The opening in New York of the Museum of Modern Art's vastly enlarged and beautiful new facility appears to be bringing a host of out of towners from around the United States and abroad to our City. The fall auctions and Basel/Miami were major successes and from all appearances the trend is continuing in 2005.

Pace Prints, next exhibition, opens on February 4th, and will feature a mini-retrospective of the prints by Alfred Leslie that he created in the 1990s. Following the Leslie exhibition, will be new prints and monoprints by Pat Steir with whom Pace has produced a number of editions in the past.

Pace Master Prints and Pace Primitive have teamed up to produce a visually exciting exhibition, Face to Face, that juxtaposes acquatints by Henri Matisse with Dan masks from Africa's Ivory Coast. This show will also open on February 4th in the gallery adjacent to the Leslie exhibition.

We want to congratulate Chuck Close who has received yet another honor. This time he has been presented with the Medal of Honor from the National Arts Club. The Club, located on Gramercy Park, has installed a major exhibition of Chuck Close's prints in their gallery which was the site of a gala dinner for him.

The Magic of The Gates

On a beautiful winter weekend, Christo and Jeanne-Claude unveiled their massive art project, The Gates, Central Park, New York, to an audience of art lovers from New York, the United States and around the world. Twenty-five years in the making, The Gates created a magical moment in the life of the city and its beloved oasis of green. The $20-million artwork, paid for exclusively by the artists, features 7,500 16-foot-tall gates installed along 23 miles of Central Park walkways, each hung with a curtain of saffron-colored fabric.

The Gates project seems to have given a boost to Christo’s auction market, which can sometimes be undervalued. For instance, at the contemporary sales in London last week, a drawing and collage from the artist’s The Umbrellas project in Japan and the U.S. sold for the equivalent of about $100,000, well above its presale high estimate of $75,000, and a Wrapped Reichstag collage from 1992 was bought for about $160,000, also above its presale estimate.

The market for works by Christo and Jeanne-Claude has its own special characteristics. For one thing, Christo only makes drawings and collages of major projects until the project is realized, and then he stops -- putting an immediate ceiling on the number of works in any one series. Unlike most artists, Christo and Jeanne-Claude have no dedicated primary dealer, though many galleries handle their works, as is evident from the artnet Gallery Network.

The Gates, Project for Central Park, New York City

"As I walk through the gates near 110th street I see Christo and Jeanne-Claude walking toward me, surrounded by a small entourage. People stand back and applaud. A woman approaches Christo. Yes, it's nice, she says, but wouldn't it be better if the gates had little decorations on top? He smiles politely. This is New York, after all; everybody has an opinion. I shake his hand and then spontaneously place my hand over my heart. It's wonderful, I say, thank you."
Viviane Bregman

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