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What the experts will be seeing in 2017

Michelangelo’s drawings and Hokusai’s prints, a major Hockney retrospective, the largest art museum to open in Africa for 100 years and a new Christie’s space in Los Angeles — just a few of the things Christie’s specialists are looking forward to

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  • Cristian Albu
    Senior Specialist in Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s in London

What are you most looking forward to seeing in 2017?

Without any doubt what I’m looking forward to most is David Hockney’s major retrospective at Tate Britain (9 February–29 May). It will be his most comprehensive exhibition yet, spanning six decades and gathering works from all the media he’s worked in: paintings, drawings, photography, video and prints. 

David Hockney, Red Pots in the Garden, 2000. Oil on canvas. 60 x 76 in. © David Hockney Photo Credit Richard Schmidt

David Hockney, Red Pots in the Garden, 2000. Oil on canvas. 60 x 76 in. © David Hockney Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt

This will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to trace his artistic journey, from his Los Angeles portraits and views of swimming pools, through photography and drawings to his Yorkshire landscapes and his most recent works. It will show us again his different inspirations through the decades, how one series influenced the next, and why he is considered one of the most important British artists of the 20th century. I queued to see his Yorkshire show at the Royal Academy in 2012, and went three times to see 82 Portraits and 1 Still Life  last year. 

What major trends or developments should we be on the lookout for this year?

In recent years we’ve experienced a tremendous volume of great contemporary art coming out of Africa. With the opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town is about to become home to one of the most influential art institutions in the world. Zeitz MOCAA (opening in September) will be the biggest museum to open on the continent for more than 100 years. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick as a space for African artists to tell their stories through various media, it will be a powerful statement that African art is becoming as influential as its Western contemporaries. I’m booking my ticket early for the opening. 

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  • Sonya Roth
    Managing Director of Christie’s in Los Angeles and the West Coast of America

Mark Bradford, Father You Have Murdered Me, 2012. Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University. Purchased with funds from Mortimer & Sara Hays Acquisition Fund and the Rose Art Museum. Courtesy of the artist

Mark Bradford, Father You Have Murdered Me, 2012. Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University. Purchased with funds from Mortimer & Sara Hays Acquisition Fund and the Rose Art Museum. Courtesy of the artist

What are you most looking forward to seeing in 2017?

This year I’m looking forward to two key events. One is the Venice Biennale, where artist Mark Bradford will be representing America. The second, of course, is Christie’s April opening of a new West Coast flagship space in Los Angeles.

The design for Christie’s new Los Angeles space, courtesy of wHY and Kulapat Yantrasast

The design for Christie’s new Los Angeles space, courtesy of wHY and Kulapat Yantrasast

What major trends or developments should we be on the lookout for this year?

I think we should expect to see a continued interest and growth in contemporary art, and particularly on the West Coast. In addition to our own opening, The Marciano Art Foundation is opening its 100,000-square-foot space this spring, on the heels of the Broad, which opened in September 2015. The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has chosen Los Angeles as its home, and for the second time the city will host a multi-institutional initiative supported by the Getty that coordinates exhibitions all over California. This year’s focus is Latin American Art, and 2017 promises to be very exciting indeed.

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  • Clementine Sinclair
    Head of Evening Sale, Old Masters, at Christie’s in London

What are you most looking forward to seeing in 2017?

I am looking forward to seeing two exhibitions at the Queen’s Gallery in London this year. The first is Canaletto and the Art of Venice (19 May–12 November), especially having had the privilege last summer of seeing some of the pictures being worked on in the restoration studio at Windsor in preparation for the exhibition.

Canaletto, Venice The Bacino di S. Marco on Ascension Day, c.1733-4. Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016. This work will be exhibited at Canaletto and the Art of Venice at the Queens Gallery, Buckingham Palace (19 May–12 November 2017)

Canaletto, Venice: The Bacino di S. Marco on Ascension Day, c.1733-4. Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016. This work will be exhibited at Canaletto and the Art of Venice at the Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace (19 May–12 November 2017)

The second is Charles II: Art & Power, which will explore the role of the arts in the re-establishment of the Stuart monarchy. I am particularly interested since I was involved in the sale in 2007 of Sir Peter Lely’s monumental reclining nude portrait of one of Charles’ mistresses, which still holds the record price for the artist at auction.

What major trends or developments should we be on the lookout for this year?

The Old Masters market finished on a buoyant note at the end of last year, with strong Evening Sales in London. We are excited about building on the momentum of 2016, which saw the landmark, privately negotiated sale of Rembrandt’s pair of portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit to the Louvre and the Rijksmuseum, and the auction sale of Rubens’ Lot and His Daughters for £45m in July — the most expensive Old Master painting we have ever sold. 

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  • Han-I Wang Specialist in Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s in Hong Kong

What are you most looking forward to seeing in 2017? 

