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June 20, 2016

Live Sales Report: Art Basel 2016 (Day 4)

Artinfo by Nicholas Forrest

Fergus McCaffrey (New York, St. Barth, Tokyo) reports the sale of works in a broad price range of $60,000 to $550,000 from their booth featuring pieces by Carol Rama, Sigmar Polke, Toshio Yoshida, and Jiro Yoshihara to clients from the US, Japan, Hong Kong, France, Norway, Lebanon, and Greece.

“After a quiet first quarter of the year in the art market, Art Basel has once again proven to be the rallying point for great art and art collectors. Basel has always been a strong fair for us, and our four-artist presentation of Carol Rama, Sigmar Polke, Toshio Yoshida, and Jiro Yoshihara has been a magnet for serious collectors. On the first two days of the fair we sold 14 works [...] Given the scope of these new and existing clients and the geographical diversity of the work we are showing (an Italian, a German, and two Japanese [artists]), it suggests an ever-globalizing art market and a growing sophistication for rigorous and thoughtful art. It has been a most rewarding beginning to our week in Basel,” commented Fergus McCaffrey.
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May 5, 2016

Frieze New York Expanding Its Scope

The New York Times by Ted Loos

At first, not everyone thought that the art fair Frieze New York was such a great idea, given its location on the seldom-traveled Randalls Island in the East River.

“There was a certain amount of skepticism among dealers,” said Fergus McCaffrey, proprietor of an eponymous gallery in the art-dense New York neighborhood of Chelsea. “Would people travel to Randalls Island?”

They would, and they did. Frieze New York returns for its fifth edition on Thursday and runs until Sunday, featuring 202 galleries from 31 countries.

“I was one of the skeptics, but I was quickly converted,” said Mr. McCaffrey, who started showing at the fair in its second edition and this year devotes his booth to the work of the post-Minimalist sculptor Richard Nonas.

The success of Frieze New York can be attributed to its points of difference — fine-food offerings and a serpentine, unusually light-filled tent — but also some basic market factors.

“We all chase our tails from one art fair to another, but the heart of the matter is that New York, and America, are the absolute center of the commercial art world,” Mr. McCaffrey said.
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March 17, 2016

A Whole Planet of Modern Art

The New York Times by Edward M. Gomez

The New York art dealer Fergus McCaffrey has helped introduce Gutai and Modern Japanese conceptual art to the international marketplace. Broader audiences may benefit from a global approach to looking at modern art’s history by having opportunities to learn about hitherto unknown artists, he said. “Some, like On Kawara, who were long the best-known representatives of a particular place or genre, now must make room for our recognition of other pioneering conceptualists like, say, the Japanese Jiro Takamatsu,” he added. The “new” art history, Mr. McCaffrey pointed out, reveals that for numerous familiar places and periods, certain well-known artists, styles or movements “were not the only game in town.” Read More
February 18, 2016

Fergus McCaffrey on Championing Unrepresented and Misrepresented Artists

ADAA

“The art historian in me is fascinated by situations where an artist’s work is indisputably important but the artist hasn’t received their due,” said Fergus McCaffrey founder of the eponymous gallery. The Dublin-born dealer founded Fergus McCaffrey in 2006 and since then has exhibited artists who have been unrepresented alongside established and emerging figures.

The gallery has played an especially important role in introducing postwar Japanese art to an American audience. It represents Gutai luminaries Sadamasa Motonaga, Kazuo Shiraga, Toshio Yoshida, and Saburo Murakami; Jiro Takamatsu and Natsuyuki Nakanishi, both of who were founders of the avant-garde collective Hi-Red-Center; as well as Noriyuki Haraguchi and Hitoshi Nomura who are seminal figures of later 1960s Mono-Ha. The gallery has regularly exhibited the work of Sigmar Polke and Andy Warhol and has nurtured the careers of Richard Nonas, Marcia Hafif, Birgit Jürgenssen and Jack Early, whose largest solo exhibition to date is currently on view at the gallery.

“Having an art gallery allows us to make the case for figures who have not been represented properly, or who had major representation early on but then fell off the radar like Jack Early and Marcia Hafif. Our exhibitions allow us present the work in the way it deserves, at a scale that is fitting. Then we can invite visitors to come to their own conclusions,” McCaffrey explained.
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December 4, 2015

Galleries go off the beaten track

The Art Newspaper

Why St Barth, a small Caribbean island best known for its beaches? The New York-based dealer Fergus McCaffrey (L2) set up an artist residency programme there in 2005, followed by an 800 sq. ft gallery in 2014.

