#71 Auction Talk with Nick, Allan and Charlotte: the November 2019 EditionPublished 21 November 2019
Concerns that the art market might be circling the drain were allayed by the recent bout of sales, during which more than $1.4bn was spent on Impressionist, Modern and contemporary art at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips. Tune in to this podcast to hear our biannual auction analysis with Nicholas Maclean, co-founder of Eykyn Maclean gallery, AAP co-founder Allan Schwartzman and host Charlotte Burns.
Click here for the full transcript
Charlotte Burns: Hello, and welcome to In Other Words, where we cover everything you ever wanted to know about the art world but didn’t know who to ask.
You’re joining us today for a special podcast recapping the recent auction week here in New York. I’m your host, Charlotte Burns, and our guests today are Nicholas Maclean of the London and New York dealership Eykyn Maclean.
Nicholas Maclean: For me, the market is absolutely fine, but it’s still quite cautious.
Charlotte Burns: And Allan Schwartzman, the co-founder of Art Agency Partners and a chairman at Sotheby’s.
Allan Schwartzman: There were numerous signs that this cautious market does have an appetite for new stories.
Charlotte Burns: Before we begin, here is a quick reminder to subscribe to our In Other Words newsletter at ArtAgencyPartners.com. And now, onto today’s show.
co-founder, Eykyn Maclean
Nicholas Maclean is one of two partners in the private art gallery, Eykyn Maclean, formed in December 2005. The gallery, founded with Christopher Eykyn, specializes in museum quality 19th and 20th-century art and has locations in both New York and London.
The gallery has instituted a program of scholarly exhibitions, which has included shows on Van Gogh, Giacometti, Matisse, Warhol and Twombly. They also exhibit at Frieze Masters in London and at Frieze and Tefaf at the Armory in New York. The majority of their business is carried out privately and has included the brokering of major Impressionist and 20th-century American and European works in the very highest price range as well as many sold below $100,000. They also hold an inventory of works produced from 1940-70.
Eykyn Maclean has been closely involved with the sponsorship of exhibitions including the Tate (“Gauguin”, “Gerhard Richter – Panorama” and “The World goes Pop”) and the National Portrait Gallery (“Giacometti portraits” and “Cézanne portraits”), and regularly assists museums in securing loans from private collections.
Prior to forming the business, Maclean was at Christie’s auction house for sixteen years where he was one of the company’s principle auctioneers, co-head of the Impressionist and Modern department in New York from 1998 until 2004 with Christopher Eykyn, and international director in the same field working out of the chairman’s office until their departure together at the end of 2005. Maclean joined Christie’s London in 1990 as a specialist in 19th-century European paintings and moved to New York in 1995 as head of department. Prior to this, he worked at Phillips auctioneers as a European paintings specialist between 1985 and 1990, and with the London Old Master dealers Harari and Johns in 1984.
Maclean and Eykyn are consulted frequently by the press for their opinions on the state of the art market, and since the formation of the business, in addition to the many important works on which they have advised their collectors in the private market, the two partners have also purchased several hundred million dollars worth of paintings and sculpture at public auction on behalf of their clients.
Allan Schwartzman was a Founder and Principal of AAP. He brought to the company more than 20 years’ experience in advising some of the world’s most influential and sophisticated collectors in forming their holdings of contemporary art, both individually and in conjunction with their stewardship of major museums.
Schwartzman is also widely respected as an independent curator, most notably for Instituto Inhotim, the visionary contemporary art park set within a 5,000-acre botanical garden in Brazil. As creative director and chief curator of Inhotim, he has been central to developing the collection of the renowned institution and commissioning its signature site-specific works by artists including Chris Burden, Giuseppe Penone, Matthew Barney, Doris Salcedo, Doug Aitken, Rivane Neuenschwander, Olafur Eliasson and Rirkrit Tiravanija, including projects that could not have been realized anywhere else.
Known equally as a tastemaker in contemporary art and an authority on the art market, Schwartzman is a frequent guest speaker and panelist at the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, Art Basel and notable events around the world.
Schwartzman was a founding staff member of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City and served as curator from 1977 to 1980. He has written extensively about art for publications including The New Yorker, the New York Times, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Artforum and Art in America and was a contributing editor of Connoisseur. He served as a board member of Franklin Furnace from 1980 to 2000 and currently serves on the Board of Artists Space, one of New York’s premier alternative spaces, having also served as the board’s president.
executive editor of In Other Words
Charlotte Burns is the editor of In Other Words, our weekly newsletters and podcasts. She was previously the US news and market editor for The Art Newspaper, as well as a regular correspondent for publications such as the Guardian and Monocle. Previously, she worked with the London dealer Anthony d’Offay on special projects. For several years, she was a consultant at the cultural communications agency, Bolton & Quinn. She also worked at Hauser & Wirth in London.
Burns received a Masters degree (with Merit) from the Courtauld Institute in Art and Cultural Politics in Germany, 1890-1945, as well as a first-class B.A. honors degree in English and History of Art from Birmingham University. She moved to New York in 2010.
The live record
Behind the Scenes with Nicholas Maclean and Allan Schwartzman