From Bacon to Shrigley: Highlights from my trip to London


David Shrigley at Sketch

While in London…

  • I got a chance to speak to Georgina Adam and congratulate her on her new book, Big Bucks: The Explosion of the Art Market in the 21st Century that I highly recommend. It’s a fascinating read for both new and seasoned collectors.
  • The Human Factor at Hayward Gallery was one of my favorite exhibitions I visited. It included twenty-five international artists, including Huma Bhabha, Maurizio Cattelan, Urs Fischer, Thomas Hirschhorn, Jeff Koons, Paul McCarthy, Paloma Varga Weisz, and Rachel Harrison, who use the human form to explore our social, political, historical and cultural landscapes. I found it to be extremely thought provoking and engaging. I particularly liked Rachel Harrisons sculpture, Jack Lemmon, 2011.

Rachel Harrison, Jack Lemmon, 2011 Wood, polystyrene, cement, acrylic, spray paint, mannequin, Dick Cheney mask, sweatshirt, sunglasses, glasses, butterfly net and plastic lemon

  • I headed over to Gagosian to check out the first-ever solo exhibition in London by Jenny Saville, Oxyrhynchus. I was captivated, finding it extremely powerful. It’s seeped in historical references related to the ancient Egyptian archeological site from which the show takes its name. Most of the works are of human forms in various embraces and entanglements that are sensuous and seductive.

Jenny Saville, Untitled, 2014. Pastel and charcoal on canvas, 66 x 15 1/6 x 98 7/16 inches

  •  I visited Pace Gallery to check out Romanian artist, Adrian Ghenie. He is proving to be an artist to pay attention to as he is quickly becoming a big name. His work sold for 1,429,500GBP at Sotheby’s evening auction after an estimate of 250,000 -350,000 GBP. I think his current exhibition at Pace played a role in garnering that price as well as the fact that he paints very few paintings a year and has a long waiting list for his work.
  • The auctions proved to be as exciting as always. Watching Tracey Emin’s Bed sell for 4.3M with her in the audience was especially fun. (Estimated I.4 -2 M)

Tracey Emin, My Bed. 1998. Photo by author

  • Francis Bacon Triptych Three Studies for Portrait of George Dyer was estimated at 15,000,000 – 20,000,000 and sold for 26,682,500GBP.
  • Phillips on Wednesday evening had a small sale with a focus on young artists. A work by David Ostrowski beat out the ones sold at Sothebys and Christies. Phillips is scheduled to move Berkeley Square in the Fall.
  •  Turner prize nominee David Shrigley took over Sketch restaurant transforming the space into a pink wonderland that was enormously entertaining to experience.
  •  I checked out Sotheby’s selling exhibition of work by Banksy: Unauhtorised Retrospective. It was a perfect place for someone to pick up a work by controversial artist outside of the auction.