Category Archives: Art Market

Less Is Sometimes More: William Morris “recomposed” Mazorca pieces allow details to come to the fore

William Morris, Mazorca (Detail), 2013. Blown glass, steel stand. H 29 12, W 12, D 8 in.

William Morris, Mazorca (Detail), 2013. Blown glass, steel stand. H 29 12, W 12, D 8 in.

When Mazorca was unveiled for a 2005 retrospective at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, it was a bid for large-scale impact on the part of William Morris, known for the ability to create convincing organic texture in glass works that celebrate and reference the earthy qualities of tribal art from around the world. At more than 8-feet tall, the assemblage of carved heads, ears of corn, gourds, and various vessels dangling from a steel armature overwhelmed the senses, a cluster of objects that looked more like ceramic and carved wood and bone, strung up by thick hand-braided rope. That it all was made from glass was astonishing, but appreciation for the technical accomplishments of the Morris team-members who developed the processes on display may have been impeded by the sheer number of objects grouped together in the piece. After the museum exhibition closed, the massive work didn’t find a buyer, and languished on the market, most recently with a price-tag of $2 million, before it was recently announced that Morris would reconfigure the pieces into a number of smaller works Continue reading

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Willam Morris to return to the glass studio (briefly) to rework Mazorca installation

William Morris is going to reconstruct his 2005 work Mazorca, originally created as a large-scale installation made for a Museum of Glass retrospective. It originally stood more than 8-feet tall.

William Morris is going to reconstruct his 2005 work Mazorca, originally created as a large-scale installation made for a Museum of Glass retrospective. It originally stood more than 8-feet tall.

Since 2007, when William Morris retired with great fanfare at the peak of his glass-artist career, he’s been spending his time perfecting his stone-carving technique in Hawaii. Meanwhile, his unique body of work in sculpted and blown glass that channels non-European ancient artifacts continues to attract the attention of collectors, and fetch record prices. One large installation, however, has not sold. Mazorca, originally displayed as part of his 2005 mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma has not found a buyer. The more-than-8-foot-tall cornucopia of dangling glass objects that look like earthenware, shells, carved bone, and wood, will be restrung in smaller compositions, according to Lewis Wexler, who will be showing these works at the Sculptural Objects Functional Art Fair in Chicago this November. Morris’s brief return to the glass art studio was confirmed by his studio manager, Holly Lyman in an email exchange. Continue reading

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Rare Frank Lloyd Wright glass window to be auctioned

One of the original glass skylight windows of Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House is being auctioned on August 3rd after being stored away by a private owner for nearly half of a century. courtesy: schultz auctioneers.
One of the original glass skylight windows of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House is being auctioned on August 3rd after being stored away by a private owner for half a century. courtesy: schultz auctioneers.

On Saturday, August 3rd, a glass skylight window designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright will be sold by Schultz Auctioneers in Clarence, New York. The window, which has a pre-auction estimate of $50,000 to $100,000, originates from the Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, one Wright’s best known examples of his the Prairie Style. Two Martin House windows have sold at Christie’s for $62,500 and $104,500 each in 2011. Continue reading

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Chihuly counterfeit case a cautionary tale for buying art online

Possibly a student work made while Chihuly was making the Navajo Basket series, this work was quickly discredited as an authentic Chihuly by Kate Elliott, who was one of the artists involved in the authentic groundbreaking series.

Possibly a student work made while Chihuly was making the “Navajo Blanket Cylinder” series, this work was quickly discredited as an authentic Chihuly by Kate Elliott, who was one of the artists involved in the authentic groundbreaking series.

On June 19th, a 35-year-old Renton, Washington, resident named Michael Little plead guilty in federal court to wire fraud in connection with “his scheme to advertise and sell fake Chihuly artwork,” according to U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan in an F.B.I. announcement. Little admitted he bought “generic glasswork and artwork over the Internet” and resold it, claiming that it was authentic Dale Chihuly, and making “at least $40,000” for counterfeit sales between 2011 and 2013, according to the release. Citing the October 4, 2013 sentencing date, investigators in the case declined to comment on details until after the legal proceedings were complete, but the appraiser who helped identify the works as fakes has shared some of the story with The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet to help alert others to the market in counterfeit glass artwork. Continue reading

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William Morris works fetch record prices at recent auction

William Morris, Canopic Jar: Sable Antelope, 1995. Hand blown glass. H 48, W 12  in. courtesy: www.bonhams.com.