“Tavares Strachan is the latest member of a remarkable group of artists who have made groundbreaking work on the island,” says Alexandra von Stumberg McCaffrey, adding that “an important group of collectors have also chosen to make St Barth their winter home, so the island is a rather remarkable confluence of great artists and collectors”.
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September 30, 2015

The Koreans at the Top of the Art World

The New Yorker by Natasha Degen and Kibum Kim

Next week, when V.I.P.s and special guests shuffle through Christie’s new West Galleries, in Rockefeller Center, they will alight on a series of abstract paintings by a group of relatively unknown artists. These pieces reflect a recent market craze for attractive, anodyne work with an emphasis on process and materials. But the artists at the West Galleries are not young painters from Brooklyn, Berlin, or Los Angeles. They are a group of Korean octogenarians who comprise a movement known as Tansaekhwa (or “Dansaekhwa”) and have been producing in this style since the nineteen-seventies. Read More
August 3, 2015

Opening Bids: To Infinity and Beyond

Robb Report Collection by Karen Cakebread

Gallery owner Fergus McCaffrey also sees a certain inevitability in the astounding prices. “It sounds strange to say, but it was somewhat predictable, given the amount of financial guarantees and the quality of the work at that auction,” he says of the Looking Forward results. “There’s been a lot of talk about new collectors coming in from Asia, but it’s important to understand that consignments are mainly from American collections. And American contemporary art is the most expensive [contemporary art] in the world. In the U.S., there’s a great collecting tradition and community.” Read More
July 30, 2015

Game Changers with Fergus McCaffrey

Robb Report Collection by Karen Cakebread

Video: In this episode of ARTINFO’s “Game Changers” series, Fergus McCaffrey speaks with Bruce Ferguson, former Vice-Chairman of Louise Blouin Media, about his interest in and methods for promoting Japanese post-war artists and other under-recognized artists. View Video
June 14, 2015

At Art Basel, a Powerful Jury Controls the Market

The New York Times by Graham Bowley

“It is like the Olympics,” said the New York dealer Fergus McCaffrey, “or the European Champions League, and every good gallery and their artists wants desperately to compete.” Read More
May 27, 2015

Part 3 | Kazuo Shiraga: Post Gutai

The New York Times by Graham Bowley

Video: Fergus McCaffrey is pleased to present “Kazuo Shiraga: Post Gutai," the final video in a series of three about the artist's life and work. The final installment discusses the period between 1971 and 2008, when Shiraga found a renewed expressive power to paint again. View Video
May 21, 2015

Part 2 | Kazuo Shiraga: High Gutai

The New York Times by Graham Bowley

Video: Fergus McCaffrey presents Kazuo Shiraga: High Gutai, the second in a series of three videos about the life and work of the artist. View Video
May 13, 2015

A Rothko Tops Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Auction

The New York Times by Scott Reyburn

'It was a pretty good sale,” said the New York dealer Fergus McCaffrey. "Sotheby’s has settled down. They’re more stable and confident than they were last year. It’s just that Christie’s is running rings round everyone at the moment with the financial resources they’re throwing at the market.”' Read More
April 7, 2015

Part 1 | Kazuo Shiraga: The Early Years

The New York Times by Scott Reyburn

Fergus McCaffrey is pleased to present Kazuo Shiraga: The Early Years, the first in a series of three videos about the life and work of the artist. View Video
March 25, 2015

This Is How an Unknown Japanese Artist—Who Painted With His Feet—Became a Star

Bloomberg

Kazuo Shiraga’s posthumous works have climbed from $200,000 to $2.5 million in five years.

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February 1, 2015

Fergus McCaffrey, St. Barth | Local Colors

The Robb Report Collection

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December 1, 2014

Power Game Changers

Art + Auction

For Art + Auction's latest Power List, they looked beyond the usual winner's circle to those who are resetting the rules from the inside out. Download
May 22, 2017

Fergus McCaffrey at Art Basel 2017
Carol Rama & Kazuo Shiraga:
Literature of the Flesh

Over the past half decade, the art world has come to celebrate the work of Carol Rama (1918–2015, b. Turin, Italy) and Kazuo Shiraga (1924–2008, b. Amagasaki, Japan). The world gained an appreciation of Rama through her traveling retrospective The Passion According to Carol Rama, which coincided with her death in 2015. Shiraga’s work has risen to prominence in the private and auction markets, alongside major recent shows such as Tokyo: 1955–1970 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Gutai survey at the Guggenheim Museum. In both cases the honors were overdue, one of many qualities they shared. At Art Basel 2017, Fergus McCaffrey gallery (hall 2.0, booth D2) will bring together these two masters for the first time in Carol Rama & Kazuo Shiraga: Literature of the Flesh. Read More
May 19, 2017

Venice conveys the signs of the times

The Business Times by Helmi Yusof

...Another must-see show is Intuition at the Palazzo Fortuny where art-lovers queued for hours to get into. Sprawled over four floors, this gorgeously curated and designed exhibition looks at the role of intuition in the creation of art. One finds exquisite works by Jean Michel Basquiat, Vassily Kandinsky, Girgio de Chirico, Kazuo Shiraga and others juxtaposed with ancient objects and artefacts. Taken together, they illuminate the importance of dreams, telepathy, intuition, magic and fantasy in the making of art. Read More