Galleries - March 2015

Zdanevich for a mere £2,000. At the other end, a wonderful but tiny Malevich drawing of 1915, from a sketch book, with an estimate of £10,000 to £15,000, was bought for over £55,000. Following on, Sotheby’s Impressionist Sale was a sensation with perhaps as many as six to eight museum quality paintings achieving the highest ever total for a London auction of £186.5 million. There were auction records for works by Seurat, Kandinsky and Malevich, and all five paintings by Monet sold for good prices. But their highlight was a week later when they sold a fantastic, large Gerhard Richter for an amazing £30 million and achieved another world record for a large Lucio Fontana ‘slash’ painting of 1965, which sold at over £8million. Total made was £123 million. On this occasion Christie’s did not fare quite so well, with a total for their Impressionist Evening Sale of £147 million, but there were some important Surrealist paintings which within the total realised over £100 million. The most memorable was a 1950s Miro, ‘Woman, Moon, Birds’, which fetched over £15 million, twice the upper estimate. Their Post-War & Contemporary Evening Sale was again lower in total, being £116 million but a major Cy Twombly was sold for just under £20 million. On reflection, it was a positive two weeks for the London Art Market. William Jackson Island Artists There’s a distinctly vigorous visual arts scene on Anglesey and from late March through Easter is a good time to find out with the Anglesey Open Studios scheme (itself part of Anglesey Arts Week) in full flow. With some 37 participating artists it takes a bit of getting round – to help you work out what you might want to prioritise visiting, the enterprising Ucheldre Centre is mounting a useful ‘taster’ exhibition which includes examples of work by all those taking part. In addition to which the island’s three main galleries – Oriel Tegfryn, Beaumaris Centre and Oriel Ynys Mon will also all be putting on special displays. NU Auction Records Tumble With auction records tumbling during the fortnight of Impressionism, Modern and Contemporary Art Sales this February, there were still bargains to be had – and some cheap at that. Bonhams kicked off with a moderately successful Impressionist & Modern Sale in their recently, very splendidly, refurbished rooms with glass lifts to the rear and views over Haunch of Venison Yard. For those with constrained resources, an attractive De La Fresnaye 1920s drawing was sold for £3,000, a fabulous early Kubin for £7,700 and a Russian Constructive drawing by 8 GALLERIES MARCH 2015 ANTENNAE Surfing the Wave Cornwall happily continues to sustain its creative momentum and it’s by no means all to do with St Ives. In recent years there has, for example, been the emergence of the extraordinary Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens at Gulval and, over on The Lizard, the highly enterprising Kestle Barton art centre/gallery, both showing top-class national and international work. Now, a fair way up the north coast from these, is Circle Contemporary, a really large new (September 2014), and very contemporary, space situated in one of a series of converted warehouses on the A39 Atlantic Highway between Wadebridge and Padstow. The brainchild of a local businessman, Richard Eldridge (who has bought the whole site, which also includes a splendid cafe and upmarket and vintage furniture spaces), it is curated by artist, gallerist and specialist illustrator of Egyptian archaeology, John O’Carroll, who is putting on a distinctly enterprising programme of exhibitions. Six-weekly shows by individual artists will be in the Upper Gallery, (currently ceramicist Peter Hayes) with larger mixed shows in the Lower Gallery, at the moment a show called ‘Blue Black’, which features the art-work and photography of a group of five artists on the theme of cold-water surfing. NU