Artnet Auctions and IFPDA Present Issues for a Cause, a Print Sale for Relief Initiatives in Ukraine

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Artnet Auctions is proud to partner with the International Fine Prints Dealers Association (IFPDA). Spending for a good causea sale of coveted prints and multiples to benefit charities in Ukraine.

All IFPDA proceeds from the auction, in addition to 50 percent of Artnet’s buyer premium, will be allocated to the Global Empowerment Mission (GEM) and World Central Kitchen (WCK).

GEM works as a first responder for disaster relief, bridging the gap between first response and development and implementing practices to ensure sustainable development. WCK has built the largest food aid organization in Ukraine, providing meals in more than 230 cities and towns.

“The art world is such a supportive and generous community, and I’m delighted that we can partner with IFPDA for humanitarian assistance in Ukraine,” said Conner Williams, Head of Prints & Multiples at Artnet Auctions. “I have known many of the participating IFPDA members for many years, I count them as friends and mentors, so I am incredibly grateful that they have entrusted Artnet with such a meaningful and important benefit auction. I hope everyone involved understands the impact they are having.”

On the occasion of this important charity auction, Williams spoke to three IFPDA board members: Director of Frederick Mulder Ltd, Anne-Françoise Gavanon; ULAE Owner and Director, Larissa Goldston; and Director of Leslie Feely Gallery, Dakota Sica. Read on to find out the judges’ favorite works for sale and their views on art in times of crisis.

Richard Serra, Horizontal Inversion IX, 2017. Live for Bids in IFPDA x Artnet: Editions for a Cause.

What inspired IFPDA to partner with GEM and WCK?

Anne-Francoise Gavanon: GEM and WCK are charities that do incredible work not only in Ukraine but also in neighboring countries. The first common thread is that both work as first responders during crises and disasters: WCK by providing a nutritious meal and GEM by providing basic necessities such as food, water, medicine and other necessities. The second is that both are flexible, operate with very low overheads and, more importantly, have built strong relationships with local decision makers.

How does this IFPDA mission fit with the goals of Spending for a good cause?

Anne-Francoise Gavanon: The IFPDA stands for excellence, research and professionalism. In addition, IFPDA has a charitable arm, the IFPDA Foundation, whose purpose is to advance research, education, and dialogue. All prints donated to Editions for a Cause are beautiful works of art, selected by some of the finest print dealers and publishers to serve an important cause. One final point for those who are newbies: collecting prints is a great and inexpensive way to start collecting art.

What power does art have in times of crisis and conflict?

Larissa Goldston: Historically, in one form or another, art has faced the challenges of large-scale conflicts and crises. Over the last hundred years there are several examples of how prints have played a role. For example, during the Great Depression, the WPA (Work’s Progress Administration) was formed and graphic studios established to help unemployed artists. Founded in 1934, the AAA (Associated American Artists) helped boost the art market by inviting artists to create limited edition prints for sale. During the Vietnam War protests of the 1960s and 70s, posters were used to educate and persuade people to believe the atrocities of war. And in the 1980s, printmaking played a major role in the AIDS crisis, using reproduction to bring about change.

jim dine, ghost robe, 1992. Live for Bids in IFPDA x Artnet: Editions for a Cause.

What is your favorite work on sale and why?

Anne-Francoise Gavanon: Oh god I love so many of them! My preferences are increasing spirit robe by Jim Dine and Horizontal Inversion IX by Richard Serra, each donated by Novak Contemporary Art and Gemini GEL, both works featuring a beautifully textured surface.

I can read both works as a reflection of the current conflict in Ukraine. Me spirit robe addresses the issue of the public and private spheres and how ordinary Ukrainian men took up arms to defend their countries. They are civilians, not trained soldiers, so in a sense they wear their ghost civilian robes on the front lines. The black and white of the Serra immediately made me think of the good and bad sides that exacerbate conflicts.

Dakota Sica: My favorite job is in sales L’Express Beyrouth-Enfer by Etel Adnan, generously donated by Galerie Lelong & Co. It’s a wonderful and joyful image that reminds me of how we are all connected in some way.

Larissa Goldston: There are so many beautiful pieces in the auction. I think in this case, however, I choose uniform by George Baselitz. It evokes a haunting reminder of the war for me to know how it looked to Germany after World War II. Since this auction is intended to raise awareness and funds for the war in Ukraine, I consider it appropriate.

Etel Adnan, L’Express Beyrouth-Enfer, 2021
Bid live at IFPDA x Artnet: Editions for a Cause.

Why prints? What excites you most about printmaking and publishing?

Larissa Goldston: I’ve been inhaling print shop smells since I was a child. When I was a kid I used to spend time in the ULAE studio, it was the only way to see my father. You could say that printmaking is in my blood.

I’ve always loved paper – the portability, the texture, the versatility. Then there is the collaborative element. Any artist truly devoted to printmaking will tell you that their printmaking studio experience has transformed and evolved the work they produce in their own studio. Printmaking is about layering, and that layering is very different from layering in a painter’s studio. A painter leaves traces in his personal studio, and these traces are immediate and belong to them. If a sign is set in the print shop, it is not only the sign of the artist, but also that of his employees. When someone takes advantage of the opportunities that printmaking offers, collaborations between artists and printers can be extremely fulfilling.

What advice would you give to a first-time collector of prints and multiples?

Dakota Sica: Always buy what you love, trust your gut and you can never go wrong.

For convenience, make sure the condition is good. Check for yourself how other copies from the edition sold for so you can make sure you’re paying a fair price. Collecting prints is a great way to get started with collecting art in general. There are many different entry points and it’s a wonderful way to collect work by artists you love without being limited by price restrictions.

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