William Morris, Canopic Jar:
Sable Antelope, 1995. Hand blown glass. H 48, W 12 in. courtesy: bonhams

A work by William Morris entitled Sable Antelope from the “Canopic Jar” series set a new record for the artist’s work when the bidding ended at $290,500 (the price includes the buyer’s premium). The setting was the 20th Century Decorative Arts auction at Bonhams in New York City on June 14, 2013. The jar, created by Morris in 1995, sold for more than triple its pre-auction estimate, and was the standout work of the event, which also saw successful sales of Studio Glass work by Harvey Littleton ($18,750), Michael Glancy ($15,000), Paul Stankard ($22,500), Toots Zynsky ($9,375), and Stephen Rolfe Powell ($8,125) alongside decorative glass works by Gallé, Daum Nancy, Lalique, and Tiffany. Continue reading

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Lino Tagliapietra to receive award at Art Palm Beach

Lino Tagliapietra will receive the Visionary Award on Friday, January 25th, at the Art Palm Beach art fair. courtesy: schantz galleries, stockbridge, massachusetts

Lino Tagliapietra will receive the Visionary Award on Friday, January 25th, at the Art Palm Beach art fair. courtesy: schantz galleries, stockbridge, massachusetts

Art Palm Beach, which runs from January 24th through the 28th at the Palm Beach Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, will present Lino Tagliapietra with its Visionary Award during a ceremony on Friday, January 25th. The award presentation will be followed by a public presentation and interview with Scott Indrisek, senior executive editor of Modern Painters magazine. Continue reading

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The Pilchuck team gears up for October 12th gala, with centerpieces by Brooklyn-based Neils Cosman

Brooklyn-based artist and designer Niels Cosman’s centerpieces were made with the assistance of 24 glass artists and manage to combine loose organic form with carefully controlled process.

More than 250 works in glass will be going up for auction on Friday, October 12th, at the Westin Seattle as part of a black-tie fund-raising event that will support the educational and artistic programs at The Pilchuck Glass School for the 34th year running. In addition to the work up for live and silent bidding, there will be table centerpieces designed by Neils Cosman, who, alongside a team of 24 volunteer artists, created elegantly draped vessels that conjure up both ancient Roman glassware and the West Coast Funk movement that was a major influence in the early days of Studio Glass. Continue reading

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Cultural foundation in Venice expanding to include exhibition and research center on glass art and design

Aerial view of “Rooms for Glass” in Venice, Italy courtesy: selldorf architects

The Cini Foundation, long established as a privately-funded nonprofit research center in Venice for scholarship in art, history, and music, is expanding its purview to include Venetian glassmaking. The organization embarked on a cultural project in collaboration with Swiss-based foundation Pentagram Stiftung to promote 20th-century Venetian glass. The foundation recruited New York-based firm Selldorf Architects to refurbish the wing of a former boarding school on the CF’s San Giorgio Maggiore island headquarters, which will be home to the foundation’s new glass-only exhibition space, Le Stanze del Vetro (In English:  “Rooms for Glass”). This new wing will house year-long exhibits with a focus on quality pieces that highlight significant moments in the history of Venetian glass art, and will be opening its first-ever exhibit “Carlo Scarpa. Venini 1932 – 1947” at the end of August. Continue reading

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Dealers up in arms about National Liberty Museum art sale

The exterior facade of the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, which opened in 2000.

The museum world is a bastion of visual culture, and, for the most part, ethics. A sanctuary far removed from the crass commerce of the marketplace, this is where the most important artwork is bequeathed for the greater public good, where it will be available to enrich the lives of generations of citizens for years to come. Of course, museums don’t always behave according to the rules, and the work doesn’t always stay in one place. In 2010, the Guggenheim Museum in New York auctioned off the majority of an exhibition that had been on view for only two months, stirring controversy. Another breach of the wall between the gallery and museum worlds took place when high-profile art dealer Jeffrey Deitch was appointed director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (though only after he agreed to close his wildly successful New York City gallery). Which brings us to the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, which has raised the ire of several glass dealers with their selling of a collection the museum recently acquired from a couple from Atlanta. The Burke collection has ended up at the Liberty Museum either by purchase, by donation, or by some combination of the two—exact details are hard to come by. Reached by telephone, collector Wayne Burke would confirm to the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet only that his former glass art collection was now at the Liberty Museum. He declined to offer any details or comment further. Scott Patria, an art dealer currently serving as director of glass at the Liberty Museum, responded to a series of questions from the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet by declining to comment out of respect for the collectors’ privacy. Instead, he sent a reiteration of the museum’s mission statement and said that, “The Museum’s relationship to glass art has been and will continue to remain strong. Many collectors (and galleries) are aware of this and often will donate pieces from their collection to the Museum.” Arlene Silvers, chief operating officer of the Liberty Museum, did not respond to repeated telephone messages seeking clarification about the sale of the Burke collection. Continue reading

