Artists First Auction raises £426,500 for the National Portrait Gallery

Artists First

Artists First accomplished a sale total of £426,500 supporting the National Portrait Gallery to spotlight ‘the work of leading and emerging artists, and those pushing the boundaries of portraiture,’ says Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery.

I am so proud that The Fine Art Group was able to support both the National Portrait Gallery and Christie’s in the success of this auction by helping to secure 24 works donated by artists such as Frank Auerbach, Adrian Ghenie and Robert Mapplethorpe.

As a long-term admirer of the National Portrait Gallery, I was truly honoured to be invited to join the Development Board last year. I have always been fascinated by the Gallery’s treasure trove of extraordinary people, rebels hang alongside royalty, Hollywood actors by scientists. The Gallery is an A-Z of history’s leading figures and today’s rising stars with artist’s, such as Duncan Grant, playing dual roles as both sitter and painter.

Philip Hoffman, CEO and Founder of The Fine Art Group

Artists First comprised of a compelling selection of portraits by artists including Elizabeth Peyton, Frank Auerbach, Chantal Joffe, Julian Opie, Cindy Sherman, Adrian Ghenie and Robert Mapplethorpe. Particular highlights include Auerbach’s Self Portrait V (2018) a unique work on paper encompassing the artist’s iconic line and evocative use of graphite and chalk to create strongly textured surfaces, which has been sold for £80,000. An interesting lot has been Girl in the ‘South west Chief’ Amtrak (2018) a work on paper by Hugo Wilson, a promising young artist from London that sold for £3,500. Last but not least, Study for ‘The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute’ (2010) by Adrian Ghenie, a very strong lot from this group, realised £22,000 – a price almost double its higher estimate.

Inspiring People

Proposed North Façade entrance, subject to planning permission. Courtesy of Jamie Fobert Architects ; Forbes Massie Studio

The Inspiring People project will see the gallery’s transformation at the hands of renowned architect Jamie Fobert. The extension will allow the gallery to develop more innovative exhibitions and push the boundaries of portraiture. There is a shift in the gallery’s focus, Nicholas Cullinan explains that he wants to ‘shine a light on some of the extraordinary artists who are working in portraiture today.’

Read more about Inspiring People here.

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