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Sotheby's are offering 201 lots of early Israeli moderns and contemporary art on March 16, as well as valuable lots by Chagall, Kisling and Lesser Ury. It's a sale of unusually high standard and will be reviewed in detail next Friday.
The Sotheby's auction is the centerpiece of Artis 06, originally a week of Israeli art shows at a number of New York museums and galleries, designed by Sotheby's to drum up interest in contemporary Israeli works. However, Artis has by now assumed a life of its own, this time continuing throughout the spring and summer; and this year highlights the work of graduates of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, now marking the centennial of its founding.
Bezalel graduates feature in Solos: New Design from Israel currently on view at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in Manhattan. Other former Bezalel students also feature at Pace Wildenstein, where Michal Rovner's new works, Fields of Fire, are to be seen; and at the Jewish Museum, in Homecooked, videos by Guy Ben Ner, Ohad Meromi and Sylvia Gruner.
Artists of AIDA, Association of Israeli Design Artists, figure in several exhibitions around the country. Ceramics by Michal Zehavi are at the New York Duane Reed Gallery; in April, jewelry by Shay Lahover goes on display at the Yaw Gallery in Birmingham, Michigan and the 5th International Fiber Biennial at the Snyderman Works Galleries in Philadelphia includes works by Lily Poran and Bohtaina Abu Milhem. Later in the year, the Racine Art Museum (RAM) in Wisconsin will show the creations of Bianca Eshel-Gershuni, Vered Kaminski, Esther Knobel and Deganit Stern Schocken in Women's Tales: Four Leading Israeli Jewelers.
Photographer Barry Frydlender's New Works feature at the Andrea Meislin Gallery in Manhattan while the work of other Israeli photographers are on view at the Makor Gallery and the JCC Manhattan.
In upstate New York, the Rochester Museum of Art will present Insatiable, photographs and videos by Orit Raff, while 75 contemporary works by 18 Israeli photographers and media artists will be the focus of The Art of Living at The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco this spring.
From March 9-13, various galleries at the New York Armory Show will again be showing works by Israelis Yael Bartana, Ori Gersht, Alona Harpaz, Michal Helfman, Itzik Livneh, Yehudit Sasportas, Netally Schlosser, Ahlam Shibli, Eliezer Sonnenschein, Uri Tzaig, Sharon Ya'ari, Rona Yefman and Guy Zagursky.
Venue addresses, times and more details on these and other exhibitions in New York and elsewhere can be found at www.artis06.com. Artis can be contacted at email@example.com.
MONTEFIORE OF Tel Aviv are offering 155 local and international lots at the Dan Tel Aviv on the evening of March 9. They can be viewed daily at 36 Rehov Montefiore; Tel. (03) 566-8818.
Among the top lots is an optimistically rated 1957 Streichman ($100,000-$150,000); a Chagall flower piece in oils ($120,000-$140,000); another floral oil by Kisling ($80,000-$100,000); flowers by Rubin ($40,000-$60,0000) and a white cockerel by Rubin ($60,000-$80,000); an interesting late '20s oil of the Temple Mount seen from the south, a bit a la Bomberg's Jerusalem landscapes, by Ludwig Blum ($50,000-$70,000); and Two Umbrellas, an oil by Avigdor Arikha ($70,000-$90,000).
A western landscape by William Gropper has an estimate of $14,900-$24,000. A forgotten artist, Gyula Zilzer, who died in 1969, is represented with three landscapes, all starting at modest prices, as do many of the lots in this sale.
CHRISTIE'S HAD a record Contemporary and Post War sale in London last month ($64m. in a single evening) but their March 16 sale in New York by the same title will not do nearly as well. The few big names are not well-represented and there is nothing like the Bacons, Freuds and Auerbachs that carried the London sale. Anyway, it's chiefly an American young artists' show at inflated prices. Caveat emptor: this market is going to blow up in the faces of investor-collectors.
There is, however, one great lot, Quinlan, 1972, a harmonious abstraction in fluent acrylics by James Brooks (1906-92), possibly the best thing he ever painted and one I think will pass its top estimate of $35,000.
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