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European Buyers Boost Market For Maja Engelhardt Paintings

Collectors bought 15 of the 25 paintings by Maja Lisa Engelhardt (b. 1956) on view in her recent show “The Third Day,” at the Elizabeth Harris Gallery in New York City, which is “more than pretty good in this market,” said Miles Manning, director of the gallery.

NEW YORK—Collectors bought 15 of the 25 paintings by Maja Lisa Engelhardt (b. 1956) on view in her recent show “The Third Day,” at the Elizabeth Harris Gallery in New York City, which is “more than pretty good in this market,” said Miles Manning, director of the gallery. Two-thirds of the buyers were European, predominantly from Belgium and Denmark, while the rest were American, he told ARTnewsletter. In the gallery’s previous exhibition of her work, in 2007, the split was roughly half-and-half, Manning noted.

The largely abstract paintings, all titled The Third Day and based on the Book of Genesis, fell into one of two price points: $12,000 for smaller works (51 by 38 inches), and $20,000 for larger ones (77 by 45 inches). Between the 2007 show and the recent show, which closed May 30, “prices have been kept the same,” Manning said, adding that the previous show had some larger, horizontal paintings that were priced at $40,000. In that exhibition, 12 of the 15 pieces (all titled The Second Day) were sold.

The artist, who lives in Denmark, France and Ireland and who frequently works on commissions from Danish libraries and churches, has had only a limited presence in the United States, through the two solo shows at Elizabeth Harris and, before that, at Danish Contemporary Art, New York, which closed in 2005. Manning had been director of Danish Contemporary Art before joining Elizabeth Harris. Galleri Weinberger, Cophenhagen, has exhibited Engelhardt’s work since the mid-1990s.

Manning said that Elizabeth Harris, which represents Engelhardt in New York, has not handled any of the artist’s work on the secondary market, but there is a resale market. More than two dozen of her paintings have been offered at auction, almost all in Copenhagen, yielding sales comparable to the prices for her current work. The top public sale price for a work by Engelhardt is $31,690, paid for the large oil So, 1997, at Bruun Rasmussen Bredgade, Copen­hagen, in 2007.

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