I am looking forward to the Zao Wou-Ki and Willem de Kooning joint exhibition at Lévy Gorvy Gallery, which has just opened in New York. The show features major loans from the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. It will be interesting to see the dialogue between their paintings as both artists strived to present a new artistic language in a deeply personal way.

What major trends or developments should we be on the lookout for this year? 

2017 will be a crucial year for countries such as the United States and Germany in light of the global political shift of recent months. I am reminded of the art movements of the 1960s in America, with artists such as Robert Rauschenberg consistently using images of the Vietnam war in his silkscreen series. I am expecting social commentary on political figures such as Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to be a potent source of inspiration for many artists.

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  • Furio Rinaldi
    Specialist in Old Master Drawings at Christie’s in New York

What are you most looking forward to seeing in 2017?

It’s going to be an exciting year for Old Master drawings in New York. I'm particularly looking forward to the colossal Michelangelo exhibition curated by Carmen Bambach, scheduled for November 2017 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Michelangelo revolutionized the art of drawing: as a painter, sculptor and architect he was the first to embrace drawing as his primary form of expression. 

Jacques André Joseph Aved’s portrait of Count Carl Gustaf Tessin being prepared before touring to the Louvre, ahead of arriving at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York

Jacques André Joseph Aved’s portrait of Count Carl Gustaf Tessin being prepared before touring to the Louvre, ahead of arriving at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York

In New York, Treasures from the Nationalmuseum of Stockholm: The Collections of Count Tessin at The Morgan Library & Museum  (3 February–14 May) promises to be remarkable, showcasing more than 75 works from one of Europe’s prominent collections of Old Master paintings and drawings. Another crucial appointment in the calendar of drawing connoisseurs, collectors and curators is Master Drawings New York (January 21–28), which showcases works from the best US and European dealers, and coincides with Christie’s sale of Old Master Drawings at Rockefeller Center on 24 January.

Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577-1640 Antwerp), Scipio Africanus Welcomed Outside the Gates of Rome, After Giulio Romano. Black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, grey, cream, white and green bodycolour with heightening in oil, 16½ x 22½ in (41.9 x 57.3 cm). Estimate $500,000-700,000. This lot is offered in Old Master Drawings on 24 January 2017 at Christie’s in New York,

Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577-1640 Antwerp), Scipio Africanus Welcomed Outside the Gates of Rome, After Giulio Romano. Black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, grey, cream, white and green bodycolour with heightening in oil, 16½ x 22½ in (41.9 x 57.3 cm). Estimate: $500,000-700,000. This lot is offered in Old Master Drawings on 24 January 2017 at Christie’s in New York, Rockefeller Center

What major trends or developments should we be on the lookout for this year?

In the past, drawing was perceived as accessible only to a restricted group of connoisseurs. Now, however, the larger audience understands that ‘the father of the arts’ — to quote Giorgio Vasari’s famous definition — represents a timeless form of artistic expression, and one that remains at the forefront of human creativity. 

Edmé Bouchardon (French, 1698–1762) and after Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio) (Italian, 1483–1520) Galatea, 1727-1730. Red chalk. 16⅞ × 22⅝ in (42.8 × 57.4 cm). Paris, Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts Graphiques. Repro Credit Image © Adrien Didierjean  RMN-GP

Edmé Bouchardon (French, 1698–1762) and after Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio) (Italian, 1483–1520) Galatea, 1727-1730. Red chalk. 16⅞ × 22⅝ in (42.8 × 57.4 cm). Paris, Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts Graphiques. Repro Credit: Image © Adrien Didierjean / RMN-GP

Large retrospectives on drawings such as Michelangelo at The Met, Between Heaven & Hell: The drawings of Jusepe de Ribera at the Meadows Museum in Dallas (opening 12 March) and Bouchardon: Royal Artist of the Enlightment at the Getty (until 2 April) offer an intimate, almost unfiltered approach to the private worlds of the artists and their working practices, something that the public, as well as scholars and collectors, clearly appreciates. 

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  • Mark Hinton
    International Director of Japanese Art at Christie’s

What are you most looking forward to seeing in 2017?

In May the British Museum will hold an exhibition of works by a man many regard as Japan’s greatest artist — Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave  will explore his later career in thematic as well as chronological terms. From iconic landscapes and wave pictures to deities and mythological beasts and beautiful women, the works will be very varied. Better still, many of the paintings, drawings and woodblock prints will never have been seen in the UK before. 

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), Under the Wave off Kanagawa (The Great Wave) from 36 Views of Mount Fuji, 1831. Colour woodblock. Acquisition supported by the Art Fund. © The Trustees of the British Museum. On display from 25 May–13 August

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), Under the Wave off Kanagawa (The Great Wave) from 36 Views of Mount Fuji, 1831. Colour woodblock. Acquisition supported by the Art Fund. © The Trustees of the British Museum. On display from 25 May–13 August

His most iconic print, The Great Wave, which he created when he was almost 70, will be among the works on show. With its use of deep perspective and imported Prussian blue pigment, it reflects how Hokusai experimented with European artistic style. Featuring important works from the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden, the Metropolitan Museum in New York and Hokusaikan in Japan, along with new research, the exhibition promises to be extraordinary, and to shed new light on this renowned artist.

