a direct role in shaping their market while at the same time offering an innovative new framework for supporting causes that matter to them – from their participation in museum exhibitions or biennials, to artist residences, charities and beyond.

Artist’s Choice will initially launch in Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated auction in New York on 30 September 2022, with an offering of seven artworks in a range of media by a cross-section of today’s most pioneering artists. For each of these lots, a total amount equal to 15% of the hammer price will be donated to an institution, charity, or cause of the artist’s choosing. Upon sale of the lot, the donation will be evenly split between both parties: the artist will direct 7.5% of the hammer price, with Sotheby’s matching this amount out of its Buyer’s Premium. The full value of the donation — 15% of the hammer price — will be made directly to the selected beneficiary by the artist.

After launching as a part of the Contemporary Curated sale, this new concept will be integrated into live and digital auctions year-round, providing numerous opportunities to support and grow artists’ markets while providing a critical path to support institutions, charities, and causes of importance to them. 

Noah Horowitz, Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of Gallery and Private Dealer Services, said: “As Artist’s Choice began to crystalize, the question we most wanted to address was how to create a win-win for all parties with total transparency, equally benefitting artists, galleries and the institutions and causes they care about, while empowering them to take an active role in the auction process. With this new initiative, I believe we have something of a magic formula, a channel that is not only custom-fit for galleries and artists but enticing for collectors seeking to access some of the most ambitious art being created today.”

Alexandre Lenoir
Alexandre Lenoir Petite Jungle acrylic and oil on canvas; 56 ½ by 81 in. Executed in 2022 Estimate $20,000-30,000 Gallery: Almine Rech Beneficiary: Concern Worldwide USA

After graduating with honors from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 2016, Alexandre Lenoir moved to Casablanca to further develop his practice. His paintings consist of multiple layers of color washes combined with an elaborate technique of stencilling. Representing landscapes of luxurious vegetation, interiors and buildings, Lenoir’s works often include characters as ephemeral as memories. Like flashbacks or dreamscapes, an ambiguous hedonism inhabits these visions, drawing on the multiple identities of the artist himself: one of Caribbean ancestry from his Guadalupian mother and where he lived during his youth; to Morocco and his formative artistic years; and finally to the industrial neighborhood of Paris where today his studio is located. Lenoir was awarded the Fondation Jean-François Prat et Marie-Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre in 2016 and Pierre Cardin de l’Académie des Beaux-Arts de Paris prizes in 2020.

Atsushi Kaga
Atsushi Kaga The life of the kitten with brown ears signed Atsushi, titled The life of the kitten with brown ears and dated 2022 (on the verso) acrylic and imitation gold leaf on canvas; 59 by 47 in. Executed in 2022 Estimate $30,000-40,000 Gallery: mother’s tankstation Dublin | London Beneficiary: Kilkenny Collective for Arts Talent

Behind the playful, surreal façade of Atsushi Kaga’s work lurks significantly darker territory, wherein the artist confronts serious issues of cultural politics, mental health – personal insecurities, paranoia (particularly a fear-of-missing-out), companionship and loneliness, and the complex search for identity and the philosophical crises presented by daily routine. Originally from Tokyo, and now living and working between Ireland and Kyoto, Japan, Atsushi Kaga studied Fine Art at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin, graduating in 2005, and made a critically acclaimed first solo museum exhibition at the Butler Gallery in Kilkenny in 2008. Kaga collaborated with his mother on a process show, Nerd bag, at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2010) and re-iterated in a solo Positions, Art Basel Miami Beach, (2011). Most recently Kaga presented his fourth solo exhibition at mother’s tankstation Dublin; Melancholy with vegetables surrounded by miracles (2020), which introduced and developed his recent, highly detailed large-format paintings, influenced by both Dutch Vanitas and the 17-18th century Kyoto schools, fused to his characteristic style and subject matter. Atsushi Kaga has also made notable solo exhibitions with Maho Kubota Gallery, Tokyo, Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, Galeria Leme, São Paolo, Galerie Nicolas Krupp, Basel, and Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin, amongst others. He participated in the Location One International Residency Programme, New York (2012); the International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York (2011); and has also held residencies in São Paolo, Fountainhead, Miami and the Artists’ Work Programme at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. Kaga was awarded the 2019 – 2021 Tony O’Malley Residency in Callan, Kilkenny and participated in the Steep Rocks Art Residency, Washington, Connecticut in Autumn 2021. Kaga will present his first London solo exhibition your memorabilia floats in the air, with mother’s tankstation | London in October 2022.

