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Art Market Report

From Hollis Taggart

Black and White

Richard Pousette-Dart (1916–1992) Black & White Animal 1979–80 Acrylic on linen 42H x 85H inches Signed and dated verso: “R Pousette-Dart / 80”

I was very recently giving a lecture at an art fair in Houston, Texas. One of the attendees asked: “What is the current state of the art market, and what is going to happen this fall?” After an awkward prolonged pause, I finally yielded up my honest response: “I have no idea.” As we all know, the future is never black and white. However, under normal conditions, we can predict with some accuracy what the outlook will be, based on recent activities and the current events leading into a new season. This fall season is especially hard to predict. The enormous socio-political cross-currents throughout the world, the transitions in the Middle East, political uncertainties at home, global financial tension in Greece and Europe, unprecedented and bizarre weather patterns and natural disasters—all of the above have conspired to leave us all with a “what’s next” frame of mind. An ineffective U.S. government coupled with economic stagnation and high unemployment have eroded confidence and morale. Yet against this rather bleak backdrop, the international art market has seemingly shrugged off all worries, and against all odds has shown resilience and strength. The May–June auctions for Post-War and Contemporary Art in the U.S. and London posted stellar price results. The bellwether Art Basel fair in June, likewise, saw record attendance and shockingly enormous sales. There seemed to be a disconnect between the art market and the rest of the world. The uncertainty for the fall season lies in this question: Can this disconnect, whereby the art market has climbed a “wall of worry,” continue? The past is black and white. It is fait accompli. What lies ahead is the question of the moment. The truthful answer is, no one knows. However, if I were a betting man (and what art dealer isn’t), I would predict further surprise for the fall season.

I am predicting continued strength this fall, but selective. Already we have seen weakness in the historical American painting market (Hudson River, still life, genre, Impressionism). The traditional painting market is out of favor at the moment, except for rare masterpieces fresh to the market. Greater consistency and demand is seen now for PostWar and certain blue chip contemporary markets. If any area of the market will show strength this fall, it will likely be in Post-War, Pop Art, and selected contemporary artists. I have been surprised all year at how the market has performed to date, at least for this section, and I am expecting this to continue this fall, regardless of how dire things feel as we go to press. The reason why such resilience? Because of the broadening base of demand—the growing globalization of the art market. New buyers continue to emerge from Asia, Russia, India, and certain Eastern European nations. This new buying base is in its early stages and therefore the vast liquidity coming from this new wealth should remain in place for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, in this uncertain financial climate, the question arises, “Where is it safe and prudent to put money?” Few of us have the nerves for an insanely volatile stock market, real estate is in the doldrums, there is no return on cash, and few obvious alternatives are presenting themselves. Art is traditionally viewed as a store of value, and can be enjoyed while one rides out these fragile economic times. Art is as “safe” a haven as most any alternative choice. Against all of this analysis, art is to be acquired for personal and aesthetic reasons first and foremost. Buy with your eyes and your heart, and not with your ears. Be selective, informed, and cautious. And most of all, enjoy and be happy! As this fall season unfolds, we will keep you abreast of any and all pertinent developments.

Alfred H. Maurer


Cubist Still Life with Green Chalice, circa 1928–32 Oil on gessoed panel, 18 x 21H inches Signed lower right: “A. H. Maurer”


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Alfred H. Maurer (1868–1932) Still Life, circa 1908–12 Oil on canvas, 21H x 18 inches Signed lower right: “A. H. Maurer”

Arthur B. Carles


Nasturtiums, circa 1932 Oil on canvas, 36 x 28H inches Signed lower left: “CARLES ”


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Walt Kuhn


Performer Dressing, 1944 Oil on canvas, 25 x 30 inches Signed and dated lower right: “Walt Kuhn / 1944”

Romare Bearden


Bright Mansions, circa 1964 Oil and paper collage on panel, 12 x 7G inches Signed upper right: “romare bearden”


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Romare Bearden (1911–1988) Mrs. Blanton’s October Table, 1983 Oil and collage on Masonite, 40 x 30 inches Signed lower right: “Romare Bearden”

Adolph Gottlieb


Untitled (Cartoon for Steinberg House Windows), circa 1954 Acrylic on paper mounted on cardboard, 14G x 47 inches Signed lower left: “Adolph Gottlieb”


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Bob Thompson


Untitled, 1961 Oil on board, 10I x 8L inches Initialed lower right: “BT” Signed, dated, and inscribed verso: “B Thompson / ‘61 / Paris”


RIchard Pousette-Dart Drawing inspiration form Jungian and Freudian theories, mythology, African, Oceanic, and Native American Art, as well as from his own past, Richard Pousette-Dart (1916–1992) created penetrating transcendental paintings of extraordinary depth. He was a pioneering Abstract Expressionist and a visionary of the New York School, which was active in the 1940s and 50s. PousetteDart was instrumental in the development of Abstract Expressionism and had significant contact with all members of this group, however, he chose to maintain a largely separate identity from his Abstract Expressionist colleagues, remaining fiercely individualistic throughout his career. The quest to convey spirituality through the materiality of painting established Pousette-Dart as a significant force in the development of modern ar t. His paintings, rich, profound and substantive, reflect an impassioned commitment to queries about mysticism, spiritualism, mythology, meditative realms, the cosmos,


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the soul and the universal truths of nature. Throughout his body of abstract work, Pousette-Dart fused superb technical skill with vast intellectual knowledge to give physical form to the transcendent and metaphysical. He was mesmerized with nature and he felt that nature was quite literally “in” him as he was “in” nature; perhaps more than any other artist of his generation, he might well be considered an AbEx American Transcendentalist. He provided a doorway into a meditative world where the visual field becomes a metaphor for the subconscious. Pousette-Dart was one of the youngest members of the famed “Irascibles,” the founding artists of Abstract E x p r e s s i o n i s m ( i n c l u d i n g K l i n e , R o t h k o , Po l l o c k , Motherwell, and others). His works, easily identifiable and infused with his very personal individualism, are currently being appreciated by a growing audience of collectors and museums, as evidenced by a steady rise in market value at auction and private sales.

