• Press release
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  • London
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  • For immediate release
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  • 19 June 2020

RELEASE | The World is a Sphere: Art from the Faurschou Foundation

3-16 July 2020

Liu Xiaodong, Pink Phoenix (2011, estimate: £600,000-800,000)

London – To support its continued production of exhibitions, across its venues in Copenhagen, Beijing, Venice, and New York, Faurschou Foundation will auction a selection of works from its collection, through a dedicated single-owner online auction in partnership with Christie’s. The World Is A Sphere: Art from the Faurschou Foundation will be open for bidding from 3 to 16 July 2020. The artworks have been carefully selected to reflect Faurschou Foundation’s global vision, its geographic presence uniting the East and the West, and its exhibition history for which it has become renowned. A group of artworks in the auction is being donated directly by artists who support Faurschou Foundation’s uncompromised global exhibition strategy. These include Elmgreen & Dragset, Christian Lemmerz, Shirin Neshat, Nikita Shalenny, Sun Xun, and Yu Ji. The proceeds from the auction will solely benefit Faurschou Foundation’s activities related to organising exhibitions. Through its uncompromising programme, Faurschou Foundation continues to support artistic production, champion artists, and offer visitors unique experiences.

At the heart of the selection is a group of works by Ai Weiwei, featuring some of his most iconic creations from his Coca-Cola Vase (2009, estimate: £250,000-350,000) to seven sculptures from The Zodiac Heads (2010, each work estimated at: £250,000-350,000) and Kui hua zi (Sunflower seeds) (2010, estimate: £120,000-180,000). Weaving together traditional Chinese ideas and motifs with Western concepts, Ai’s globally-oriented practice chimes eloquently with the Faurschou Foundation’s own outlook. ‘The world is a sphere’, he asserted, ‘there is no East or West.’

Simone Leigh investigates the black female experience, creating objects that confront racial and cultural stereotypes. Untitled IV (Anatomy of Architecture series) (2016, estimate: £120,000-180,000, illustrated above, left) reimagines the human body using architectural references drawn from ancient Rome, West Africa and the American South.

A number of Chinese artists in the collection were informed by their experiences growing up in the turbulence and aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. Liu Xiaodong plays with the aesthetics of Chinese Socialist Realism to create a form of modern history painting, seeking to visualise ordinary people ‘as they really are’. This is exemplified in Pink Phoenix (2011, estimate: £600,000-800,000). Yu Hong works in paint to challenge representations of women in China, exploring the relationship between intimate, individual narratives and those of an ever-changing world. Night Scene (2017, estimate: £250,000-350,000, illustrated above, right) depicts a woman observing what appears to be an aerial view of a world on fire. Further Chinese artists include Sun Xun and Yu Ji with many more being represented in the Faurschou Foundation’s collection.

Per Kirkeby seeks to capture a sense of shared history and experience through the genre of landscape painting. Mild Vinter II (1989, estimate: £200,000-300,000) is inspired by the dramatic vistas of his native Denmark. His rich, gestural paintings channel the abstract rhythms of nature, shot through with historic flickers of Northern European Romanticism and Expressionism. Georg Baselitz and Anselm Kiefer both explore ideas relating to collective memory in their response to the social and political upheaval in the wake of the Second World War. Anselm Kiefer’s Der Wolken heitere Stimmung (2011, estimate: £700,000-1,000,000) is offered alongside Georg Baselitz’s War Einmal (1992, estimate: £500,000-700,000).

Jens and Masha Faurschou: “The recent times have been a test for every one of us, with our societies undergoing a major change. However, through challenges we also rediscover the power of humanity. We found strength in our relationships with artists we admire and have worked with for years, who have kindly agreed to donate works to the auction. We are determined to continue empowering their voices through our exhibitions in China, America, and Europe, as we stand by our belief that art is our most reliable vessel in overcoming the boundaries.”

Katharine Arnold, Co-Head, Post-War and Contemporary Art Europe: “We are thrilled to partner with Faurschou Foundation whose programme establishes a progressive and uncompromised dialogue between East and West. The artists presented in The World Is A Sphere: Art from the Faurschou Foundation reflect the dynamism, pioneering spirit and ethos of Jens and Masha who are the driving force behind the Foundation. It feels particularly pertinent at this moment to bring contemporary culture together and celebrate a universal outlook. The online-only auction will run alongside ONE: A Global Sale of the 20th Century, Christie’s first auction to take place in a relay format, bringing our clients together in a truly global experience that begins in Hong Kong and moves to Paris and London before concluding in New York.”

Faurschou Foundation was established in 2011 by Jens Faurschou, a passionate Danish collector, art advisor, and philanthropist, in order to champion artists and foster cross-cultural dialogue and exchange internationally, in particular between the East and the West. The Foundation has two primary areas of activity: acquiring significant works of contemporary art for its private collection and organising museum-quality exhibitions across the globe, which offer visitors unique experiences, opportunities, and interactions with contemporary art.

About Faurschou Foundation
Faurschou Foundation was established in 2011 to champion artists and foster cross-cultural dialogue and exchange internationally, in particular between the East and the West. The Foundation has two primary areas of activity: acquiring significant works of contemporary art for its private collection and organizing museum-quality exhibitions across the globe, which offer visitors unique experiences and opportunities. Faurschou Foundation is headquartered in Copenhagen and has extended its permanent exhibition spaces to Beijing (est. 2011) and New York (Greenpoint, Brooklyn, est. 2019), as well as arranged biannual temporary exhibitions in Venice since 2015. The Foundation’s international exhibition program consists of both thematic group shows and solo exhibitions and revolves considerably around the Foundation’s sizeable and growing art collection, but also includes special commissions produced in collaboration with artists, galleries, and other institutions. Faurschou has engaged and championed numerous artists, through its collection and exhibitions, including Ai Weiwei, Louise Bourgeois, Cai Guo-Qiang, Tracey Emin, Anselm Kiefer, Ragnar Kjartansson, Liu Wei, Liu Xiaodong, Paul McCarthy, Shirin Neshat, Yoko Ono, Gabriel Orozco, Robert Rauschenberg, Bill Viola, and Danh Vo, among others.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

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Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

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