Judith Hess, also known as Jude, has experience in art collection management spanning more than two decades, and she leads Jude Hess Fine Arts. On May 11, 2016, Judith Hess was among the buyers at the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction, which featured 44 lots and attained sales of $242 million.
The auction featured landmark works from the past 70 years and spanned a number of genres, including Pop Art, Postmodernism, Abstract Expressionism, and Minimalism. Among the prominent pieces that received winning bids in what the New York Times described as robust bidding was Cy Twombly’s Untitled (New York City). The 1968 abstract was valued at $40 million and was sold for $36.7 million. An untitled Alexander Calder sculptural mobile estimated to be worth between $3-4 million ultimately sold for $8.3 million.
Jude Hess bid on a Cy Twombly at a level of 13 million, which had a pre-auction estimate of $20-30 million, and on an Agnes Martin as well.
Currently the head of Jude Hess Fine Arts, Judith Hess has past experience as international director of business development in the Christie’s chairman’s office for Europe, Middle East, India, and Russia, and she also worked extensively on art collections in the Americas. Judith Hess was among the successful bidders at the November 11, 2015, Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction, which featured 52 lots and had a sale total of nearly $295 million.
In the auction, described as strong by art dealers and collectors, Cy Twombly’s blackboard composition Untitled (New York City) received the highest winning bid of $70.5 million. This represented a high water mark for any work of art in 2015. Other noteworthy pieces auctioned included Andy Warhol’s Mao, which fetched $47 million.
Jude Hess successfully bid on two works, including Lucio Fontana’s 1965 water painting on canvas Concetto Spaziale, Attese. The blazing red, seven-foot-wide abstract canvas is punctuated by 24 knife tears across its span, and serves as a counterpoint to Michelangelo Antonioni’s landmark film of the same year, Red Desert. Ms. Hess also placed the winning $3.8 million bid on Cy Twombly’s 1970 oil and wax crayon on paper work Untitled, which is also a part of the artist’s blackboard series.
Judith Hess is an art advisor at the helm of Jude Hess Fine Arts. With degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles and New York University’s Stern School of Business, Judith Hess has worked with Christie’s and Phillips Auction House in art dealings all over the world. One of her favorite pieces of art is The Clock, a video installation created in 2010 by Swiss-American artist Christian Marclay.
The Clock can perform as a literal clock: it lasts for exactly 24 hours, with each scene a film clip in which the characters look at a clock representing what would be the correct time if the film is synced with local time. This is how art galleries, including the White Cube in London where it was first shown, generally present the piece.
The film clips come from thousands of movies spanning the last century. The painstaking representation of time from minute to minute, Marclay has said, is a reminder of our mortality, a memento mori. The piece received critical praise, and, in 2011, Marclay won the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Biennale.