Richard Pousette-Dart (1916–1992) opposite Untitled (Black Circle, Space), 1983 Acrylic on paper mounted on board 22H x 30G inches right, top Serpentine Saffron, circa 1960s Acrylic on paper 9 x 11G inches Signed verso: “R. Pousette-Dart” Inscribed verso: “s/w/p-25 #1381 1960’s” right, bottom Intensive Crescent, 1985 Acrylic on d’arches paper 7H x 10G inches Signed and inscribed verso: “R Pousette Dart, #1479, s/w/p-3”


RIchard Pousette-Dart

Richard Pousette-Dart (1916–1992) above Garden Strata, 1978 Acrylic and ink on paper 22H x 30G inches Titled, dated, and signed verso: “Garden Strata / March 78 / R Pousette-Dart” opposite, top Arcadian Lights, 1950s Watercolor on paper 6G x 9G inches opposite, bottom Untitled, circa 1940–45 Oil, gouache, and ink on paper 6H x 8 inches


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Pablo Achutgarry: Heroic Activities November 17 through December 17, 2011 Hollis Taggart Galleries presents the first New York exhibition of sculptor Pablo Atchugarry. The Uruguayanborn artist, who lives and works in Lecco, Italy, creates elegant, imposing work in both marble and bronze. No undertaking is too daunting for him—from the 2003 Venice Biennale installation representing Uruguay, to the private commission of a five-story high sculpture hewn from a single block of Carrara marble, to the more intimately scaled works on view in the gallery. Our exhibition will include 18 of Atchugarry’s pieces. In white Carrara marble, and pink Portugal and Iran marbles, these pieces fold, layer, and undulate. Atchugarry effectively works the medium to appear both weightless and substantial.


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Vertical marble pieces such as Dreaming New York (Soñando New York) are pleated and soaring, belying their massive weight. The artist has long been recognized in Europe as a leading sculptor; his public commissions are located throughout Europe and South America, and his work is held in private collections around the world. In 1999, the Pablo Atchugarry Museum was inaugurated in Lecco, and his foundation opened in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in 2007. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition features an essay by critic, poet, and professor Jonathan Goodman, as well as extensive photography of the artist’s working process. The exhibition runs through December 17.

Pablo Atchugarry (b. 1954) below, left Las velas de la libertad (Sails of Freedom), 2011 Carrara marble 25 x 11¹⁄₁₆ x 11¹³⁄₁₆ inches below, right Untitled, 2009 Pink Portugal marble 25L x 12G x 11¹³⁄₁₆ inches opposite Soñando New York (Dreaming New York), 2011 Carrara marble 74¹⁄₁₆ x 30⁵⁄₁₆ x 10L inches

Mark di Suvero

(b. 1933)

Ojibway, 1991 Steel and stainless steel, 20 x 21H x 16G inches


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George Rickey(b. (1907–2002) Norman Bluhm 1920) Unstable Axis—Bronze, 1971

Abstract Composition, 1962 Tempera on paper, 24 1/8 x 19 7/8 inches Signed and dated lower right: “Bluhm ’62”

Bronze and lead, 38H x 28G x 28 inches Each blade: 28 inches long, base: 1 x 3 x 3 inches Signed and dated on base: “Rickey 71 S”

Alexander Calder


Untitled, 1972 Gouache on paper, 43G x 29H inches Signed and dated lower right: “Calder 72”


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Alexander Calder


Flag Pinwheel, 1970 Gouache on paper, 42K x 29⁵⁄₁₆ inches Signed and dated lower right: “Calder 70”

Norman Bluhm


Dhatri II, 1971 Acrylic on paper mounted on Masonite, 30 x 68 inches Signed and dated lower left: “bluhm / ‘71”


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Theodoros Stamos


Field I, 1952 Oil on canvas, 50 x 28 inches Signed lower left: “Stamos” Titled and dated on stretcher verso: “’Field’ #1 1952”

Jack Tworkov


Related to Barrier, 1963 Oil on canvas, 40 x 23 inches Signed lower right: “Tworkov” Signed, dated, titled, and inscribed verso: “Tworkov / ‘63 / RELATED TO BARRIER / 40 x 23”


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Norman Bluhm


Blue Blade, 1961 Oil on linen, 70H x 60H inches Signed and dated lower left: “bluhm ‘61” Signed, dated, and titled verso: “bluhm ‘61, ‘BLUE BLADE’”

Solo Exhibition

Bill Scott

(b. 1956)

left The Longed-for Pause, 2009 Oil on canvas, 48 x 40 inches Signed and dated lower left: “Bill Scott 09” right Coastline, 2011 Oil on canvas, 65 x 34 inches Signed and dated lower right: “Bill Scott 11”

The September solo exhibition of Bill Scott’s newest vibrant, complex paintings met with great success; we are pleased to report very active sales. Since his first show with Hollis Taggart Galleries in 2004, the gallery continues to represent and show his evolving work. Please contact the gallery for additional images and a catalogue.

958 Madison Avenue

New York, New York 10021

Tel 212 628 4000

Fax 212 570 5786

Art Market Report Fall 2011  

Our quarterly newsletter, "Art Market Report," features strong examples of our current inventory and a recurring essay by president Hollis T...