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In the Air – Art News & Gossip

Archive for the ‘Market’ Category

Considering the Artist as Debtor at Cooper Union

First came the artist as madman, then as producer, then, in the 21st century, as debtor. So declared Coco Fusco in the opening remarks of a conference last Friday at Cooper Union. Co-organized by Fusco with the activist Noah Fisher, “The Artist as Debtor: A Conference about the Work of Artists in the Age of Speculative Capitalism” sought to assess the relationship between art-making and the various manifestations of debt in what one speaker, NYU sociologist Andrew Ross, called our present “creditocracy.”

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Wendy White Rebrands Athletic Wear for LES Pop-Up

Last night at Rawson Projects in New York, artist Wendy White unveiled “Redidas®,” a pop-up clothing shop stocked with artist-rebranded vintage merch, including sneakers, tote bags, t-shirts, and bath mats, all of them augmented with a stenciled version of the Adidas tri-leaf logo. (It’s part of the gallery’s “A Process Series,” less-than-two-week-long shows at the space by various artists. Davina Semo is up next.) Rawson’s normal lights were tinted, giving everything a lurid pink glow, as if the shop were located in a sci-fi bordello. “I wanted to see if I could elevate or change the context of an existing thing by putting a kind of messed-up Adidas logo on top,” White told us. “A floral jacket from the ’80s all of a sudden looks like something Rihanna would wear. Logos change our opinions of things. For example: I hate Nike passionately. I almost feel like it’s Republican or something. Brand loyalty and its effect on the psyche is definitely a big part of this project.”

At the opening, I scored a sweet Redidas-rebranded Coke t-shirt for a mere $20, colorful hanger included. “We sold 62 things on opening night but there are still some choice items left,” White assured us. “Since it’s cash-and-carry the gallery is much emptier now, which was the point; I wanted to do something durational in which the distribution was part of the content. I was psyched to find a brand new varsity jacket with ROBERT MORRIS written on the back (it’s a university in western Pennsylvania). Morris’s 1969 ‘Continuous Project Altered Daily’ kind of became the spirit animal for the show–but “Redidas®” is way more fun.” Head down to Madison Street before January 18 to see what swag remains — and check out some more photos, below.

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Noguchi Table Sells for Record $4.5M at Phillips

Phillips’ rocking $14.2 million “The Collector: Icons of Design” auction on Tuesday evening was led by Isamu Noguchi’s spectacular and rare “The Goodyear Table, for A. Conger Goodyear” from 1939 that sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for a record $4,450,500. New York dealer Christophe van de Weghe was the underbidder.

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Tornabuoni Art Breaks Sales Record Hours Into Basel

Though Art Basel in Miami Beach just opened its preview this morning, Paris gallery Tornabuoni Art has already made some noteworthy sales. “We’ve sold two works by Paolo Scheggi, one of which sold for more than the previous world record (608,000 Euros) set by the Dorotheum Galerie, Vienna in May 2014, (Zone riflesse, 1965),” said gallery founder Michele Casamonti in an e-mail. A large painting by Agostino Bonalumi titled “Blu,” 1972 (pictured below), was also purchased, and an additional Scheggi work was reserved.

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Christie’s CEO Steven Murphy Will Step Down Later This Year

Just 10 days after Sotheby’s CEO William Ruprecht resigned, Christie’s head Steven Murphy took the auction community by surprise with the announcement that he too will step down by the end of this year. After four years on the job, Murphy cedes his post to Christie’s Chairman Patricia Barbizet. ”When Mr. Pinault and Madame Barbizet brought me into Christie’s, I was tasked with helping to modernise the company and enable it to grow in the new world in which we operate, while maintaining its extraordinary spirit and culture, and consistently focusing on the art itself. We have now successfully concluded an ambitious three year plan and the company is in the strongest leadership position in its history,” Murphy said in a statement. “Over this period [Murphy's tenure] the company ventured into new markets in India and China, launched successful online auction sales and positioned itself at the forefront of the digital transformation in the art market,” Barbizet added. “Having completed this core work, the company is positioned for its next phase of development and I look forward to leading the global team into a new chapter of innovation and excellence as we take Christie’s to the next level.”

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$44m Georgia O’Keeffe Painting Shatters Records at Sotheby’s

Earlier today at Sotheby’s New York’s American Art auction, a Georgia O’Keeffe painting titled “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1″ sold for $44.4 million, a sum more than three times the standing record for a work by a female artist. (That distinction was previously held by Joan Mitchell’s “Untitled,” which garnered $11.9 million at Christie’s New York this past May.) Plus, this price is more than seven times that of highest paid for an O’Keeffe painting at auction prior — that is, $6.2 million at Christie’s New York in May of 2001. This sale is not without some controversy, however: The painting, along with two additional O’Keeffe works included in the auction, comes courtesy of Santa Fe’s Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which announced in September plans to sell off several works — a risky move amid all of the harsh criticism following deaccessions from the Delaware Art Museum and the Maier Museum of Art. At the time, the New York Times reported that “Jimson Weed” was estimated at around $10 to 15 million, already a substantial jump from its 1994 price of $1 million; here’s hoping the surprise profit boon will save the museum from having to part with any additional works.

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Alexi Fung Named Bonhams Managing Director for Hong Kong

Alexi Fung is the new managing director of the Bonhams Hong Kong branch, a post he will take up immediately at the auction house’s new One Pacific Place salesroom. With a focus on Asian 20th century & contemporary art, Fung has previously worked at auction houses in Hong Kong and Japan.

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Miami Project Announces 2014 Exhibitors

Set to sell in Wynwood for the third year in a row, the Miami Project has just announced its 2014 exhibitors. Running from December 2 through 7, the fair will host 68 participants just down the block from Art Miami.

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Dispatches From Frieze: Hamilton Terrace is £32M of Luxury

There’s nothing quite like biting the hand of the 1 percent that feeds you. As part of Frieze London’s Live programming roster, the collective Shanzhai Biennial has erected a bright red, faux-salesroom off to the side of the fair’s main entrance hallway. Inside, depressed-but-sexy-looking models mug for promotional posters hawking an exclusive, £32,000,000 London property; a video tour of the luxury digs achieves strange pathos thanks to its soundtrack (a version of Sinéad O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2U.”) Wall text touts the amenities available, including “Staff Bedroom with EnSuite,” a “Panic Room,” and a “Leisure Room.” Critical stunts like this don’t always play too well at art fairs — case in point, Christian Jankowski’s yacht at Frieze back in 2011 — but Shanzhai Biennial nail the aesthetic of actual real estate pitchmen, and somehow manage to underscore the sad desperation underlying endless acquisition.

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Volta NY Moves Right Next Door to Armory at Renovated Pier 90

This morning, Volta NY announced that it would move to Pier 90 for next year’s fair. Located directly beside the Armory Show’s home at Piers 92 and 94, the new site has just been renovated and offers 75,000 square feet of space for 90 exhibitors. Known as the Armory’s sister fair, Volta will run March 5 to March 8.

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