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In the Air – Art News & Gossip

Archive for the ‘Market’ Category

A TEFAF Postscript: First-Timer Cardi Sells Two Major Works

First time TEFAF exhibitor Nicolo Cardi of Milan’s Cardi Gallery sold two impressive, Post-War Italian sculptural works by Arte Povera star Giulio Paolini and the more classic Fausto Melotti at the Maastricht fair which ended on March 22. Paolini’s large-scale assemblage, “L’Indifferent” from 1992, a kind of Duchampian confection of empty picture frames, an easel and a reproduction of a classical painting, sold in the region of its €250,000 asking price, and Melotti’s beautifully composed, freestanding work, “L’Ariete” from 1976, executed in brass, copper, and wispy fabric, sold in the region of its €300,000 asking price.

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$140M Picasso Leads Christie’s Curated Evening Blockbuster

Setting off the contemporary week of evening sales, Christie’s is staging a curated roster of 20th-century masters with “Looking Forward to the Past” on May 11, led by Pablo Picasso’s spectacular ode to Delacroix, “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version “O”)” from 1955 that is estimated in the stratospheric region of $140 million. It was part of a sweeping suite of fourteen other paintings and almost 100 works on paper the artist completed in a two month spurt, all of it dedicated to Delacroix’s Louvre masterpiece. Christie’s is claiming, and what better way to market a sale, that this Picasso is the most important remaining in private hands.

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Your Next Dinner Party, Face Off with Kehinde Wiley

So you’ve made plans to invite your five closest friends over for a home-cooked meal, an opportunity to discuss the most pressing artistic matters of the day, like: Is the Björk show really a sign of the apocalypse? Did Jerry Saltz deserve to get temporarily booted off Facebook? Is the best way to insult an artist to insinuate that they are literally a zombie? Somewhere amidst that feverish conversation, after the fifth bottle of prosecco is popped, a guest will inevitably turn the discussion to Kehinde Wiley and his exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. Affecting an air of bored indifference you might, quoting Chloe Wyma, say that Wiley merely “feeds our contemporary taste for promiscuous juxtaposition and nobrow pastiche.” One of your dining companions will likely turn the discussion to that super-racist article in the Village Voice, which you haven’t read, really, though you’ve read a lot about it. Soon enough the chatter will crawl into other, non-art-related categories: How much the new season of Girls sucks; if Tinder’s new policy against right-swiping-all will lead to the app’s downfall; that friend of yours who just bought a house in a Brooklyn neighborhood that, two weeks later, was annointed by New York Magazine as the Next Big Thing, thereby ruining it. (more…)

TEFAF Continues to Rack Up Sales

Torso of a Goddess, probably Uma; Cambodia, Angkor Wat style Khmer, 12th century Grey sandstone; Dr. William Price, Amarillo, Texas (acquired in the 1980s).

Classical and contemporary Asian art offerings from London’s Rossi & Rossi attracted new buyers for some of its standout offerings, ranging from a beautifully proportioned carved in grey sandstone 22 inch high “Torso of a Goddess,” described by the gallery as probably Uma and from Cambodia, in Angkor Wat style Khmer that dates from the 12th century, which sold to a new European client near the $55,000 asking price, to a 13 ½ inch high “Seated Buddha” from China, cast in gilt bronze and still bearing traces of paint, dating from the 18th century, which sold to an Asian client already known to the gallery in the region of the $350,0000 asking price. (more…)

Checklist: Sotheby’s Partners with eBay, Achenbach Sentenced to Six Years, and More

Sotheby’s Partners with eBay: Today marks the official launch of eBay’s website partnership with Sotheby’s, which will feature live auctions starting on April 1. Though Sotheby’s has featured real-time online bidding on its own site in the past — even a short-lived partnership with eBay in 2003 — this new venture opens the auction house’s reach to eBay’s current 155 million monthly users. The first sale promises photographs by Man Ray, Paul Strand, and László Moholy-Nagy, while the second sale, held on April 2, will feature New York memorabilia, including the old Yankee Stadium sign offered by former player Reggie Jackson. [NYT, NYO, TAN, Bloomberg]

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Andy Warhol’s “Knives” Hits a High Note at TEFAF

Andy Warhol’s “Knives”, 1981-82. © The Andy Warhol Foundation

On Saturday, London’s Robilant + Voena sold one of the most expensive works so far noted at TEFAF, as Andy Warhol’s large-scale, 90 by 70 inch “Knives” from 1981-82, executed in synthetic polymer and silkscreen on canvas and blown up from a Polaroid taken by the artist, sold to a European collector in the region of the $3.2 million asking price. (more…)

Former Madison Square Garden CEO to Succeed Ruprecht at Sotheby’s

Madison Square Garden Company chief executive Tad Smith is to replace outgoing Sotheby’s head William Ruprecht on March 31, the auction house announced in a release today. Smith, 49, was appointed to his current position at Madison Square Garden in February 2014, and prior to that worked as an executive at several media and entertainment companies. He has been an adjunct professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business since 1999, where he teaches a second-year course called “Strategy and Finance for Entertainment, Media and Technology Companies.” (more…)

Report: Art Market Breaks Pre-Recession Global Sales Record in 2014

The art market surpassed its pre-recession high last year with global sales of €51 billion, according to the just-released annual report commissioned by The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF). The analysis, authored by Dr. Clare McAndrew of Arts Economics, also revealed that three countries are responsible for 83 percent of the worldwide trade in art: the United States (39 percent), China (22 percent), and the United Kingdom (22 percent). Though aggregate sales surpassed the market’s 2007 amount of €48 billion, the volume of transactions did not surpass the 2007 high-water mark, though volumes were up 6 percent year-over-year at 39 million deals in 2014.

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An Ode to the Independent Art Fair (In Text Paintings)


The Independent art fair got poetic with its text-based works this year. Artists appropriated lines from advertisements, quoted Russian prison tattoos, lifted titles from books, and even popped interjections next to pictures of a young Leo DiCaprio (see: Isa Genzken’s piece, above). In fact, some of the words were so evocative, we felt inspired to compile our own found poem from their elusive, fragmentary statements. Here it is, in all of its glory; read on, if your heart dares.  (more…)

John Ruskin Had Armory Week Pegged — In 1857

Do you feel glazed-over at art fairs? After 15 minutes, do your eyeballs feel like soft-boiled eggs? Today, we might call that “fairtigue” (as much as we don’t want to, because portmanteaus are terrible). But as far back as the mid-nineteenth century, cultural critics have been identifying this phenomenon caused by sensorial onslaught. In fact, we can pretty much say with certainty that our favorite radical art critic, John Ruskin, would have hated Armory Week — and thereby use his prose to validate our own strong, but inchoate feelings.

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