Christie’s becomes “off the Wall”
Christie’s Pop-Up Art Gallery opened to the public in Aspen over Independence Weekend, featuring for private sale a selection of original, museum-quality artwork by Banksy and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Among the works is an untitled Basquiat from 1984, depicting the artist’s crown and skull and the use of an oil stick on a canvas nearly 6 feet high, priced at 13.5 million of dollars.
With this first-rate level of art on the wall, it’s understandable that the auction house has converted its main downtown Christie’s International Real Estate office – across from Gondola Square on Durant Avenue – into a gallery for five of the busiest weeks of the summer season here. Christie’s joins a rapidly growing list of branded international galleries opening in Aspen amid the pandemic and a record commercial art market.
“It speaks to what’s going on in the contemporary art market right now,” said Capera Ryan, vice president of Christie’s, who will lead the gallery for the season here. “And the pop-ups follow people who stay here longer. “
Christie’s has been on the Aspen art scene for 20 years, she noted.
“We’ve always had cocktails and dinners, but we’re now much more strategic in programming than we do in Aspen,” said Ryan, who also oversaw Christie’s collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation for a series of exhibitions. here in 2014 and 2015.
The list of new and temporary galleries here in the midst of the pandemic includes London’s White Cube, multinational Amine Rech, and several Manhattan-based taste makers including Malin Gallery, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Carpenters Workshop Gallery and Lehman Maupin.
“It’s funny to see all the other pop-ups that appear now,” Ryan said. “It’s interesting that all of a sudden everyone wants to be in Aspen.”
Christie’s inaugural pop-up exhibition, titled “Basquiat to Banksy: Off the Wall Aspen”, runs until July 15 and features several original works by the title artists as well as pieces by Keith Haring, KAWS, Andy Warhol and Martin Wong. This will be followed by the group exhibition “Out West” featuring mountain paintings by Ed Ruscha and cowboys by Richard Prince (July 17-28) and a preview of works from the 20th and 21st centuries that will be sold. at auction this fall (July 30 to August 31). 8).
In addition to the exhibits, Christie’s held weekly art conferences at the St. Regis Resort. They kicked off this week with a panel featuring prominent Aspen art collectors Nancy Magoon and Gail Neeson. Upcoming lectures include experts discussing the NFT phenomenon and street art in the fine art world. These talks are private but aim to cement Christie’s on the Aspen art scene.
Christie’s also has a summer pop-up in the Hamptons, where a similar influx of galleries is underway as merchants seek to connect with collectors who have moved to resort communities as part of the urban exodus. of the pandemic.
“Coming out of COVID, people haven’t traveled like they have in the past,” Ryan said. “People don’t go to Europe. So we looked at several cities across the country, from the Hamptons to Aspen, and we saw that this is a mass of people who are our primary customers who go to their homes here and spend more time here.
As the United States emerges from the pandemic, pop-ups may continue to follow collectors to destinations like Aspen on a seasonal basis, but Christie’s art exhibits will return.
“Our friends are here, our customers are here,” Ryan said. “There is no doubt that we will be back. “