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OPENING: Habatat Galleries will hold its 40th annual invitational exhibition and 10th auction

Harvey Littleton, Spiral Lyrical Movement, 1986. Hot-worked glass. Tallest: 43 in. Auction estimate: $28,000 - $36,000

Habatat Galleries40th annual invitational exhibition gets underway this Friday with work by 90 artists from all over the world, but all eyes will be on the gallery’s 44 lots from 15 private collections going up for auction the day before. While the “Annual International Glass Invitational Awards Exhibition” has been a regular yearly event for this Royal Oak, Michigan, gallery since 1972, the auction is less than two decades old. And, unlike the exhibition, the auction does not take place every year, having run only ten times in the last 19 years. The highest estimate for Thursday night’s event (bidding starts at 8 PM ) is for a Harvey Littleton work (pictured at left), which is fitting with this being the 50th anniversary of the founder of Studio Glass’s seminal workshops at the Toledo Museum of Art. Work by William Morris and Dale Chihuly are also listed with a high estimate north of $30,000. In total, 44 lots are going up for auction, with bids being accepted by telephone and Internet, as well as absentee bidding. Continue reading

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RED DOT REPORT: A redesigned SOFA New York entices the eye but will it drive sales?

David Ling, the architect who put his mark on the interior of the Park Avenue armory for SOFA New York 2012, pictured with Art Fair Company president Mark Lyman. courtesy: http://www.sofaexpo.com

The organizers of SOFA New York took a cue from the ongoing renovation of the Park Avenue Armory‘s exterior to boldly re-imagine the interior design of their 15-year-old East Coast art fair for the 2012 edition. New York City architect David Ling was invited to remake the main exhibition area and its three aisles of booths.

Artist Paul Stankard (right) among the fair goers making their way through David Ling's white fabric entranceway to the exhibition area.

The result is a cloth-draped tunnel entrance that opens up into an airy expanse with geometric white block lighting suspended high overhead. “I conceived of it as a time machine-like procession,” says Ling in a prepared statement. “This procession leads visitors from the stately, Victorian-era foyer of the Armory through a long, narrow tunnel, tantalizing you with the prospect of an unknown but exciting journey.” Exhibitor booths were rearranged from years past so that veteran showgoers had to seek out their favorite galleries, and the number of dealers was pared back to 42, with the organizers asking not only that exhibitors submit the names of the artists whose work they would be showing for approval, but images as well. There were fewer jewelry or carpet sellers at this year’s event, and the fair had a decidedly more sophisticated look and feel, and yet the buyers, by the second day of the four-day event, were limited if the presence of red dots was any reliable indication.

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EVENT: Longtime UK trade fair hosts large selection of glass

Martin Andrews, stone collection bowl, photo courtesy: british craft trade fair

The longest running trade fair in the UKBritish Craft Trade Fair, finishes its three-day stint in Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate today. BCTF has been promoting the hand-made work of hundreds of exclusively British and Irish artists for 35 years. Strictly to the trade only, no manufactured products or products created overseas are allowed at the fair. Continue reading

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Craft advocate and magazine publisher Wendy Rosen running for Congress

Wendy Rosen, Maryland congressional candidate (D)

Wendy Rosen has spent the last thirty years advocating for craft artists and publishing both trade and consumer magazines devoted to covering the field, including her flagship publication American Style, which celebrates collectors as well as artists. Now the Maryland-based business owner is making a bid for a seat in the United States House of Representatives. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet caught up with Rosen by phone this weekend, where she was in Philadelphia running one of her Buyers Markets, a national trade show and wholesale market for handcrafted luxury products. “Actually it’s pretty good. Aisles are crowded today and people are more optimistic this year than they were last by far,” she said about the turnout. Continue reading

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With attendance up, Art Palm Beach honors Studio Glass at 15th annual art fair

Jeannet Iskandar, Between Fragment and Whole Ellipse I, 2011. courtesy: heller gallery, new york

This past Monday, the curtain came down on the 15th year of Art Palm Beach, which ran from January 20th to the 23rd at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. Fair spokesperson Ashlea Heck estimates this year’s attendance was 28,000, exceeding the previous year’s number by 2,000 despite being a day shorter. Eighty two galleries from the U.S. and abroad showed contemporary art, furniture, photography, and design objects. Exhibitor Corey Hampson, the director of sales for Habatat Galleries based in Royal Oak, Michigan described this year’s Art Palm Beach as having “a lot of energy” and “very contemporary.” Continue reading

