May 01, 2020 at 8:45am

Alex Katz, White Roses 7, 2012, for sale on Sotheby’s Gallery Network for $950,000.

Sotheby’s has created a new online sales platform that will host works from a number of contemporary art galleries, including Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Jack Shainman Gallery, Kasmin Gallery, Lehmann Maupin, Luhring Augustine, and Petzel Gallery. Called Sotheby’s Gallery Network, the marketplace was established to help boost the digital reach of its partners and facilitate sales amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has forced galleries to close and art fairs to be canceled. The auction house will receive a flat commission for the sale of artworks, which will be available for immediate purchase and offered exclusively through the platform.

Saara Pritchard, a senior specialist of contemporary art at Sotheby’s, said the e-commerce site was conceived to support galleries and the art world as it “continues to grapple with and acclimate to the circumstances of our current moment.” She added: “Sotheby’s has made a point of investing significantly in our proprietary digital tools over the past several years, and this network provides an opportunity to extend that investment to support the larger art market during this time. By uniting our different strengths, we believe this type of cooperative arrangement can be a model for success not only during the short-term, but also as a long-term reciprocal project to support all levels of the market.”

Madrid gallerist Helga de Alvear has donated $1.1 million to fighting Covid-19. According to the Spanish daily newspaper ABC, the money will fund virologist Luis Enjuanes’s search for a vaccine. Enjuanes is currently working alongside virologists Isabel Sola and Sonia Zúñiga at the National Biotechnology Center of the Spanish National Research Council to research antivirals and antibodies that can combat the coronavirus that causes the infectious disease and to identify genes of the virus that could be genetically altered. Rosa Menéndez, president of the National Research Council, thanked de Alvear for the donation, her support of the work being carried out by scientists, and her trust in the research conducted by public institutions.

Hauser & Wirth announced the debut of Homegrown, a new online initiative that will showcase artworks by the gallery’s staff and their families. The platform will go live on May 9 and will feature works produced by members of almost every internal department across all of the regions where Hauser & Wirth has locations, including Los Angeles, New York, the United Kingdom, and Zurich. Gathered via an open call, the artworks range in media, comprising paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, and video works, and will be presented in biweekly exhibitions. Ten percent of the proceeds from the sales will go to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund of the World Health Organization.

“As is the case with so many galleries and arts institutions around the world, many of our staff members are also practicing artists,” said Manuela Wirth, copresident of the gallery. “With this project we are thrilled to be able to celebrate the artists within our worldwide Hauser & Wirth family. With so much talent in our own backyard, we felt it was important to create a platform where their creativity can be appreciated by a much larger audience.” Artworks will be priced between $100 and $20,000.

Following a report in the Los Angeles Times last week that revealed galleries are facing a long road ahead—25 percent of the thirty-five LA-based galleries that participated in an anonymous survey conducted by the newspaper are facing permanent closure—several Los Angeles dealers have banded together to form the first citywide art dealers’ association and have created their own marketing website: The site does not have e-commerce capabilities but will direct visitors to the websites where they can purchase the artworks listed. The association has since been joined by sixty contemporary art galleries.

“Nobody expects a frothy art market right now, but we think people do want to buy works that are moderate in price and stay engaged with art,” dealer Jeffrey Deitch told the New York Times in an interview about the collaboration. “What we’re hearing is that some galleries have not made a single sale since the lockdown.”

In addition, David Zwirner will host thirteen Los Angeles–based galleries on its website as part of its new Platform initiative, which the gallery established in response to the global health crisis. The series allows smaller dealerships to share Zwirner’s digital resources and provides them with a viewing room where they can promote focused presentations of works by a single artist. The series has already featured galleries from New York and London as part of its first two editions. The participants in Platform: Los Angeles—which include Château Shatto, Commonwealth and Council, François Ghebaly, Hannah Hoffman, Jenny’s, Night Gallery, Nonaka-Hill, Parker Gallery, the Pit, and Wilding Cran Gallery—will begin presenting works on the site on May 1.

Lesley Heller Gallery has permanently shuttered. “It is with a heavy heart that after ten years, I announce the closing of my gallery at 54 Orchard Street,” Heller wrote in an email addressed to the gallery’s friends. “I am extremely proud of the exhibitions the gallery has put on throughout its many iterations, and I am honored to have worked with so many incredible artists and dedicated collectors.”

Founded in 1994 as a curatorial venue in SoHo called the Workspace, the gallery relocated to the Upper East Side a decade later and reopened as Lesley Heller Gallery. In 2010, Heller launched the Lesley Heller Workspace, which presented solo exhibitions by represented artists in the front gallery and guest-curated group shows in the back gallery. This program ran for seven years and highlighted the work of many groundbreaking and influential artists, including Lynda Benglis and Sol LeWitt. In 2017, the gallery shifted its focus once again, mounting solo exhibitions of work by represented artists paired with small solo shows by emerging and young artists.

Stephen Friedman Gallery in London has announced its representation of American artist Marina Adams, who is known for her paintings of vibrant, abstract configurations of geometric and biomorphic shapes. Commenting on her practice, for which Adams often sketches out her compositions with charcoal before she begins working with paint, the artist said: “I work in charcoal to get a sense of scale, of line and shape on the canvas. This frees me, so when I begin painting, there’s already a space there; a space that I can get involved with in a direct way. And that frees the touch as well.”

In the September 2019 issue of Artforum, Barry Schwabsky reviewed an exhibition of her work at Salon 94, which represents the artist in the United States. Schwabsky wrote: “Color is just about everything in Adams’s work, and everything seems animated, in movement. The energy impelling this motion is never agitated or frantic but rather feels steady, relaxed, and spontaneously responsive. Viewing her work is like being in the passenger seat next to a driver who knows how to take the road with supreme dexterity and implicit attentiveness; you feel safe at any speed.”

The New York– and Parma, Italy–based artist will have a solo exhibition at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, in the fall of 2020 and her first solo exhibition at Stephen Friedman Gallery in early 2021. The gallery was also recently joined by British artist Holly Hendry, whose new work will be featured in its booth at Frieze London in October this year, and Ugandan artist Leilah Babirye, whose multidisciplinary practice transforms leftover materials into objects that address issues surrounding identity, sexuality, and human rights.View of “Marina Adams,” 2019. From left: OZ, 2018; Days and Nights, 2018; and Cheops, 2018.

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