Get Ready For TEFAF NY – NY Auction Houses Gear Up For Spring Sales – Lost Empire State Building Murals Found


TEFAF New York opens Today for their exclusive private view. For those in the know, TEFAF is an art fair that features a range of fine and decorative art from antiquity to the present day. It is part of the larger TEFAF organization, including the TEFAF Maastricht fair in the Netherlands and TEFAF Online. The TEFAF New York fair occurs once a year at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City in the spring.

TEFAF New York features over 91 exhibitors, including leading art dealers, galleries, and specialists in various fields. The Fair’s offerings include fine art, antiques, design, jewellery, rare books, manuscripts, and other historical objects. Each year, a selection committee evaluates prospective exhibitors and curates the Fair to ensure high quality and authenticity.

In addition to its leading Fair, TEFAF New York also hosts a series of special exhibitions, lectures, and events that showcase the work of contemporary artists and explore current trends and issues in the art world. These programs are designed to appeal to collectors and art enthusiasts, providing diverse opportunities to engage with the Fair’s offerings. Overall, TEFAF New York is an important event in the art world, attracting collectors. TEFAF New York May 12 – May 16, 2023

Jean-Michel Basquiat, El Gran Espectaculo (The Nile), 1983Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd
Jean-Michel Basquiat, El Gran Espectaculo (The Nile), 1983 Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd

NY Auction Houses Gear Up For Spring Sales

Despite signs of a cooling market, auction houses in New York still anticipate generating around $2.2bn from their spring sales. While there has been a dip in demand for ultra-contemporary works, experts suggest this has not necessarily led to a sales slump.

According to Sotheby’s, their contemporary art sale in May is expected to generate around $650m, with critical works such as a 1982 Jean-Michel Basquiat estimated to sell for up to $50m. Meanwhile, Christie’s expects to raise $400m from their post-war and contemporary art auction, with works by Willem de Kooning and Jeff Koons up for sale.

Christie’s predicts its May sales will bring in between $760m and $1.1bn. Single collections from Alan and Dorothy Press, Art trustee Gerald Fineberg, of the ICA in Boston and Sophie Danforth founded the Rhode Island School of Design family collection.

Other auction houses like Phillips and Bonhams are optimistic about their upcoming sales. Phillips is set to offer a 1982 Basquiat for an estimated $30m, and Bonhams offers a rare 17th-century Rembrandt self-portrait for an estimated $20m.

While the market may have shifted somewhat in recent years, auction houses continue to see strong demand for high-quality works by renowned artists, particularly those from the post-war and contemporary periods. As a result, they remain confident about the art market’s future, despite the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic and geopolitical uncertainties.

Winold Reiss Panels

Winold Reiss Panels For Empire State Building Discovered On 1st Dibs 

Two oval panels created for the elegant Longchamps restaurant in New York City’s Empire State Building by the immigrant artist Winold Reiss have been discovered on the 1st Dibs platform by Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts, LLC. They will be exhibited at TEFAF New York later this week.

The panels were thought lost in the 1960s when the restaurant was renovated. It is now a Starbucks coffee shop. Reiss was a German-American artist known for his work in mosaics and stained glass. In 1920, he was commissioned to create a series of panels which were part of a larger Art Deco interior design scheme.

Reiss’s murals often depicted the diverse peoples of the United States, including Native Americans, African Americans, and European immigrants. Reiss used his signature style of mosaic-like, flat planes of colour to create stylized portraits of people from different regions and ethnic backgrounds. Each mural was accompanied by a description of the people and their cultural significance, highlighting the restaurant’s cosmopolitan atmosphere.

The murals were well-received and popular with the restaurant’s patrons. Their legacy only remained in photographs and other documentation. The Longchamps Commission remains one of the most significant works of Winold Reiss’s career, showcasing his unique style and commitment to celebrating the diversity of the American people.

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