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Major sale at SOFA of Lino Tagliapietra panel finalized by Chazen Museum

Pictured at the Schantz Galleries exhibition at SOFA Chicago 2011: Lino Tagliapietra, George, 1999. H 60 1/4, W 30, D 1 in. $300,000. courtesy: schantz galleries

The $300,000 sale of a 5-foot-tall glass panel by Lino Tagliapietra entitled George (1999) at SOFA Chicago last November has been finalized. The selection committee at Chazen Museum of Art at University of Wisconsin, Madison has approved the decision late last week to acquire this work for their permanent collection. Continue reading

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Red Dot Report: SOFA CHICAGO 2011

A scene from SOFA CHICAGO 2011, with Susan Taylor Glasgow's Communal Nest installation visible on the left.

From the excitement of the opening preview on Thursday evening, which kicked off November 3rd, through the few dozen last stragglers clearing out on late Sunday afternoon, SOFA CHICAGO 2011 officially came to a close at 6 PM on November 6th, having drawn thousands to Navy Pier to see the work of artists working in craft media (metal, ceramics, wood, fiber, and glass). This year’s show was artfully arranged to disguise the smaller number of exhibiting art dealers, which only a few years ago, filled the exhibition area to the walls. Unused floor space was curtained off behind the dramatically lit cafe area, and the smaller number of art dealers was offset by the inclusion of the Intuit Outsider Art Fair again this year. (The outsider art fair also seemed slightly smaller than last year in terms of the number of  gallery exhibitors.) Glass was very prominent and well represented, and while reports varied, some dealers reported strong results this year. Continue reading

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Seen at SOFA 2011: Josepha Gasch-Muche

Josepha Gasch-Muche, 02.10.06, 2006. Graphite on glass/wood panel. H 31 1/2, W 32 1/2, D 8 in. $34,500. courtesy: heller gallery

Among the works exhibited at New York City’s Heller Gallery at its booth at SOFA CHICAGO were three works by Josepha Gasch-Muche that are part of her “Mutable Materiality” exhibit on display at the Meatpacking District gallery until November 12th. Almost immediately, the piece titled 7.4.2011 (2011) was put on hold during the Thursday night preview. The sale of the piece was confirmed Saturday for $39,500.  Continue reading

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Pilchuck annual auction delivers impressive results nearly matching last year’s level

Despite the challenging economic climate, the Pilchuck Glass School managed to raise $1.14 million, almost matching the $1.2 million raised in 2010. On the evening of October 14th, 2011, the 650 attendees at the Westin in downtown Seattle put aside the recent bad news from the stock markets to focus on the 40th anniversary of a unique glass school, and they showed their appreciation by bidding high on more than 350 works of glass art donated by top-tier and up-and-coming artists alike. Continue reading

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Upcoming Paris auction documents Barry Friedman’s refined glass art aesthetic

Giles Bettison, Vista #83, 2001. Fused, blown and wheelcut murrine glass. H 8 7/8, W 6 1/2 in. Estimate: 2,500 - 3,000 Euro (US$ 3,400 - 4,000)

This Monday in Paris, art dealer Barry Friedman will auction off 158 works of glass, many by artists he personally championed such as Michael Glancy, Giles Bettison (pictured at left), Yoichi Ohira, and Laura de Santillana. Organized by Camard & Associates, a Paris-based specialist in 20th-century decorative art, design, photography and jewelry, the October 3rd auction will take place  at 2:30 PM in Paris (8:30 AM EST) at Drouot-Montaigne. Work in glass by more than 20 artists will be represented in the auction, including such giants of the glass art field as Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra, Joel Philip Myers, and William Morris. Continue reading

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As third-annual SOFA WEST fades into history, dealers report good attendance, mixed sales

Opening Night of SOFA WEST 2011

The 3rd Annual SOFA WEST arts fair wrapped up on August 7th in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Thirty-five dealers participated in the three-day event, which saw an estimated 10,000-plus people pass through the doors of the Santa Fe Convention Center. Despite the impressive turnout, the uncertain economic environment weighed heavily. Mark Lyman, President of The Art Fair Company, which puts on the event, reported, “it was a very upbeat fair despite the country’s political and economic turmoil. Dealers reported the right crowd and significant sales were achieved.” Exhibiting dealers contacted by the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet wondered whether stock market volatility leading up to and during the show dissuaded some collectors from making purchases at the show. Markets plunged on Thursday August 4th, the show’s opening day, and the United States’ credit rating was downgraded to AA+ by Standards and Poors before the show headed into its final day. Continue reading

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