(Indianapolis, Indiana) Antique Helper Auctions announces that Christopher West has joined the company as Acquisitions Associate Specializing in Fine Art and 20th Century Design. West comes to Antique Helper with an impressive background in contemporary and decorative arts.
A native of Indianapolis, West has long been involved in the auction world. He cut his teeth on auto auctions, attending the annual Auburn Classic Car Auction in Auburn, Indiana with his father, an avid car collector. Modern design, dogs and scooters all rank among West’s interests. It’s not unusual to see him zipping through Indianapolis on his main source of transportation, a vintage 1980 Bajaj Chetak scooter from India.
Before joining the Antique Helper as a full-time staff member, West curated Indianapolis Contemporary: Art & Design Auction. This 2010 auction consisting of approximately 150 contemporary artworks, selected by Christopher West and Mindy Taylor Ross, showcased works of local and national contemporary artists and designers. Five percent of the proceeds were donated to the Contemporary Art Acquisition Fund at the Indianapolis Museum Art.
After graduating from Indiana University with a major in Business Marketing and a minor in Art History, West worked for the John Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco. He hit the ground running there, having the opportunity to work with such blue-chip artists as Kiki Smith and Joel Shapiro. “This experience gave me the unique opportunity to transition from learning about art in textbooks to dealing hands-on with pieces selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars literally overnight,” says West if his experience at Berggruen. “The broad knowledge base I gained at Berggruen is invaluable; it left me well-equipped to approach numerous art forms with confidence and enthusiasm.”
West made the move back to Indianapolis in 2004. His impressive resume enabled him to be selected to curate “Out of Place,” a group show that represented the first exhibition in IMOCA’s (Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art) permanent space. For the next five years, West worked as curator at IMOCA, mounting successful exhibits and shining the spotlight on select artists before they stepped into the larger international arena. Within this fold are such artists as Ron Arad, whose work has since been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and Pompidou Center. West also brought artist Tim Gardner’s work to Indianapolis in 2005; Gardner exhibited at London’s National Gallery in 2007. He also had a hand in bringing a Rock Opera Parody by conceptual artist Guy Richards Smit to Indianapolis before its premier at MOMA.
In 2009, West opened christopher west presents, a gallery on Massachusetts Avenue, in the heart of Indianapolis’ art district. West continued his work as a forward-thinking gallery owner, featuring a mixture of local, national and international artists. Exhibits included works by emerging artists such as Nick Allman from Indianapolis, German painter Henning Straussberger and Los Angeles-based photographer Craig Doty.
Stepping into the world of auctions at Antique Helper, West continues to keep a watchful eye out for emerging contemporary artists. His expertise in contemporary visual arts and modern design is a welcome addition to Antique Helper’s knowledgeable staff.