Sylvia Harris Artist - Art Without Time
Following the journey of Modigliani and Mondrian, during her life and only until a few years ago, Sylvia Harris did not care about the commercial nature of her work. In the shadow of Van Gogh, Sylvia sold very few pieces during her lifetime to be recognized in her afterlife. Theo Van Gogh, notwithstanding his efforts to promote Vincent's work, never managed to sell one his brother's works. Today, auction houses sell his works for millions of dollars.
Piet Mondrian, the genius and the precursor of abstraction, was so advanced compared to his piers in his ideas colors and compositions that he continues to create artworks that remained in his studio. In order to survive the great Mondrian, an artist that global dealers dream to propose to their clients, was forced to produce compositions of flours and still life's in order to sell - the only works he was able to sell. Following his trip to the USA and thanks to the enlightened vision of Peggy Guggenheim, he was able to emerge from the shadows to the international market at 70 years old.
However the art world does not only exist in extremes. We also have deceased artists that reach considerable quotations after their deaths due to the fact the market was unable to understand them. Talents that came too soon to be appreciated, in relation to color, composition. Difficult artists that the market was too naive to consider. Take Modigliani's daughter, an artist that could be found for $100 dollars only up until a few years ago. Today, international art galleries are more than willing to invest tens of thousands. The daughter of the great Amedeo, his biographer, the girl who saw her mother commit suicide after the tragic death of her father, with her artworks sold for a handful of dollars.
Sylvia Harris is another example. She in not Van Gogh but she is as good. She has color in her blood and an instinct for composition similar to the great geniuses of the 20th Century. However, she too was rejected by the markets. Auctions within the last years went for next to nothing and magically, nearly all of a sudden, critics and galleries seek her artworks that have now become impossible to find.
An interesting still life by Sylvia Harris went to a South African Magnate for $27,000. I called this peculiar fellow for curiosity and all he had so say to me was "if I had found another three I would have had them all."
This is a the art market; a market that rewards living artists with no real talent while recognizing other artists post-death. Artists that received no attention during life but feed the fire for the pages of art history text books for years to come.
Drawings are currently sold for thousands of dollars and oils have become a rare treat for dealers and collectors.