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), Clear Day with a Southern Breeze (‘Red Fuji’) from 36 Views of Mt Fuji. 1831. Colour woodblock. © The Trustees of the British Museum. On display from 25 May–13 August

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), Clear Day with a Southern Breeze (‘Red Fuji’) from 36 Views of Mt Fuji. 1831. Colour woodblock. © The Trustees of the British Museum. On display from 25 May–13 August

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  • Paul Nyzam
    Specialist in Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s in Paris

What are you most looking forward to seeing in 2017?

In 2017, two major yet undervalued French artists will gain international recognition. François Morellet, who passed away last year, was a key figure of geometrical abstract art who largely anticipated minimalism and conceptual art. He will have a retrospective at the Dia Foundation in the United States, which I very much look forward to visiting. Towards the end of 2017, the Centre Pompidou will held the first retrospective dedicated to César Baldaccini (1921-1998), the French sculptor and pioneer of the Nouveau Réalisme.

What major trends or developments should we be on the lookout for this year?

I anticipate this year will demonstrate the continued appetite for masterpieces by blue-chip artists, as well as a growing interest in undervalued artists from the post-war period who, in comparison to some of their peers, are very attractive in terms of price and quality. I expect our Paris auctions to be tightly curated around these key artists who lived, worked and were exhibited in France over the last 70 years.

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  • Meredith Etherington-Smith
    Editor, Christie’s Magazine


Claude Cahun, I am in Training Dont Kiss Me, c. 1927. Jersey Heritage Collections © Jersey Heritage 

Claude Cahun, I am in Training Don't Kiss Me, c. 1927. Jersey Heritage Collections © Jersey Heritage 


Gillian Wearing, Me as Cahun Holding a Mask of My Face, 2012. Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York and Maureen Paley, London © Gillian Wearing, courtesy Maureen Paley
  

Gillian Wearing, Me as Cahun Holding a Mask of My Face, 2012. Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York and Maureen Paley, London © Gillian Wearing, courtesy Maureen Paley
  

What are you most looking forward to seeing in 2017?  

As a fan of Surrealism’s now you see it, now you don’t, I am looking forward to Gillian Wearing and Claude Cahun: Behind the Mask, Another Mask at the National Portrait Gallery London (9 March–29 May). Seventy years separate Wearing and Cahun, but they connect through shared themes of masquerade and performance, gender and identity. More than 100 works will be shown in the exhibition, including Wearing’s Me as Cahun, Holding a Mask of My Face — a compelling reconstruction of Cahun’s self-portrait I Am in Training Don’t Kiss Me, circa 1927.

Ernst Haeckel, Ascidiae, plate 85 from Kunstformen der Natur, 1899-1904. Courtesy Calmann & King, London, UK  Bridgeman Images

Ernst Haeckel, Ascidiae, plate 85 from Kunstformen der Natur, 1899-1904. Courtesy Calmann & King, London, UK / Bridgeman Images

What major trends or developments should we be on the lookout for this year?

Invertebrates, believe it or not, which have become ever more fascinating to contemporary artists — and to me. I have long been an admirer of the extraordinary images of Haeckel, the 19th-century biologist and supreme bio-artist, so I am delighted that Taschen is about to bring out The Art of Ernst Haeckel: The Complete Plates, a huge book on his life and work. From the formal patterns of sea squirts to the idle waves of lacy jellyfish, Haeckel created beautiful and mysterious images. 

The extremely talented artist Michel Oka Doner, who spends part of her time in Miami, is another Haeckel fan. Indeed, she used invertebrate studies to create one of the largest artworks in the world, A Walk on the Beach, 1995-99, stretching for half a mile on the floor of the North Terminal of Miami International Airport. Walk across it and be transported to a magical and mysterious world, in which you have the extraordinary sensation of walking — or even floating — over the surface of rock pools and their denizens.

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  • Ronan Sulich
    Christie’s Representative in Australia

What are you most looking forward to seeing in 2017?

I’m really looking forward to the 2017 iteration of Sydney Contemporary, the biennial art fair which takes over the amazing former railway workshops at Eveleigh in inner Sydney from 7-10 September. It’s a great snapshot of what’s happening right now in Australia and around the Pacific Rim, featuring young contemporary galleries and their artists, surveys of established practitioners, as well as performance and installation artists making use of the great industrial spaces. Although still a youngster in the context of global art fairs, Sydney Contemporary has a new sponsor in the form of Deutsche Bank, and has really come of age with galleries from Southeast Asia, South America and the West Coast of the USA all taking part.