Kennedy Yanko
Kennedy Yanko Set aflame and warm paint skin and metal; 82 by 40 by 26 in. Executed in 2022 Estimate $60,000-80,000 Gallery: Jeffrey Deitch Beneficiary: Free a Girl

Kennedy Yanko is a Brooklyn-based sculptor and installation artist working in found metal and paint skin. Yanko deploys her materials in ways that explore the limitations of optic vision, and her methods reflect a dual abstract expressionist-surrealist approach that explores how thoughts and sensations affect, contribute to, and moderate human experience.  Yanko’s institutional exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, and the University of South Florida. Her work is included in notable private museums, namely: The Bunker Artspace, West Palm Beach, Espacio Tacuari, Buenos Aires, and the Rubell Museum, where she became the first sculptor to earn a residency. Jeffrey Deitch will present a solo exhibition of the artist’s work in New York next March.

Kevin Beasley
Kevin Beasley The Red Banana Tree (Forstall) Polyurethane resin, fabric and sharpie transfer; 74 by 55 ½ in. Executed in 2022. Estimate $40,000-60,000 Gallery: Casey Kaplan Beneficiary: L9 Center for the Arts

Kevin Beasley lives and works in New York. His practice spans sculpture, photography, sound, and performance, while centering on materials of cultural and personal significance, from raw cotton harvested from his family’s property in Virginia to sounds gathered using contact microphones. Beasley alters, casts, and molds these diverse materials to form a body of works that acknowledge the complex, shared histories of the broader American experience, steeped in generational memories. Beasley’s work is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art; Art Institute of Chicago; Guggenheim Museum; Dallas Museum of Art; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Pérez Art Museum Miami; ate, London; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; ICA Boston; The Studio Museum in Harlem; Hammer Museum; Whitney Museum of American Art, and others.

Todd Gray
Todd Gray Atlantic (New Futures) four archival pigment prints in artist’s frames; 72 5/8 by 49 1/8 by 4 ¼ in. Executed in 2022 Estimate $30,000-40,000 Gallery: David Lewis Gallery Beneficiary: Sedabuda School

Born in Los Angeles, Todd Gray received both his BFA and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Gray’s photo-based work explores issues of black masculinity, diaspora, and contemporary and historical examinations of power. Working between Los Angeles and Ghana, where he explores the diasporic dislocations and cultural connections which link Western hegemony with West Africa, Gray has presented his work in academic conferences at Yale and Harvard University. His work is represented in numerous museum collections: Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; National Gallery of Canada; Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles among others.

Vaughn Spann
Vaughn Spann Night Sweat (Marked Man) signed Vaughn Spann, titled Night Sweat (Marked Man) and dated 2022 (on the verso) polymer painted, mixed media and canvas on wood panel 84 by 84 in. Executed in 2022 Estimate $80,000-120,000 Gallery: Almine Rech Beneficiary: The Racial Imaginary Institute

The importance of the family and everyday reality takes center stage in the work of Vaughn Spann. Influenced by his grandparents, Spann spent his childhood learning artisanal crafts, particularly the art of sewing. He transforms terry cloth, silk, clay, acrylic, and spray paint, transcending these materials to produce canvases with crackling surfaces and vibrant colors whose delicate compositions oscillate fluidly between figurative and abstract modes. A graduate from the Yale School of Art, Spann first and foremost imbues a deep formal understanding of his process and materials within his works. His choices of iconography simultaneously have stimulated the discussion surrounding African-American art and the black experience in the United States through a generational perspective. Spann’s works are part of esteemed US and European private collections and are included in the public collections of the High Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, North Carolina Museum of Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, The Bass, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Perez Art Museum.

Katherina Olschbaur
Katherina Olschbaur Blinding Light oil on linen; 90 ½ by 78 ¾ in. Executed in 2022 Estimate $15,000-20,000 Gallery: Nicodim Gallery Beneficiary: Foster Pride

A graduate of the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Katherina Olschbaur lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Her seductive and colourful large-scale paintings present figures in fluid motion that play out notions of feminism and Surrealism against each other. Her art historical references include Baroque, mannerist, or renaissance paintings that unlock a visual path for the way she handles paint, with their fullness, volume, light, and a sense of anti-gravity in the figures. Olschbaur builds compositions intuitively, building color and atmosphere in layers. The artist has exhibited in Dakar, Los Angeles, Bucharest, London, and Berlin, and in 2021, Olschbaur was selected for the second year of Kehinde Wiley’s Black Rock residency in Dakar, Senegal. Olschbaur currently has an exhibition on view at Nicodim Gallery, New York through October 22nd.

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