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Deal to Bring Modern, Contemporary Ceramics to Market with Semi-Annual Auctions

by WorthPoint Staff (02/09/10).

Mark Del Vecchio, Wes Cowan (center) and Garth Clark have announced a partnership to bring modern and contemporary ceramics to the international art market through focused, selective and scholarly semi-annual auctions.

Mark Del Vecchio, Wes Cowan (center) and Garth Clark have announced a partnership to bring modern and contemporary ceramics to the international art market through focused, selective and scholarly semi-annual auctions.

CINCINNATI – Wes Cowan, president and principal auctioneer of Cowan’s Auctions, Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio, both of Clark + Del Vecchio Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, have announced a partnership to bring modern and contemporary ceramics to the international art market through focused, selective and scholarly semi-annual auctions.

The 20th-century and Contemporary Ceramics Auctions will blend Cowan’s stellar reputation as an auction house with Clark and Del Vecchio’s impeccable credentials as writers, critics, historians, curators, consultants to leading museums and 30 years of being the world’s leading ceramic dealers. The first auction, together with a daylong seminar on the ceramic marketplace, will take place in the fall of 2010.

“The decision to have this happen outside New York,” said Clark, “was guided by two factors: we did not want to live in the shadows of the New York modern and contemporary art sales and we needed a venue with historical connections to ceramic art. In 1876, Cincinnati became the birthplace of modern ceramic art in America. What could be more apropos?”

The auctions will be focused around studio pottery and ceramic sculpture from1918 to the present, but will not include art pottery.

“We’re very excited about this unique opportunity,” said Cowan. “We’ve all been thinking about an auction venue focusing exclusively on 20th-century studio and other ceramics, which has never been done before. It’s the perfect storm. Cowan’s has the reputation for honesty and integrity that Garth and Mark have been looking for in an auction house, and from my standpoint, I’ve rounded up the foremost scholars on the subject.”

Consignments for the inaugural auction will be accepted through August, with generous terms offered.

As one of the nation’s leading auction houses with sales approaching $20 million, Cowan’s has been helping individuals and institutions build important collections for more than a decade. The company’s four divisions of American History, American Indian and Western Art, American and European Fine and Decorative Art, and Historic Firearms & Early Militaria hold semi-annual cataloged sales that routinely set records for rare offerings.

Clark and Del Vecchio founded Garth Clark Gallery in Los Angeles in 1981 and opened a second space in New York in 1983. They were soon established as the preeminent international dealers in 20th century ceramics and have organized eight major international symposia on ceramic history and criticism, published numerous books and catalogues and received a slew of prestigious awards, both lifetime achievement and honorary doctorates. In addition, Clark was made a fellow of the Royal College of Art, London and was the only practicing dealer to receive the College Art Association’s Mather Award for distinguished achievement in art journalism.

They now live in Santa Fe and work as private dealers and are in the process of organizing two traveling exhibitions: Christine Nofchissey McHorse and Diego Romero.

To learn more about Cowan’s, visit its Web site. For more information about Clark + Del Vecchio, visit its Web site.

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