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‘Precious’ art for resale

Published: 
Sunday, October 5, 2014
A section of artworks in the Precious Paintings exhibition.

Private art collectors are among the key players in the power matrix of the world of art. There is a growing trend around the globe in which collectors are making their art public through the opening of their own museums. Others are introducing their works to the market again for a number of reasons, including retirement downsizing and a desire to liquidate their art holdings. The annual Precious Paintings exhibition at 101 Art Gallery facilitates this latter tendency. The event is a secondary market engine (the primary market is the first sale of a work of art) for showcasing and selling works from private collections.

Gallery owner Mark Pereira explained that the exhibition, which has had a presence for approximately 15 years, was not his vision. “Two collectors, Wilma Hoyte and Selby Wooding, came to me with the idea. They could find no vehicle to sell their work if necessary or see works from other collectors that they may wish to purchase. The first exhibit was titled Precious Paintings from Private Collections,” he said. The word “precious” not only suggests that the works on display might be treasured or loved items from a collector’s trove but it also implies the worth or exchange value of the pieces. It is an exhibition that asks viewers to see the works in a very specific light: as highly valuable.

Other elements of the exhibition help work toward building an atmosphere of value. In the book The Art of Buying Art, author Alan Bamberger insists research is important to the evaluating and purchasing process. Pereira aims to give access to the research of the artists and artworks on display by his inclusion of the artist’s curriculum vitae, various newspaper clippings and other archival printed material which viewers can find hanging on the walls with the mounted art pieces. This year’s event features nineteenth-century copperplate engravings of West Indian Views by Pierre Jacques Benoit, oil paintings by Isaiah James Boodhoo, Kenwyn Crichlow and Lisa O’Connor, mixed media works by Sybil Atteck and Pat Bishop, a Carnival mask by Wayne Berkeley and human figure renderings by Boscoe Holder, among over 200 works.

In talking about the art, Pereira singles out one of Boscoe Holder’s paintings entitled Old Post Office and Square. “That piece has been with a collector in Spain since 1942, so this is the first time it is back in Trinidad,” he said. Precious Paintings opened yesterday at 101 Art Gallery at Holder’s Studio, 84 Woodford Street, Newtown, Port-of-Spain, and runs through October 22. Gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday noon- 6 pm and Saturday 10 am- 2 pm. 

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