On the Hunt for Younger Talent, Hauser & Wirth Has Added Budding Market Darling Nicolas Party to Its Stable

Soon the gallery may represent every single artist in the world.

Nicholas Party, Portrait (2015). Courtesy of Art Basel Miami Beach.
Nicholas Party, Portrait (2015). Courtesy of Art Basel Miami Beach.

Like Jim Carrey in The Mask, Hauser & Wirth is ready to declare that it’s Party time. The international mega-gallery announced on Wednesday that it has added the rising Swiss-born, New York-based artist Nicolas Party to its ever-expanding roster.

Party’s arrangement with Hauser & Wirth will see him continue to work with Xavier Hufkens in Brussels, Kaufmann Repetto in Milan, the Modern Institute in Glasgow, Galerie Gregor Staiger in Zurich, and Karma in New York. His first solo exhibition with Hauser & Wirth will take place in 2020 at the gallery’s Los Angeles complex.

While Party, who turns 39 later this year, makes everything from sculptures to installation works to ceramics and beyond, he is most well-known for his brightly colored, quasi-Surrealist paintings, with landscapes, portraits, and still lifes being his most frequent subjects.

Pastels—both the mark-making tool and the color palette—dominate his work. He has also earned a reputation for working monumentally, creating both standalone murals and scene-setting pieces for his exhibitions.

Party’s recent institutional solo exhibitions include shows at M Woods in Beijing and the Magritte Museum in Brussels, both within the past year. He is currently the subject of a solo exhibition at the Modern Institute (through August 24).

Despite his rising profile on the primary market, Party is still a relative neophyte in the auction world. His works have only been consigned to auction 12 times to date, according to the artnet Price Database. However, all 12 works appeared within the past year, and four of the dozen—three paintings and one screenprint—were slated to go under the hammer this week in London, with the total estimate ranging from £150,000 to £211,000 ($190,000 to $268,000).

Party’s current auction high is the premium-inclusive $608,000 paid for Landscape (2015) at Phillips’s 20th century and contemporary evening sale last month—a more-than-fourfold increase over its $150,000 high estimate. (That result made Party one of the breakout stars of New York’s May auctions.)

The first of his four works to be offered this week, Still Life (2016), went on the block at Christie’s almost simultaneously with Hauser & Wirth’s announcement. The painting obliterated its £40,000 ($51,000) high estimate by selling for £150,000 ($190,000) with premium.

Time will tell if the remaining three works being offered in London stoke similar competition among bidders. But for the moment, Party’s long-term future looks more festive than ever.


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